Donut Math: A Fun Way to Practice Multiplication Facts

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 / Leave a Comment
Hi everyone!  It's Kim again from Elementary Antics!  Today I'm going to be sharing a fun math game I liked to use in my classroom to quickly practice multiplication facts everyday.  Shortly after I started teaching 3rd grade my coworker told me about this and we call it Donut Math.  

Donut math is such a fun, interactive and easy game for your kids to practice their multiplication facts!

It's so simple!  All you do is make several poster board "donuts."  Then, number around them 0-12 (or whatever facts you want your kids to know and practice) in random order.  You can laminate them if you want for durability.  Just use a magnet to attach the donut to your whiteboard.  Tell students they have 60 seconds (or whatever time limit you want to put) to solve all the problems around the donut.  Put any number (1-12 for facts) in the middle and students start solving!  Students can time themselves individually or compete with each other.

Donut math is such a fun, interactive and easy game for your kids to practice their multiplication facts!

I would do donut math every morning on my whiteboard.  I usually had about 4 or 5 set up.  Each group would send up one member, I'd put a number in the middle and they'd solve in the time limit.  Afterwards, we'd check them and they would earn group points for their correct answers.  The kids loved it!  I love this game too because you can make it work for any facts- you're doing 1's, 2's & 5's facts in class, then just put those numbers in the middle.  Easy peasy.  You could even use this as an interactive center- just put a stop watch with it.  The kids can time themselves and try to beat their times, race each other, or set up their own contests. 


Donut math is such a fun, interactive and easy game for your kids to practice their multiplication facts!

I really hope this is something you can use in your class!  Check out my TpT store for more math resources. Happy Thanksgiving!

3 Multiplication Games Your Students Will Love

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 / 1 comment

Hey friends!  As we all know, multiplication is HUGE in 3rd grade!
After teaching what multiplication is and all the different ways to multiply...we turn to memorizing those facts.  Because let's face it, students have to know their multiplication facts as they start to learn more complex math skills!
Multiplication games every student will love in your classroom!
Here are 3 multiplication games that my students LOVE!  It's their favorite part of the day!

Turkey Time!

Thursday, November 10, 2016 / Leave a Comment

It's finally here! My favorite season and holiday! This year I am so excited for the week before Thanksgiving because I have so many great activities planned. My only worry is that I won't have time to squeeze it all in! I'm definitely recommending you try the following:

Try searching Pinterest, google, and Teachers Pay Teachers for "turkey craft" and you will find thousands (if not millions) of results! My all time favorite turkey is so simple-- all you need are 4 supplies:
  • Coffee filters
  • Crayola washable markers
  • Construction Paper (brown, orange, red)
  • Googly eyes
Simply have students color on the coffee filters (it's ok if they leave white space behind) and get them wet. Sometimes I use a spray bottle-- and sometimes I just hold the filter under a drip from the faucet. Let dry. Cut out turkey bodies, legs,gobblers, and beak from paper and glue onto filters. I like to use googly eyes for a silly effect. After they have crafted students can write to any turkey prompt! This makes for such a fun display! They always love it!

I LOVE teaching about the first Thanksgiving! I found this reading book on Amazon for about $2.50. Click here to read a post about how I use this book and pick up the response sheet for FREE!
Bring the turkeys into your math centers! Students love it! This activity helps students focus on the various ways to solve multiplication problems (each feather is a different strategy). We just learned about arrays, repeated addition, and equal groups-- so I am excited to bring out this center next week. Click here to get your own copy!

What is your favorite way to celebrate Thanksgiving in the classroom? Feel free to share in the comments! Thanks for stopping by!

Brown Bag Thanksgiving Freebie

Sunday, November 6, 2016 / Leave a Comment
Hello darlings!  Amy from That Teaching Spark here!  Thanksgiving is right around the corner and my grade level loves to invite families in to celebrate!  One of my past teamies (Stephanie Airoldi) from many years ago introduced us to this idea, and we've LOVED it ever since! Each year we invite our families into the classroom to enjoy a short Thanksgiving play and lunch together.  My parents always tell me how much they enjoy it!

Planning

A Few Weeks Before

A few weeks before the Lunch, I send out an invitation with an RSVP to all the parents to get head count so I know how many extra chairs I need to ask the custodians for.  We use the chairs that the custodians use for school wide performances. Also be sure to let your cafeteria workers and lunch monitors know that your students will not be attending lunch.  The cafeteria needs to know not to plan to make food for your grade level.

A Week Out

About a week out, we start to memorize our lines for the play.  We recite the ABC's of the First Thanksgiving.  Each kiddo is given a letter of the alphabet with the corresponding part.  Some kiddos may get two parts depending on how large my class is.  If that is the case, I make sure they have two consecutive letters like D and E for example.  Kiddos decorate an 8 1/2 by 11 piece of white construction paper with the letter and a picture to represent the speaking part.

