Category Archives: math games

The First Week of School: Math

I have been thinking a lot about all of the different ways in which we can make math engaging, starting from day one! Math ought to be playful, engaging, fun, challenging(!), creative, real-world, purposeful, thought provoking, etc.

& so, if you were a fly on my classroom wall you would see that this is the way in which I plan to start the year … with centres & picture books of course!

The First Week of School: Math:
– rotating through 3 centres a day (+ one which is always “the initial assessment”).

Monday – Day #1
a) Introduce Math books, procedures, page set up, daily/weekly structure, etc.
b) Introduce Centres
c) Begin Assessment (number sense, etc.) – assessment includes pencil to paper, discussion, survey/questionnaire.

Day #2
1. Assessment (a little bit every day for 4 days)
2. Challenge: Find a One-Hundred Dollar Word (; How much is my name worth? (
3. Graphing Skittles / Gummy Bears ( ;

Day #3
1. Assessment (every day)
2. Marshmallows & Toothpicks Place Value (working with large(!) numbers) (
3. iPad Games

Day #4
1. Assessment (every day)
2. Where do we see numbers / math in our world? (Learning Log entries)
3. Shopping with Flyers (

Day #5
1. Assessment (every day)
2. Calendar Math (
3. Multiplication War (

P.S. We will have “longer than usual Math classes” week #1 .. just for the fun of it! 😉


Reality Based Math – Making it Relevant

Reality Based Math – Making it Relevant

Everything makes more sense …. well, when it makes sense!
& so having said that, it is important to make math lessons and activities relevant to the learner. When students see connections and real world applications they are better able to understand concepts. They can apply concepts to novel situations, make connections, and extend activities when the understand the “whens, wheres, whys and the hows” of what we teach. They engage in activities with greater confidence. They play more and take greater risks.

Here are some ways that we try to math relevant to the learner:

1. When introducing a new concepts have students go on a scavenger hunt. They must find examples of the “concept” (e.g. where do they see it, hear about it, where is it applied, etc.) in their world.

2. Read, share, read, share and read some more: There are some great picture books out there to share with students at all grade levels
(e.g. )

3. Students write stories based on current classroom Math concepts.

4. Seamlessly intertwine math in others areas of the curriculum.
(e.g. & Math Mash-up

5. Use sports statistics in math class! Visit this site out for some great resources:

6. Use free grocery store flyers in math class. Issue a challenge: Give students a set amount of money and have them shop for a family meal, a birthday party, etc. Calculate the total & the change. We conduct similar activities with take-out menus, restaurant menus, car sales magazines, toy store flyers, etc.

7. Students write their own math word problems to share with the class. Trade them, play with them.

. Teachers use students’ names and real life classroom situations, etc. in word problems.

Of course this is just a starting point.
Please share your making-math-relevant-ideas!


Math & Science Resources – Vidoes, Games, Challenges

Grade 5 Resources – Math & Science

I was asked by a new teacher to share just a few of my “well used” Math & Science resources

for Grade 5 ….

If you were a fly on my classroom wall you would see me “logging onto” these sites quite often!

Hope you find them useful as well.


PS I would LOVE to read about some of your favourite sites as well of course!

 (I) MATH: Teaching Sites / Challenges / Videos! (Great for Smart Board Teaching)  (Real World Math Challenges) (Hands-on Math) (Open Your Eyes to the World of Money) (Problem Solving Printable Cards/Decks)

Examples of Free On-line Math Games for Kids!

Practice Your Times Tables:
Hidden Picture Multiplication
Multiplication Concentration
Multiplication Concentration
(II) Grade 5 Science –
Sites With a Focus on Our Ontario Curriculum Strands (& Then Some)

Amazing one stop shopping for resources:

These 2 sites are also good for hands on learning & Smart Board use in Grade 5: