5 Effective Strategies for Improving Your Math Warm Up Activities

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5 Effective Strategies for Improving Your Math Warm Up Activities

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Are your daily math warm up activities engaging enough to truly capture your students’ focus?

The most effective lesson-opening activities (engagement hook, anticipatory set, warm-up, etc) do two things: assess your students’ prior knowledge and build anticipation for the lesson ahead.

Achieving this goal requires a solid mix of fun and engaging strategies and activity ideas (and rarely relying on assigning routine practice problems).

For some awesome tips and activity ideas for how to improve your warm up activities and make the most of the first five minutes of your lessons, check out my brand new list of effective strategies:


1.) Show a Video Clip

Some math concepts are meant to be seen, and sometimes your students will need visual aids to help grasp complex mathematical ideas. By starting class with a short video clip, you are engaging your students’ ability to think about math visually—a a mindset which will sustain throughout the remainder of the lesson, to everyone’s benefit.

Try It! Try using the video clip of Unit Rates in the Real-World below prior to teaching a lesson on solving word problems involving unit rates.

 
 

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2.) Puzzles and Challenges

Engaging math challenges and puzzles are a great tool for giving your kids opportunities to have fun while problem solving and thinking mathematically at the same time, especially if you want to prevent them from growing bored of routine practice problems.

Try It! Try sharing this fun math puzzle with your kids at the start of your next lesson and watch your students’ engagement and interest sky rocket!

 
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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)

Instead of working on practice problems during a lesson's warm-up, students will be shown 4 somewhat related images and have to apply their reasoning skills to decide which of the images does not belong.

And here’s the catch….WODB activities do not have a single correct answer. The activity is designed to be interpreted in a variety of different ways in order to spark deep mathematical thinking and discussion (in small groups, whole class, or both).

Want to learn more about WODB and get more free samples? click here

Try It! Try using the WODB graphic below prior to a lesson on percentages.

 
  Click here  to get more free WODB graphics like this.

Click here to get more free WODB graphics like this.

 

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.

Want to learn more about how to use TNW math activities with your kids? click here

Try It! Try using the graphic below before a lesson on solving equations.

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Want more? Download 101 Daily Think-Notice-Wonder Writing Prompts for Engaging Your Kids

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.

Try It! Try using the 2T1L graphic below to start your next lesson! 

 
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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 during the first five minutes of class? 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

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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.

 
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11 Super Cute and Funny Math Jokes and Puns for Students

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11 Super Cute and Funny Math Jokes and Puns for Students

 PLACE HOLDER

Are you looking for some funny math jokes and math puns to share in your classroom with your kids?

Check out these super cute (and super funny) math jokes and share some math humor with your kids today:

1.) What do you call a group of dudes who love math?

Alge-bros!

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2.) Did you hear about the mathematician whose afraid of negative numbers?

He’ll stop at nothing to avoid them.

3.) Why was the number 6 afraid of the number 7?

Because 7 “ate” 9!

 Image Source: MemeCenter.com

Image Source: MemeCenter.com

4.) Are Halloween monsters good at math?

Not unless you Count Dracula.

5.) Why should you never start a conversation with Pi?

Because he’ll go on and on forever.

 Image Source: offthemark.com

Image Source: offthemark.com

6.) Why was the number 7 so over his job?

Because he couldn’t even.

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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.


7.) Why did the student feel like life was pointless?

Because she didn’t take Geometry yet!

8.) Why is it such a shame that parallel lines have so much in common?

Because they’ll never meet!

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9.) There is a fine line between a numerator and a denominator…

But only a fraction would understand.

10.) Why do plants hate math?

Because it gives them square roots.

 Image Source:  ThoughtCatalog.com

Image Source: ThoughtCatalog.com

11.) Why did the student get upset when her teacher called her average?

It was a ‘mean’ thing to say!

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Did we miss your favorite math joke, math pun, or math humor idea? 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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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?

3rd Grade ▼

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6th Grade ▼

4th Grade ▼

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7th Grade ▼

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5th Grade ▼

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8th Grade ▼

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Are you ready to give it a try?

Here are a few more free samples that you can download and share with your kids (right-click to download each graphic and save it to your computer):

Looking for more for grades 3, 4, & 5? Download your 101 ‘Two Truths and One Lie!’ Math Activities for Grades 3, 4, & 5 eBook!

Looking for more for grades 6, 7, & 8? Download your 101 ‘Two Truths and One Lie!’ Math Activities for Grades 6, 7, & 8 eBook!

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!

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

By Anthony Persico

NewBlogImage.png

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.

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

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

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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.

How to Download: You can download any of the puzzles by right-clicking on the image and saving it to your computer or by dragging-and-dropping it to your desktop.

Would you like more FREE math resources in your inbox every day? Click here to sign up for my free math education email newsletter (and get a free math eBook too!)


1.) Order of Operations Puzzle

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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

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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

 

Looking for more free math challenges like this one to share with your kids? click here


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)

BTS_WODB.jpg

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.

Want to learn more about how to use WOBD? math activities with your kids? click here

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)

BTS_TNW.jpg

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.

Want to learn more about how to use TNW math activities with your kids? click here


Want more? Download 101 Daily Think-Notice-Wonder Writing Prompts for Engaging Your Kids

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)

BTS_2T1L.jpg

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!

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

By Anthony Persico

NewBlogImage.png

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.

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

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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:

-Why is PEMDAS bad?

-What does GEMS stand for in order of operations?

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

Click Here to download your free GEMS REFERENCE GUIDE AND WORKSHEET.

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.

If you find the video helpful, please give it a thumbs-up on YouTube, leave a comment, and subscribe to our channel. Your support is greatly appreciated :)

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

By Anthony Persico

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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.

 

 
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