Day 78 (of 186) a day of numbers….math stuff all. day. long….

Day 78 (of 186) a day of numbers….math stuff all. day. long….


When I mentioned my “theme days” to my youngest daughter and “day of numbers” came up – she was a first wondering: a whole day on math? but then she realized it wasn’t just going to be worksheet after worksheet….because what’s the fun in those?


And because we were having a “special guest” visit our class, I did not include my usual “recreational mathematics” – though I couldn’t help but put it on my opening slide for the “day at a glance”

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But we started the day finishing off yesterdays “missed activity” – playing ‘battleship’ to look at using grids (connected to our look at maps). We then also did some exploration around probability and statistics through one of my favourites: deal or no deal – which we play as a class – randomly selecting a suitcase and then going around the class eliminating suitcases and discussing when it would be a good point to “cash out” – we did it globally first and then they get their index cards to indicate

a) which suitcase they would’ve chosen & how much it was worth once we open it


b) when they would cash out

It’s a fun way to turn it a tad competitive but also speculative in nature – based on what suitcases are left, how likely is it that the offer will increase or decrease….


After recess our special guest rescheduled (class reasons, not because of the guest) so instead we did some work that our numeracy lead teacher had been working with the class – emphasizing the working memory of basic times tables (and we are getting better at it  – focusing on responding to 1-12x table questions (no time limit) and then leading us to the lab to do some ‘fun work’ (dots [which I modelled for the afternoon numeracy centers] and/or deal or no deal) before we got some time for Mathletics – a program that the school and PAC have used for a number of years…..and I’m still figuring out if I like it or not….need to spend a bit more time to see how I can better use this program)



After lunch we read Jon Scieszka’s Math Curse – a fun one to read in a bit of a manic voice (the librarIAN in me keeps coming out) as it nicely emphasizes how angst-ridden math can become – but also how math is everywhere – and how math can be pretty awesome – and how math can be pretty fun….

(and due to time crunch, I postponed the Rock Paper Scissors challenge – good for looking for patterns!)


And so on to our math centers:

Connect 4

Connect 4 with dice (roll 2 dice and then find that number and claim it)

How close to 100 (2 dice multiplied together)

Battleship (on paper)

Dots (both on paper or online versions)

Soduko (kids groan at this one because it takes thinking + rethinking)

Tangoes (using tangrams to create specific shapes)

Chess (against the computer)

Mancala (against a computer who always seems to win, but building our own in 2 weeks)

Marble Blast Gold (classic game on my old iBook G4)

Ultimate Tic Tac Toe

place value yahtzee (rolling dice to put numbers into specific places – ie 5 in tens position)

real yahtzee

memory (equations/answers)

dice arrays station (filling up a grid)



As my LRT pointed out as the final bell suddenly loomed – we could’ve spent a lot more time doing these centers – which is kind of the point – tempt the group with some of the fun games connected to math and then change some of the unpopular ones (and then use some of these games to reinforce specific skills (place value) or introduce new ones (measurement….soon…..very soon….)


The “day of numbers” went well – and nicely broken up by the mini-recesses that have become a very popular part of the Finnish Bell Schedule.  45 minutes of work and knowing a 15-ish break is coming has helped many find the “rigor” that they struggled with earlier in the school year….. more transitions in the day, but less mind shift transitions subject wise…. it’s keeping me thinking and rethinking (and looking for some others who are better thematic teachers than I am)!


About technolandy

Educator in BCs Sunny Shuswap Pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Utilizing ePortfolios & Descriptive Feedback
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