Monday, September 7, 2015

Mental Math

Do your students need to build mental math skills, including rounding, estimating and fact fluency?

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I am constantly on the lookout for ways to increase my students computational fluency, and with many of my students, the more hands on, the better.  I created these mental math cards to help my students practice their listening, problem solving, and computational skills.  We have been using them everyday this week and they are fast becoming a class favorite!

I printed out digit cards (0-9) for each of my students, and then put them to work cutting.  At the beginning of my teaching career I did a lot more cutting and getting supplies ready in advance.  Now, I put them to work.  As an extra bonus, it gives them something to do as I pass out supplies.

The students then set out their digits across their desk.  They each seemed to pick their own system.

Then, I started reading the clues.

And, I am not going to lie, many of them were confused!  So, I broke out plan B and had them come to the carpet for a quick demo.  If you decide to do this with your class, I would suggest using the demo first.  Just a little tip!

I just did a quick demo with scotch tape on some digit cards on my easel.  You could easily do this on an overhead as well, but... I was having tech issues that day... so quick and easy was my route.

I read from this card and modeled each step.

The light bulbs went off and my students were ready to tackle it again!

They are loving it!  They ask to play this instead of some of our other math games during centers.  They even asked to use them during Fun Friday!  Some of the students are writing their own prompts now! 

You can write your own prompts for your students to use, or you can buy my cards which feature 100 ready made prompts as well as editable cards. I have included digit cards and complete instructions as well.

You can watch a video of the game in action here.

I did a periscope presentation using these that you can watch by clicking here.

Have you implemented Mental Math in your classroom? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below or tag me on Twitter or Instagram.

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