7 Trendy Middle School Sumer School Math Ideas

Comment

7 Trendy Middle School Sumer School Math Ideas

Your summer vacation has arrived, but a break from school doesn't mean that your kids have to stop developing their math skills.

Whether you’re teaching summer school courses, running a summer math camp, or looking to keep your kids practicing their math skills at home over break, the following ideas will help you make this summer an awesome mathematical learning experience!

1.) Watch and Learn

Summer break is a perfect time for your kids to improve their weaker areas and further develop their understanding of math topics.

Rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all summer curriculum, try taking advantage of the plethora of free math videos on YouTube and let students explore lessons that meet their individual needs. 

Here are 5 YouTube channels that share fun and engaging math video lessons that your kids will actually want to watch:

  1. For the Basics: Math Antics
  2. For More Complex Topics: Numberphile
  3. For Auditory Learners: Numberock
  4. For Visual Learners: Mashup Math
  5. For Math in Story-Form: Math with Matthew

See Also: 10 Best YouTube Channels for STEAM Learning

2.) Project-Based Learning

Free from the demands of pacing guides and standardized curriculums, summer vacation is the perfect time for your kids to explore math concepts in the context of hands-on projects that are both engaging and enjoyable.

If you're looking for summer math project ideas that can be modified to appropriately challenge and engage math students at the elementary and middle school levels, check out this list of 10 Awesome End of Year Math Project Ideas.

See Also: Teaching Math Through Major League Baseball Summer Project

3.) Back to Basics

While summer vacation is a great time to further explore previously-learned math concepts and ideas, it's also an opportunity to take a step back and ensure that your kids' fundamental skills are where they need to be.

Whether it's working with fractions, breaking down word problems, or solving equations, your kids likely need extra time and opportunities to develop and improve important prerequisite skills.

If you're looking for free and helpful practice resources that are broken down by topic, I recommend the following websites:

See Also: Are you using these 5 awesome websites for free math worksheets?

4.) Gamify

Teachers often struggle to get their kids interested in practicing and learning math during summer vacation.

If you're looking to provide your kids with learning opportunities that break away from the familiarity of routine classroom lessons and activities, try gamifying your approach.

Gamification is the process of taking something that already exists – a website, an enterprise application, an online community – and integrating game mechanics into it to motivate participation, engagement, and loyalty, according to www.brunchball.com.

You can gamify your math curriculum by having kids take on math-related games and puzzles in a physical and/or digital setting.

Looking for gamified math ideas? The following resources will get you started:

See Also: Can your middle schoolers solve these math puzzles?


Are YOUR kids ready for these fun daily math challenges this summer?

 
 

5.) Get Visual

Stanford professor and progressive math education guru Jo Boaler describes mathematics as "a subject that allows for precise thinking, but when that precise thinking is combined with creativity, openness, visualization, and flexibility, the mathematics comes alive."

When your students aren't thinking about math in a visual context, they are missing out on developing a deep understanding of the material.

If you're looking to give your kids more opportunities to explore mathematics in a visual context, check out these Awesome, Research-Based Visual Math Activities suggested by Jo Boaler.

6.) Get Writing

GettyImages-589946332.jpg

Did you know that writing about math encourages creativity, exploration, and communicating one's thoughts and feelings?

When kids write about math, they learn to organize their thinking, use key vocabulary terms and phrases, and communicate mathematically—which leads to deep and meaningful understanding.

If you're looking for ways to get your kids writing about math this summer, check out this list of 5 Ideas for Writing in the Math Classroom.

See Also: 101 Think-Notice-Wonder Writing Prompts for Engaging Your Kids

7.) Get Reading

So you want your kids thinking about math over the summer, without formally practicing it?

Reading math-related fiction books is a great way to get your kids thinking creatively and mathematically during vacation. 

Looking for some fun and creative summer reading STEM books for the elementary, middle, and high school levels? Check out this list of 13 STEM Fiction Books Your Kids will Actually Enjoy Reading This Summer.

See Also: 10 Best Math Movies for Middle School Math Students

How do you plan on keeping your kids thinking mathematically over summer vacation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

(Never miss a Mashup Math blog--click here to get our weekly newsletter!)

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.

 
 

Comment

13 STEM Fiction Books Your Kids will Actually Enjoy Reading This Summer

2 Comments

13 STEM Fiction Books Your Kids will Actually Enjoy Reading This Summer

Are you looking to send your kids off on vacation with a list of awesome summer reading STEM fiction books? 

The following list shares some fun and creative summer reading STEM books for the elementary, middle, and high school levels. The genres range from math science fiction to cooking to mystery, so you're kids will surely find something they'll enjoy reading!

Part One: Elementary Level


Image via www.amazon.com

1.) Missing Math: A Number Mystery

by Loreen Leedy

Amazon Synopsis: In Missing Math, the numbers all over town suddenly disappear. The animals can’t count, use the phone, or even find out what time it is. Rulers, money, and computers have all become completely useless...Can the town’s detective solve this numerical mystery? Will he ever bring the numbers back home again? Loreen Leedy’s clever rhyming text PLUS her amusing digitally painted illustrations EQUALS proof that we need math each and every day.


Image via www.amazon.com

2.) One Grain Of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale

by Demi Huang

Amazon Synopsis: Long ago in India, there lived a raja who believed that he was wise and fair. But every year he kept nearly all the people's rice for himself. Then a village girl named Rani devises a clever plan, using the surprising power of doubling to win more than one billion grains of rice from the raja.


3.) The King's Chessboard

by David Birch

Amazon Synopsis: A great story for children learning mathematical concepts, The King’s Chessboard tells the story of a wise man who refuses the king’s reward for completing a favor. When the king insists the man accept a reward, the man proposes a deal: He will take a payment of rice equal to each square on the king’s chessboard—doubling the amount he receives with each day. This quickly empties out the royal coffers. . . .  

 


4.) Max's Math

by Kate Banks

Amazon Synopsis: Max and his two brothers hop into a car and go looking for problems they can solve. They cruise down highway number 4 on their way to Shapeville, but they see an abandoned number along the way. Is it a 6? Is it a 9? And what's it doing on the side of the road? Once the trio reach Shapeville, there's another problem: a flood washed away all of the squares. Max and his brothers must show the town how to bring their shapes back together!


5.) The Doorbell Rang

by Pat Hutchins

Amazon Synopsis: Each ring of the doorbell brings more friends to share the delicious cookies Ma has made. This terrific and suspenseful read-aloud picture book about friendship, sharing, and cookies can also be used to introduce basic math concepts to young children. "Refreshing, enjoyable and unpredictable."


Part Two: Middle School Level


6.) Pythagoras and the Ratios: A Math Adventure

by Julie Ellis

Amazon Synopsis: Pythagoras and his cousins want to win a music contest, but first they must figure out how to play their instruments in tune, something that's never been done before. While trying to fix the problem, Pythagoras makes an important discovery--notes that sound pleasant together have a certain mathematical relationship. When Pythagoras applies this ratio to his cousins' pipes and lyres, the result is music to the ears.


7.) The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat 

by Theoni Pappas 

Amazon Synopsis: Penrose, a cat with a knack for math, takes children on an adventurous tour of mathematical concepts from fractals to infinity. When the fractal dragon jumps off the computer screen and threatens to grow larger than the room itself, Penrose must find out if fractal patterns can work in reverse, getting smaller instead of larger.

 


8.) Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi (A Math Adventure)

by Cindy Neuschwander

Amazon Synopsis: Sir Cumference, Lady Di of Ameter, and Radius are back in their second Math Adventure! This time, a potion has changed Sir Cumference into a fire-breathing dragon. Can Radius change him back? Join Radius on his quest through the castle to solve a riddle that will reveal the cure. It lies in discovering the magic number that is the same for all circles.


Are YOUR kids ready for these fun daily math challenges this summer?


9.) Fractions in Disguise

by Edward Einhorn

Amazon Synopsis: When a valuable fraction goes missing, George Cornelius Factor (a.k.a. GCF) vows to track it down. Knowing that the villainous Dr. Brok likes to disguise his ill-begotten fractions, GCF invents a Reducer—a tool that strips away the disguise, reducing the fraction and revealing its true form. Equal parts of action and humor add up to a wholly entertaining introduction to simplifying fractions.

 


10.) Math Curse

by Jon Scieszka

Amazon Synopsis: Did you ever wake up to one of those days where everything is a problem? You have 10 things to do, but only 30 minutes until your bus leaves. You have 3 shirts and 2 pairs of pants. Can you make 1 good outfit? Then you start to wonder: Why? Why do 2 apples always have to be added to 5 oranges? Why can't you just keep 10 cookies without someone taking 3 away? Because you're the victim of a Math Curse. That's why. But don't despair. This is one girl's story of how that curse can be broken.


Part Three: Upper Middle + High School Level


11.) The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure

by Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Amazon Synopsis: In twelve dreams, Robert, a boy who hates math, meets a Number Devil, who leads him to discover the amazing world of numbers: infinite numbers, prime numbers, Fibonacci numbers, numbers that magically appear in triangles, and numbers that expand without. As we dream with him, we are taken further and further into mathematical theory, where ideas eventually take flight, until everyone - from those who fumble over fractions to those who solve complex equations in their heads - winds up marveling at what numbers can do.


12.) The Man Who Counted: A Collection of Mathematical Adventures

by Malba Tahan

Amazon Synopsis: The Man Who Counted is a book on recreational mathematics and curious word problems by Brazilian writer Júlio César de Mello e Souza, published under the pen name Malba Tahan. 


13.) The Math Inspectors

by Daniel Kennedy

Amazon Synopsis: Armed with curiosity and their love for math, Stanley, Charlotte, Gertie and Felix race around town in an attempt to solve the mystery. Along the way, they butt heads with an ambitious police chief, uncover dark secrets, and drink lots of milkshakes at Mabel's Diner. But when their backs are against the wall, Stanley and his friends rely on the one thing they know best: numbers. Because numbers, they never lie.


Did your favorite STEM fiction book make the cut? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below!

(Never miss a Mashup Math blog--click here to get our weekly newsletter!)

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.

 
Pin.png
 

2 Comments

10 Awesome End of Year Math Project Ideas

1 Comment

10 Awesome End of Year Math Project Ideas

The final weeks of the school year have arrived and finding ways to keep your kids actively engaged in the math classroom is more challenging than ever.

Having students work on math-related projects is a great way to keep their attention and break up the monotony of the normal classroom routine.

The following list of project ideas can be modified to appropriately challenge and engage math students at the elementary and middle school levels.

So, which project are you going to share with your kids?


1.) The Theme Park Project

by Jenna via www.musingsfromthemiddleschool.blogspot.com

Description: Students use area and perimeter skills to design the layout of the perfect theme park.

Image via musingsfromthemiddleschool.blogspot.com

Image via musingsfromthemiddleschool.blogspot.com


2.) The Ultimate Paper Airplane Competition

by Michael at www.thethinkerbuilder.com

Description: Working in groups, students must design and construct a paper airplane that can survive four rounds of performance tasks, including hang-time and distance.

Image via www.thethinkerbuilder.com

Image via www.thethinkerbuilder.com


3.) STEM Engineering Challenges

by www.frugalfun4boys.com

Description: Check out these 5 engineering challenges for kids. All challenges require the use of wooden clothespins, binder clips, and craft sticks!

Image via www.frugalfun4boys.com

Image via www.frugalfun4boys.com


4.) Pirate-Themed Escape Room

by Teresa at www.teacherspayteachers.com

Description: Your class has been captured by a group of swashbuckling pirates! They must use their math skills to escape. 

Image via www.gettyimages.com

Image via www.gettyimages.com


5.) STEM Parachutes

by Amy at www.allabout3rdgrade.com

Description: Design and construct a parachute that will stay in the air the longest.

Image via www.allabout3rdgrade.com

Image via www.allabout3rdgrade.com


Looking for fun ways to get your kids WRITING about math and science?


6.) Plan Your Dream Vacation

by Jennifer at www.loveteachingkids.com

Description: Students work in groups using a budget to plan all aspects of their dream vacation.

Image via www.loveteachingkids.com

Image via www.loveteachingkids.com


7.) Baseball Math Activity

by Anthony at www.youtube.com/mashupmath

Description: Use your math skills to find common batting and pitching statsistics of your favoirute players.

Image via www.mashupmath.com

Image via www.mashupmath.com


8.) Extreme Playground Makeover

by Jennifer at www.teachingtoinspire.com

Description: Modeled after the T.V. show, students are in charge of designing an extreme playground design using geometric shapes, elements, and properties.


Are YOUR kids ready for fun daily math challenges this summer?


9.) End of Year Reflection Infographic

by Brain Waves Instruction

Description: As the calendar year draws to a close, engage your students with this fun and creative personal reflection and infographic activity. 

Image via www.teacherspayteachers.com

Image via www.teacherspayteachers.com


10.) Outdoor Math Games

by www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com

Description: The fresh air and change of scenery can be just what children need to get excited about playing with and practicing math concepts.

Image via www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com

Image via www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com


Have any more ideas for awesome end-of-year math project ideas? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

(Never miss a Mashup Math blog--click here to get our weekly newsletter!)

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.

 
Pin.jpg
 

1 Comment

5 Gifts That Your Child's Math Teacher Actually Wants

Comment

5 Gifts That Your Child's Math Teacher Actually Wants

Math teachers love gifts!

Yes, it's true that everyone loves presents, but math teachers are notoriously underappreciated and even the smallest gesture fills them with warm fuzziness.

And if your son or daughter was lucky enough to have an awesome math teacher this school year, then you're probably thinking about getting her a gift as a token of your appreciation.

So, what's something that you can buy for your child's math teacher that she would actually want?

First, let me share from experience some things that teachers probably don't want. The list includes school supplies (we have enough already), chocolates and candy (we're all trying to lose weight before the summer), and regifted gift cards to gas stations and convenience stores (they don't excite us either).

If you're struggling to find math teacher gift ideas, the following items will help you show your gratitude and let that special teacher know that she is appreciated and made a difference in your child's development:

1.) Gift Cards (The Good Ones)

Gift cards are great, but they aren't all created equally. Teachers often receive gift cards to retail stores and restaurants that they don't like, and they end up collecting dust in a drawer somewhere. If you are going to get your child's teacher a gift card, be sure that it's for a good or service that he will actually enjoy. 

The best gift card I ever received was for a 90-minute massage! 

The best gift card I ever received was for a 90-minute massage! 

2.) Cute Tee Shirts & Hoodies

Teachers love cute and funny shirts and hoodies that let them express their quirky side and their passion for teaching math. For a truly unique gift, check out these limited-edition math teacher t-shirt and hoodie designs for men and women from Mashup Math (designed by math teachers for math teachers!): click here to get yours.

Funny shirts make a great gift for math teachers!

Funny shirts make a great gift for math teachers!

3.) Healthy Snacks

If you didn't know, teachers are always on diets and trying to avoid the sweets and baked goods that are constantly available in school faculty rooms, especially right before summer vacation. If you want to give food as a gift, share a gift basket full or healthy snacks or a one-month subscription to a healthfood service like NatureBox.

Healthy snacks are always preferred over candy and junk food.

Healthy snacks are always preferred over candy and junk food.


Looking for fun ways to get your kids WRITING about math and science?


4.) Something Personalized

For a truly unique and one-of-a-kind gift, get your child's teacher a personalized keepsake to display in her classroom. You can find a ton of inexpensive DIY ideas as well as custom printed or embroidered teacher gifts on sites like Pinterest and Etsy.

This personalized pencil holder is available for $15.00 on Etsy.

This personalized pencil holder is available for $15.00 on Etsy.

5.) A Heartfelt Letter

It may sound cheesy, but the best gifts in life are often the ones that don't cost anything. While material gifts are always nice, they pale in comparison to a thoughtful, heartfelt letter that vividly describes the positive impact your teaching had on a particular student. These are the gifts teachers save for years and return to often for encouragement and inspiration.

Teachers love receiving heartfelt letters of appreciation from parents.

Teachers love receiving heartfelt letters of appreciation from parents.

Have any more ideas for awesome gifts for math teachers? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

(Never miss a Mashup Math blog--click here to get our weekly newsletter!)

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.

 
 

Comment

Can Your Middle Schoolers Solve These Math Puzzles?

Comment

Can Your Middle Schoolers Solve These Math Puzzles?

Are you looking for some fun, printable math games and puzzles for your middle school students?

These 5 math challenges will engage your students and get them thinking creatively and visually about math topics including fractions, areas models, the order of operations, and even algebra!

So, can your middle schoolers solve these fun math puzzles? 


Pre-Algebra

 
static1.squarespace.png
 

Solution: Pizza = 3, Hamburger = 2, Taco = 8


Multiplication Table

 
11.jpg
 

Solution: Volcano = 1, Statue of Liberty = 3, Rocket = 6, Race Car = 2, Ferris Wheel = 18


Logic Puzzle

 
 

Solution: Multiple solutions exist using each value only once.


Area Model

 
 

Solution: Pretzel = 8, Mustard = 3, Chocolate-Covered = 50, Salt = 40, Sticks = 24


Fraction Model

 
 

Solution: Pink = 16, Chocolate = 8, Purple = 2, Ice Cream Cup = 24, Ice Cream Cone = 3


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.


Have any questions or ideas? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

(Never miss a Mashup Math blog--click here to get our weekly newsletter!)

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.

 

 
 

Comment