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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sneak into a New School Year - Pt. 3 Math Centers

It's about time, teachers, ... to talk about math centers and math activities on Sneaker Day.

No Sneaker Day would be complete without including a graphing activity. Whole class graphs are fun and easy. Line your students' sneakers up in front of the class and ask them to name some attributes they notice.  Use those suggestions or one of these:
  • brand
  • color (all 1 color, 2 colors, 3...)
  • size
  • closure (laces, Velcro, slip-ons, ...)
  • high tops/low tops
  • special features (lights, sequins, pumps, ...)

After you complete 1 or more whole class graphs, you can easily make this activity a math center. Small groups will graph their sneakers, only.

Have each child measure his sneaker using unifix cubes. Ask the children to take their tower of cubes around the room in search of another child with the same number of cubes in his stack.  You have the opportunity to observe and note how children determine if their towers are the same length (counting, comparing side by side, 1-to-1 matching, …). If the activity is going well, extend the assignment to find someone whose sneaker is longer, shorter, 3 cubes longer, 2 cubes shorter, etc. Again, after teaching the task, this activity can be extended by making it a math center activity.

Another math activity for Sneaker Day is patterning. Have your students make crayon rubbings of the soles of their sneakers.  Use the rubbings for creating patterns of footsteps. The rubbings can also be placed in a math center. There, students can sort them according to various attributes you specify. Older or more advanced students could use the rubbings to create categories of their own making.  

Venn Diagrams are another activity that could be modeled to the whole group and subsequently placed in a math center.  

There are more activities for Sneaker Day to come, so sneak back soon.

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