Next, they write the part on the back just in case they forget it during the play.  You can also have students cut out their part and glue it on if you are worried about handwriting. We practice the play each day and students take their part home to practice.


The Morning Of

  On the morning of the Lunch, we decorate our tables with butcher paper.  Kiddos love designing tablecloths. If you want to save paper, the Dollar Store has plastic tablecloths!
 We also make Wampanoag Headdresses and Pilgrim hats.  I found a fast tutorial for girl pilgrim hats here.  If you are a perfectionist, you can view the Martha Stewart hat making video here.  


The Event

Once parents and families arrive, I have my little Native Americans and Pilgrims show the guests to their seats and they can begin getting ready to eat.  As soon as most parents arrive, I call all my Thanksgiving friends up to the front and we begin our play that pretty much takes only five minutes.  


Students then go sit with their families and eat.  When they are finished eating, the students are in charge of cleaning up for our guests.  If there is time left over, students share their Persuasive Writings with their families.  (We pretend we are turkeys and try to persuade Farmer Mack Nuggett not to eat us!)

When Families Can't Attend

Every year I do have students who don't have any family come for whatever reason.  This is another reason the RSVP is so important.  I find out if those kiddos will be buying lunch from the cafeteria and if so, I let the cafeteria know.    I also make sure to bring a special treat or dessert for those kiddos and  I still have them sit around with the other families.  The other families are always so welcoming and include those kiddos in their conversations. 

You could also invite the principals, counselors, or other staff members in to eat with those kiddos. 



I have included an Editable Parent Invitation/RSVP FREE just because I care about you so much!!


If you don't have enough time to implement this, this year, I hope this gave you a great idea for next year! Happy Thanksgiving darlings!



Fall Math Fun

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 / Leave a Comment
Hello teacher friends!  I am Amber from TGIF, and my favorite subject to teach is third grade math.  I think I love it so much because when I was in third grade, I struggled to pass all my timed multiplication facts, so I really enjoy working with those kiddos who struggle like I did.  I love seeing their confidence grow!

We have been enjoying incorporating fall into our math activities in my third grade classroom, specifically candy corn!  Honestly, I really don't love the taste of candy corn, but I love how cute it is and how it represents the season.  

I wanted to quickly review some previous topics and candy corn just makes the most tasty greater than and less than symbol.  You can throw just about any math topic in the activity that suits your classroom.  Here are some step by step pictures of what we completed in my classroom.  

First, my students used scrap recycled paper and we folded the paper in eighths.  Then, they used a marker to draw 3 horizontal lines and add 4 larger circles down the vertical fold.  Next, I wrote down some math problems, and they copied it on their sheet.  





I then passed out 6 candy corn to each student.  (We
are a peanut free school and the candy corn I bought was processed in a peanut free plant.  Score!)  I allowed them to eat two now.  (I mean seriously, who can wait that long?)  I asked them to place the other 4 in the circles.  We quickly reviewed greater than and less than symbols.  I drew a candy corn on the board and showed them how the shape was similar to these symbols. 

They then completed the problems and turned their "candy corn symbols" as they completed each one.  I walk around the room checking problems as they work.  If they correctly answered, I put a star by the candy corn.  The students then had to draw in their greater than or less than symbol before they could eat the candy corn.  



Simple, yet effective!

Another math topic that my students have struggled with a bit the past two years is math vocabulary. I decided we could turn that into candy corn too (but not the edible kind this time).  We are into multiplication right now and words like distributive property, factors, products, identity property and arrays were a giant ocean of words and my students were drowning in them!  I made these cute matching vocabulary, example and definition candy corn cards for my students.  I have also made it a FREEBIE for my third grade teacherfriends!  <<< Click here.  They would be great as centers too!
I only introduce four new words at a time.  We work on them several days in a row before adding 4 more new words.  There are 12total vocabulary candy corn for you to use in your classroom for free! 

As you can see in the pictures, I have my students color the candy corn, cut them out and, then stamp them, put stickers on them or add symbols to the back of the 3 sections.  This makes the cards self-checking and sometimes I will assign it as homework rather than assigning a worksheet.  It takes a bit more time to make the cards self-checking but it is SOOOOO WORTH it in the end.  My students have become more fluent in their math vocabulary and, they are using it in their math responses!  YAY!



If you are in need of more multiplication vocabulary resources, check out this Multiplication Vocabulary resource

Another fast activity I used in my math centers this fall was this FREE candy corn color
by code multiplication practice from Live Laugh Math.  I allowed small groups to work together since we are still learning some of our facts.  Those larger facts can be tricky!

If you need more multiplication practice activities, I have several available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  You can check out those resources here. 
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