As your year winds down in the classroom, my busy season is just beginning. I look forward to meeting many of you this summer as I come out to work in your schools. In the meantime, I’m sure you are busy putting together summer packets for your students. Those of you who have attended my seminar have heard me discuss the importance of creating a sense of equity in our classrooms by creating a numeracy rich environment. I challenge you to do the same with your summer activities for students. Usually the math ideas end up being extra worksheets for kids to do. How exciting or enriching does that sound?
Think about this…what about putting together some of your favorite math games? Give ideas on how kids can interact with their parents or siblings by playing games which incorporate math concepts. This could become an end of year activity in your classroom. Have each student choose their favorite game you taught them this year and sketch-note materials needed, how to play, and helpful hints. You can combine these into a class summer math game book to give each of your students. If you haven’t taught that many games this year, you could have students work in pairs or small groups to design the page. If most of your games involve cards or dice, you could include cards and dice in a summer-fun bag for your students.
In the front (or back) of your class book recommend age appropriate board games that incorporate math skills. Don’t forget some oldies, but goodies such as, Yahtzee, Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, High-Ho-Cherry-O, Battleship, Life, Sorry, and many more. There are also many new games on the market that promote critical thinking and math skills. One of my new favorites is Tic-Tac-Ku or Color Ku, both of these are take-offs on Sudoku.
Of course, students are going to want to get on their devices over the summer. Send home some of your favorite math apps/websites such as youcubed and greg tang math. If you’ve used technology quite a bit in your classroom, ask your students which websites they think you should include in your list.
Ask your students to make real-life connections with math concepts explored this past year. Recommend putting together different types of graphs utilizing their favorite activities, vacations, or sporting events. Ideas include how often/how long they go swimming during the week; how long did they read during the week; how many miles did they travel in a day, week, month; how much time do they spend playing baseball/softball in a week, month, entire summer. Those that play sports can write out their schedule and after the game record the score and use the correct inequality symbol to show who won. If they are on a swim team, track their time on each event and record on a line graph. Younger students can keep tally charts showing how often they did something nice for someone else, or how often they cleaned their room.
If you take me up on any of these ideas, I would love to see you post about it on MakingMathMakeSense’s Facebook page. Remember to keep math fun, the more engaged our youngsters are, the more they believe they are mathematicians…and they can be mathematicians in the summer too 😊