March 30, 2015

Math Madness

As a Georgia Bulldog fan, basketball season has never  been front and center on my radar. But now, that I'm about to become a Tar Heel fan by marriage, it's a different story. This year, I decided to harness my new found appreciation for basketball into planning a fun event for my kiddos.

Enter Math Madness. I had originally thought I would plan just one special "Day of Math" where we would have lots of different types of Math activities and ONLY Math activities going on. I did this back in the Fall with reading (I called it "Camp Read A Lot". Maybe I'll blog about it at another time!). However, I decided to incorporate it into the entire week of school. I mostly decided to do this because we had three half days this week for Parent Teacher conferences and I thought  knew this would get us excited and motivated to make it through the strange week.

And it worked! We had so much fun, and I think some of my boys especially appreciated the thought and care that went into bringing basketball into the classroom. I do not have a nicely designed unit or any groundbreaking ideas. The big idea of the whole week was to challenge ourselves to solve as many Math problems as possible! With that said, here are some things we did this week:

1. Students wrote an Opinion piece and completed a craftivity from this TpT unit. The topic was: Do you learn more when you win or when you lose? They absolutely loved it!
2. We set a goal to solve 6,300 Math problems (that would be 300 per student). Our final tally was over 8,000! 
3. Students kept basketballs with hundreds charts that I made on their desks to record their Math problems solved. They counted any and all Math they did during our day and they even used their free time to solve problems, draw shapes, make patterns, etc. on their dry erase boards! For each 100s basketball they turned in, they got to place it on the door, take three shots at the basketball goal, and get a small treat. I asked parents help me with treat donations and I spent a little money of my own, but they got to earn things like: a small chocolate basketball, a sticker, a bottle of water, high fives from the whole class, and a snack bag of orange cheese ball puffs. Once we ran out of prizes, I told them that they got "Pride In Your Heart", and they were totally o.k. with that! Also, I worked this all on the honor/responsibility system-the kids had to take care of these rewards themselves so that I didn't have to spend all day worrying over the kids finishing up their challenges at different times.     
4. Students took on a special collaborative Math challenge involving the perimeter and area of a basketball court. 

5. At the end of the week, students set their final goals for the year with a Quick Write activity. It was perfect timing since we had been talking about goals and teamwork all week because of Math Madness AND I had been talking to all of their parents this week because of Conferences. I posted these in the room where they will remain for the rest of the year.
6. Finally, since we met our class goal, we all went outside for an extra recess and some Gatorade. I let them all bring in their basketballs and wear jerseys if they chose to!

Well, that's it. Happy March Madness!

1 comment:

  1. This is so much fun! I need to do something related to March Madness for reading next year. My boys would love it!

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