Using the Date to Encourage
More Math Thinking
2) The other way I used the dates was to write the date so that students have to solve an expression for each number in the date.
It's been fun to see some students writing these in the corner of their notebooks during class! Others have asked to write their equations or expressions on the board during the last period of the day.
What I love about these ideas are that they are quick, can be done at any time (beginning of class, finished early time, closing of class, or in homeroom) and they help kids to expand their number sense and use some "out of the box" thinking. The "date as an expression" idea can also be expanded to challenge students: students can create their own expressions, students can solve the expressions (using the bar as a division sign - a student did this on his own one day!), and if you happen to make a "mistake," students can find it correct it!
I also look at the date-writing as a way to introduce notation my students haven't seen before, like the cube root, as well as reinforcing some concepts, like exponents. I don't know about your students, but mine often forget that 2 cubed means 2 x 2 x 2, not 2 x 3. Using the exponents in the date keeps bringing that concept back for review.
Update: I've started posting math dates at the beginning of every week on Instagram (always on Instagram) and Facebook (most weeks on FB), so if you'd like to use them, I hope you'll follow me on one of those platforms (if you aren't already).
Another update: I've created Math Dates resources for you to use throughout the year - these have been published by individual months and as a year-long resource.
As I was thinking about school today, I was thinking about one of our next topics: equivalent expressions. (CCSS.6.EE.A3: Apply the properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions. For example, apply the distributive property to the expression 3 (2 + x) to produce the equivalent expression 6 + 3x; apply the distributive property to the expression 24x + 18y to produce the equivalent expression 6 (4x + 3y); apply properties of operations to y + y + y to produce the equivalent expression 3y.)
Last year, I worked this concept in through the use of my daily math warm-ups, which brought the idea back time and again, and the students did well with it. This year, even though we will spend more time with direct instruction, I was thinking about other ways to use equivalent expressions, and I thought of using them for partnering cards! We can use them many times throughout the year as quick, random reinforcement.
You can download these for free, if you'd like. There are 6 pages, with 3 sets on each page, giving you 18 sets (36 students). The set is in the download twice - once with a background and once without.
** Update: I used these today and they worked well! I printed the set with the background and quickly glued them onto index cards this morning, because I wanted to use them today. I'll laminate them before using again.
I hope you can use them!
Hi, I'm Ellie! I've been in education for 25 years, teaching all subject areas at both the elementary and middle school levels.