Category Archives: Course 1 (6th Grade Math)

One Rod Tall

I’ve written before about reading books to my kids and following up with an activity. I read the poem one_inch_tall to my 6th graders as we’re studying ratios and proportions. One Inch Tall by Shel Silverstein If you were only one inch tall, you’d ride a worm to school. The teardrop of a crying ant would be your swimming pool. A […]

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From Listerine to Fuji Water

I was brushing my teeth. The next evening, after dropping my car off for a nail to be removed from the right rear tire, I killed time at Michaels and Trader Joe’s. I created this lesson relative_ratios from that. My 6th graders are working on ratios and proportions. I saw the three different-sized bottles of Listerine on my bathroom counter […]

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Foxy Fives – cuz it’s better than Four Fours

Foxy Fives is my Day 21 lesson (actually a game) that I got from this book. The teacher is supposed to make a deck of 62 cards from posterboard, the cards are marked from 1 to 25, and blah, blah, blah. For the life of me, I don’t know why you’d need a deck of cards at all […]

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Two Lessons: Frog Leap and Beach Ball

I call it Frog Leap but you may know this common game as Stepping Stones or Traffic Jam. NRICH has a nice interactive applet. The challenge is for the 3 boys and 3 girls to switch places in the FEWEST moves possible. A legal “move” is each person can jump onto an adjacent empty space or jump […]

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First Day Lessons

I have been doing the same first-day math activities for a few years now. There hasn’t been anything on my radar to cause me to change them, but I’m always looking. However, I’m 100% sure I will NOT be going over classroom rules and procedures. Math 6: Skittles Here’s the Skittles_Lab handout. I have to tweak this activity to incorporate TinkerPlots — […]

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Last Math Lessons

On the first day of school, I promised all my students that I’d do my best to make math relevant and challenging. I also promised to never waste their time, therefore they could expect to do math every day in my class, including the last day of class. I did not promise them that math would be fun […]

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Visualizing Volume is Tricky!

This was one of those lessons that I think I gained a lot more than my 6th graders did. It was meant as a one-period activity, but I kept going off on different tangents and brought the students along for the ride. Over a month ago Andrew (@mr_stadel) tweeted me a picture that he took of a William Sonoma display of their […]

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Area of a Circle

After finding the formula for the circumference of a circle, my 6th graders were ready to work on finding the area of a circle. I asked them to draw a circle on notebook paper, any size, but not too small. Then I gave each a centimeter cube to trace one face onto their paper to remind them how much the area of one […]

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Follow Up on Friday Bubbles

My 6th graders had a blast last Friday blowing bubbles. Upon their return on Monday, I asked for ten groups to volunteer just one set of their circumference and diameter numbers. Then I asked, “What is the relationship between these numbers?” Some quiet mumbling, then just quiet. I asked again, “I have these 10 sets of numbers. What should I do with […]

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Friday Bubbles

This activity is a lot of fun for 6th graders to discover for themselves the relationship between diameter and circumference. Given a small container of bubble solution, the student pours a little of it onto his/her desk and use a straw to blow a bubble. When a bubble pops, it leaves enough of an imprint on […]

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