# Idea: How to Engage Your Students at the Start of Any Lesson

Capturing your students interest and curiosity during the first few minutes of class is the key to keeping them engaged for your entire lesson.

But not all math warm up activities are created equally.

Math teachers miss out on activating their students’ critical thinking and reasoning skills when they assign routine, lower-level practice problems during the first five minutes of class.

However, when you use the right mix of fun and though-provoking math warm up activities to start your lessons, student engagement spikes, as your kids will constantly be wondering about what is coming next.

You probably already have some awesome math warm up activities—like Which One Doesn’t Belong? and Think-Notice-Wonder—in your tool belt. But if you’re looking for another great strategy for mixing up your instruction and engaging your students, then get ready for:

Two Truths and One Lie!

I recently started using Two Truths and One Lie (2T1L) activities, where students are presented with three mathematical statements (only two of which are true) and they have to identify which statement is a lie and justify why their choice is correct. The results? Pretty amazing. 2T1L taught me that my students love to argue and state their case (in small groups or to the whole class).

In short, 2T1L is a fun way to spark deep mathematical thinking and open discussion at the start (or end—2T1L activities make great exit tickets) of any lesson.

What topics/grade levels are 2T1L activities best suited for?

2T1L activities can be used for all grade levels and topics. The graphics should be topic/lesson specific and can include graphs, charts, and diagrams.

Here are some grade-level specific samples:

Imagine how your students would react to starting class with one of the following activities.

• What kind of creative and mathematical thinking would spark?

• What kind of small or large group discussions would occur?

• How would a spike in engagement effect the remainder of the lesson?

Are you ready to give it a try?

Looking for more?

You can now share 101 Daily Two Truths & One Lie! Math Activities for Grades 3, 4, & 5 OR Grades 6, 7, & 8 with your kids with our brand new PDF workbooks!

Do you have experience using 2T1L activities with your math students? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below!

By Anthony Persico

Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.

# Here Are The Only Free Back to School Math Worksheets You'll Ever Need

Are you looking for some fun, engaging, and free back to school math activities to share with your kids?

The first days of school are an exciting time for students, and sharing activities that channel your kids' enthusiasm into fun learning experiences is a great way to start the year off on the right foot.

That’s why I’ll be sharing fun Back to School Math Puzzles with my kids during each day of the first week of school this year.  Math puzzles and challenge problems give your kids an opportunity to think critically and deeply about mathematics, develop problem-solving strategies, and work through challenging problems.

And when math activities incorporate your kids' personal interests, their engagement will skyrocket!

So, go ahead and try these challenges and puzzles with your kids this back to school season. These free back to school math worksheets are perfect for warm-up and/or cool-down activities and are great for sparking mathematical discussions in your home or classroom.

The puzzles are perfect for students in grades 3 through 8.

1.) Order of Operations Puzzle

Use your math skills to find the value of each icon and the '?'

Apple = 12

Notebook = 12

School Bus = 8

Pencil Sharpener = 4

? = 36

Hint: Since the apple and the notebook are equal to each other, they are interchangeable.

2.) Multiplication Table

Multiplication tables work like a Bingo board, where the value of each box represents the product of its corresponding row and column.

Apple = 1

Chalk Board = 3

Sneaker = 2

School Bus = 6

Notebook = 18

## Are you looking for more daily math challenges and puzzles to share with your kids?

My best-selling workbook 101 Math Challenges for Engaging Your Students is now available as a PDF download. You can get yours today by clicking here.

3.) Which One Doesn't Belong? (WODB)

WODB activities are meant to spark mathematical thinking and discussion and do not have a single correct answer. They work well as warm-up and cool-down activities.

Tip: Have your kids justify their thinking in writing!

## Are you looking for more daily WODB? math graphics?

You can now share 101 daily WODB warm-up activities for grades 1-9 with your kids with our PDF workbook!

4.) Think-Notice-Wonder (Writing Prompt)

Writing about math encourages creativity, exploration, and communicating one's thoughts and feelings, which leads to deep and meaningful understanding of difficult math concepts.

Think/Notice/Wonder is a great strategy for getting your kids engaged in math writing every day.

You can now share 101 Daily Think-Notice-Wonder Writing Prompts with your kids with our PDF workbook!

5.) Two Truths and One Lie (2T1L)

2T1L activities help your kids to develop reasoning skills, make logical arguments, express their ideas in words, and engage with visual mathematics—which ultimately leads to deeper and more meaningful understanding of challenging topics and concepts.

Answer: Statement 2 is a lie because any value divided by zero is undefined.

## Looking to Share More 2T1L With Your Kids This Year?

You can now share 101 Two Truths and One Lie Math Activities for Grades 3-5 with your kids with our PDF workbook!

What strategies are you using to engage your kids this back to school season? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below!

By Anthony Persico

Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.

# Why is GEMS the Best Way to Teach Order of Operations?

Students who master the order of operations at a young age have a much better chance of excelling at higher levels of math than those who don't.

Many teachers rely on teaching the order of operations using popular PEMDAS. mnemonic (and the played-out Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally catchphrase).

But many students fail to ever grasp a true conceptual and procedural understanding of how to correctly apply the order or operations, and PEMDAS is the likely culprit.

The following video shows you a more effective strategy for teaching the order of operations and it includes a free reference sheet and practice worksheet (keep reading to access the video and resources). The video focuses on using the GEMS mnemonic instead of PEMDAS and answers the following questions:

-What does GEMS stand for in order of operations?

-Why is GEMS more effective than PEMDAS when teaching order of operations?

Learning Standard: 3rd Grade Operations and Algebraic Thinking

Solve problems involving the four operations, and identify and explain patterns in arithmetic.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.D.8
Solve two-step word problems using the four operations. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.3

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.D.9
Identify arithmetic patterns (including patterns in the addition table or multiplication table), and explain them using properties of operations. For example, observe that 4 times a number is always even, and explain why 4 times a number can be decomposed into two equal addends.

By Anthony Persico

Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.

# Check Out This Awesome Mean, Median, and Mode Activity!

Math students are more engaged and participative learners when they are actively engaged with what they are learning.

And one of the best ways to achieve this high level of engagement is through the use of hands-on activities.

So, when it comes time to help your kids gain a deep conceptual understanding of measures of central tendency (mean, median, mode, and range), you'll need a fun and engaging hands-on group activity.

If you are looking for a fun mean, median, and mode activity to add to your lesson plans, check out this awesome hands-on activity idea involving playing cards (and it includes a free lesson guide and worksheet!).

Learning Standard: 6th Grade Statistics and Probability

Giving quantitative measures of center (median and/or mean) and variability (interquartile range and/or mean absolute deviation), as well as describing any overall pattern and any striking deviations from the overall pattern with reference to the context in which the data were gathered.

By Anthony Persico

Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.

# Have You Seen These Free Pokémon Math Puzzles?

Are you ready to channel your kids' enthusiasm for Pokémon into learning math?

Math puzzles give your kids an opportunity to think critically and deeply about mathematics, develop problem-solving strategies, and work through challenging problems.

And when math problems incorporate your kids' personal interests (because who doesn't love Pokémon?), their engagement will skyrocket!

So, go ahead and try these challenges and puzzles with your kids this month. These free and printable Pokemon math activities are perfect for warm-up and/or cool-down activities and are great for sparking mathematical discussions in your home or classroom. The puzzles are perfect for students in grades 3 through 8.

1.) Find the value of the '?'

Use your math skills to find the value of each icon.

Pikachu = 13

Jigglypuff = 13

Snorlax = 3

Meowth = 6

? = 29

Hint: Since Pikachu and Jigglypuff are equal to each other, they are interchangable.

2.) Multiplication tables work like a Bingo board, where the value of each box represents the product of its corresponding row and column.

Star = 1

Caterpie = 3

Trainer and Charmander = 7

Egg = 21

Dratini = 6

Psyduck = 14

Ratatat = 2

3.) Multiplication Area Model

Area models help kids to think visually about multiplication, which is the approach that Mathematical Mindsets author Jo Boaler recommends most for improving math understanding.

Megaball = 20

Pikachu = 5

Egg Incubator = 100

## Are you looking for more daily math challenges and puzzles to share with your kids?

My best-selling workbook 101 Math Challenges for Engaging Your Students is now available as a PDF download. You can get yours today by clicking here.

4.) Which One Doesn't Belong?

Remember that WODB? activities are meant to spark mathematical thinking and discussion and do not have a single correct answer.

Tip: Have your kids justify their thinking in writing!

## Are you looking for more daily WODB? math graphics?

You can now share 101 daily WODB warm-up activities for grades 1-9 with your kids with our PDF workbook!

5.) Math Writing Prompt

Writing about math encourages creativity, exploration, and communicating one's thoughts and feelings, which leads to deep and meaningful understanding of difficult math concepts.

And Think/Notice/Wonder (TNW) writing activities are a great way to get your kids engaged in math writing every day.

You can now share 101 Daily Think-Notice-Wonder Writing Prompts with your kids with our PDF workbook!

How will you use these math puzzles with your kids? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below!