Halloween is only a few days away! I can feel the excitement in the air. My own children, who are teenagers, have been scouring the house looking for the Halloween candy which I have had to hide. These are fun times for many children who celebrate Halloween! Children naturally engage in the world of make-believe in their daily play and Halloween highlights this. When I was teaching in the classroom, I would enjoy harnessing my students' excitement to plan motivating math learning experiences using their interest in Halloween. So similar to last year, when I shared some of my favourite ideas, this year I created some new playful, mathematical inquiry based Halloween experiences. I will be visiting a couple of classes this week to try these out, but I won't get a chance to try all of them. If you happen to try any of these ideas with your class, I would love to hear how they went. Please consider adding a comment/photos below.
Halloween Estimation Clipboards:
Many of you know, I am a big fan of Steve Wyborney's "Estimation Clipboard". For those of you unfamiliar with this, please check out Steve's site and/or my previous blogpost.
After all the images have been shown, ask your students what strategies they used to estimate. You may wish to record these on a chart that students can refer to for future estimation activities.
Halloween Estimation Clipboards:
When creating these clipboards, my intention was to create images that would encourage students to visualize 'doubling' 'halving' to help them with their estimates.
Steve Wyborney's Summarized Instructions
Halloween Three Act Tasks
Another inquiry-based approach I am fond of is 'Three Act Tasks'. For those unfamiliar with this, I recommend you check out my Three Act Task page and blogpost. There you will learn about the pioneers of this approach, the learning involved, and instructions on how to use these with your classes.
Below I am sharing some Halloween Three Act Tasks I have created. I am also including my thinking behind each task in the lesson design so that BC teachers can see how this aligns/connects with our own context.
ROCKETS THREE ACT TASK:
Content - Two-digit by two-digit Multiplication Three Act Task
HALLOWEEN CANDY THREE ACT TASK (Late Primary/Early Intermediate):
Content - Addition of many addends to 100. Numbers were intentionally selected to highlight finding partners to make tens.
Halloween Candy Three Act Task (Early Primary)
Content - Addition to 20
HALLOWEEN SCARIES THREE ACT TASK:
Content - Addition to 10
Wishing you all a very Happy Halloween!
In my work with Primary teachers I am often asked "How do I engage my young students in problem solving activities?" There are many ways teachers do this but one approach I am very fond of is "Three Act Tasks". This problem-solving whole class approach can be used with students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
Originating from Dan Meyers for Secondary School Math classes, this problem based approach is an excellent way to develop students' ability to question, engage in problem solving, develop a range of strategies, and mathematically model. Every child has an entry point into the activity and can work to their potential. Dan has created a great video series explaining "Three Acts". More recently, Graham Fletcher has created many 'Three Act Tasks' for Elementary aged students. I highly recommend checking out his site or Kendra Lomax's who has created some tasks for early primary students.
For those teachers who have never heard of Three Acts, I recommend you pop over to Tedd.org to check out the resources they have created to support teachers with this approach. You will need to register but it is free. A summary of the Three Acts can be found here.
Initially I began exploring this approach using Three Acts that had been created for K - 7 classes by Graham Fletcher and Kendra Lomax. As my confidence developed, I created a few of my own and wrote lesson plans that aligned with our BC Curriculum (see here).There is no right or wrong time to use a three-act task. They can be used gather formative assessment at the beginning and middle of learning a new concept or near the end to see which strategies students are using and applying in new contexts.
Last month I worked with two K/1 teachers to explore a "Three Act Task" I created connected to a favourite book called "Nanette's Baguette" by Moe Willems. These teachers wondered what strategies their students might use with a subtraction question. After reading the story, students were shown the short clip in Act One.
We asked the students "What they noticed?" and following this "What they wondered?"
As you can see in the images, some students represented their thinking concretely by building models with unifix cubes. Others drew pictures and some used math tools like number lines and hundreds charts. Before revealing Act Three, students shared their strategies with the class. Most students counted back by ones, but one student counted back in chunk of ten. A couple of students thought about addition for subtraction and counted on from 10, either through a picture, or on a number line.
I have created a few other primary three act tasks. Click here to see these!
If you have created some of your own 3 Act Tasks, I would love to hear about them and your reflections.
I am a Numeracy Helping Teacher with the Surrey Schools District. Each day I am thankful for being able to work with amazing students and teachers in an area I am passionate about ~ Mathematics!
Click the RSS feed button