Use the Date to Encourage More Math Thinking inMiddle and Elementary School Updated 5/2020
How Can You Use Math in Writing the Date? In 2015, I started adding a little extra math into my classes, homeroom and last period (homeroom students again) - by using the date! I had done this years ago, but hadn't used the idea in a while, so I brought it back to my middle school math classroom in two ways Math and the Date Method 1:1) Use all the digits in the date to create an equation. The digits should stay in the same order they are in the date, and any operation signs can be added in between any digits. The equal sign can also be placed between any digits. Digits can be used as exponents, as in the example shown, and you can add square roots signs if you can find a way to use them. Math and the Date Method 2:The other way I used the date was to write the date so students have to evaluate 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. Five Benefits of Using Math DatesWhat I love about these ideas is that they: - Are quick
- Can be completed at any time (beginning of class, finished early time, closing of class, or in homeroom)
- Help kids to expand their number sense and use some "out of the box" thinking
- Help improve students' understanding of equivalent expressions
- Can be 'expanded' to challenge students:
* Students can evaluate the expressions (using the bar as a division sign - a student did this on his own one day!) * If you happen to make a "mistake," students can find it and correct it:-) 6. EXTRA Math BenefitsOther fabulous benefits of using the Math Dates. You can: Introduce Math Concepts
- Math Dates can be used to introduce notations or concepts students haven't seen before, like the cube root or exponent rules. As you discuss the date in class, a quick overview of a particular concept can help set students up for greater success when it comes time to teach the concept in the course of the curriculum (especially if they've seen it in several different dates!).
Reinforce Math Concepts or Facts
- Math Dates can be used to reinforce some basic concepts, like the meaning of 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.
- In 2017, I used the year part of the date to reinforce that 51 is divisible by 3 - this was
**such**a huge help to students who assumed 51 was prime.
Where Can You Find Math Dates Created for You?At this time, I post 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). I created Math Dates resources for you to use throughout the year - these have been published by individual months and as a year-long resource on TPT. I've added nearly a year of dates for upper elementary math as well. To read next:
1 Comment
Gina McCaleb-Rudder
9/14/2017 07:07:47 am
One of my "first week of school" activities used to be using the date to create all the numbers from 1-100. Sometimes I gave a prize to the first person or group that found all or most of the numbers. Fun for all!
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