Friday, April 25, 2014

Creative Inspiration

I am soooooo looking forward to Monday. We have district wide in-service. I can't wait!

And I'm not even being sarcastic.

We get to spend the entire day with our PLCs. My math-teaching buddies and I have decided to use the whole day to create activities for our classrooms.

No yawn-inducing sessions that don't apply to us. We are going to create stuff that we can use!

I've been compiling supplies, links, and ideas for inspiration.

Beach balls, because summer is soooo close.

I made the pink ice breaker one a while back. It is covered in silly questions. You toss the ball to someone, they answer the question underneath their right thumb and toss it to someone else. Something like that with math facts might be perfect for our intervention teacher?

Plastic eggs I got on clearance after Easter.

I am thinking an egg hunt? Maybe a problem inside the egg leads to an answer written on the outside of another egg which opens up to reveal another problem? There could be a different color for each group.

Or, that same thing in an egg carton. I like these white plastic eggs because they aren't seasonal. It might only be a worksheet in disguise, but its way more fun.

Foam pieces. I've found that writing on pieces of craft foam with a sharpie makes for durable sorting cards & such. No laminating necessary. The strips could work for putting the pieces of a proof in order? I am sure we can find some other uses as well.

I have a bunch of wooden blocks in my cabinet. Perfect for custom-made dice.

Links to my favorite activity structures: Add 'em up, speed dating, solve-crumple-toss, war (all via Kate's blog). Also bucket of lies, math dominoes . . . what else?

Here are some samples of those for everyone to look at.

And some cooperative learning books with tons of great ideas.

Oh, and I am hoping to convince someone to try Barbie bungee.

Hoping for a productive day!


  1. The little wooden cubes got me excited. Where can I get them? (I want to make 6 pyramids to show why 1^2+2^2+3^2+...+n^2 = n(n+1)(2n+1)/6. I have 3 pyramids now, but 6 would be better. And mine aren't very pretty.)

    1. Hi Sue! The cubes would be perfect for investigating sequences and series. I wish I could help you out with where to find them, but I inherited these from a former teacher at our school. I would probably try a craft supply shop like Michael's or Hobby Lobby?

    2. I just bought them from a woodcraft supply place. ($28 for 200 unpainted 1" cubes.)

  2. Oh, I forgot row games!

  3. I just did an easter egg hunt with problems inside but I told the kids once they found them that they got to re-hide them for the other students. Challenge accepted! They loved it and told me how fun it was and I thought to myself "You're just doing a bunch of problems". lol

    1. Hi Elissa! That's funny. :) I am amazed by how adding novelty to a plain ole problem set suddenly makes it fun. That's a win!

  4. Looks like this is too late for your inservice… but another great book to use for cooperative learning is "Get it Together" by Tim Erickson. It is one of my favorites!

  5. I have used the Barbie bungee jump in my classroom. So much learning, so much fun!

  6. I have used Barbie Bungee and I discovered very quickly why boys don't play with Barbies. They are all missing some limb - or maybe even a head at this point! haha