Welcome to the Bright Ideas Blog Hop! I hope that you have been collecting a ton of great ideas that you can implement in your classroom. If this is your first stop, a little background information is in order. My blogger friends and I wanted to get back to the basics of blogging - sharing great ideas. Freebies are great! Sharing great products that we use in our classroom is fun. What is better? Sharing tips and tricks that helps us be the most effective teachers we can be with no strings attached - no downloads of anything required to implement these ideas. They are easy to implement ideas that you can start immediately. We hope you enjoy!
I wanted a way to get my students thinking before we began a lesson. I wanted to get my students brains warmed up before we got to the meat of the lesson. I began searching my favorite blogs for engaging activities that required my students to think on a higher level. I wanted to get their brains moving, so they would be ready to think throughout the lesson. I found exactly what I was looking for at Mrs. Jump's Class - Think Math.
Think Math is easy to implement. All you need is a place to write one sentence and marker. I always use chart paper and chart paper markers (Sharpies because I have an addiction). Start by writing the answer to a question at the top of the chart paper. For example, you could write, "The answer is 20 cupcakes." Then students come up with what the question that matches the answer. Possible answers could include: "10+10=20" or "40-20=20" or "4x5=20."
I have had students provide answers in two ways. First, I have simply written the questions as they have shared them in class. When I want to make sure everyone contributes, I have them write their questions on a sticky note with their name on the back. Then each student places their sticky note on the chart. I arrange them so we can talk about similar strategies. After we have shared multiple questions, I have the students help me write a word problem. For the cupcake example, we could write: Mrs. Wilson ordered forty cupcakes for the class Valentine's Day party but only twenty cupcakes arrived. How many cupcakes is she missing for the party?"
I completely forgot to grab some photos of our Think Math charts while I was at school, but I created one for you above. I love to add borders and art to my charts in class to grab students attention. The art also helps personalize the chart. In October, we did one where I put pumpkins on the chart because our answer was: The answer is 10 pumpkins.
By changing the number in the answer, you can differentiate for grade level and concept you are trying to teach. If you are in kindergarten and want to review different combinations of ten, then your answer would be: "The answer is 10 flowers." You could differentiate in the classroom by putting students in groups and giving them a plain sheet of paper with the the answer at the top. Each group could get a different number in their answer depending on the type of questions you are looking for students to provide.
This concept is not just for math! You can make the answer anything. If you are a preschool teacher the answer could be, "The answer is red." Students could come up with objects that are red: fire truck, stop sign, etc. If you are a social studies teacher, the answer could be, "The answer is democracy." The questions could be: "What form of government does the United States have?" or "What form of government rules through elected officials." If you are a science teacher, the answer could be: "The answer is vertebrate." Possible questions could be: "What is the opposite of invertebrate?" or "How would you classify a monkey?"
You get the idea. I love Think Math/Science/Social Studies/etc. because of its versatility. I love to hear in the comments how you would use this idea in your classroom!
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