### Fun Findings!

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I was looking in one of my classroom closets today, to see if I had any yarn (I didn't), and on the top shelf I found this "poster" that I made years ago. I made it when I taught 2nd grade (12-13 years ago), and used it to keep track of center rotations when we had our reading/language arts block.  The circle represents the color of the groups that students were assigned to, and it is attached with a brad, so it is able to turn. The little rectangles around the outside are pieces of velcro, to which I attached different cards with names of the different activities that students were to work on. Looking at the cards that were attached when I pulled it from the closet, it looks like I also used it when I taught reading/lang arts in the middle school, (though for some reason I don't remember this as clearly - even though it's more recent!)

I've started thinking about how (if) I can use this in math class, though the centers would have to be completed over a few days since our classes aren't that long....

I guess I should see what else is lurking in my closets!

1. This post has motivated me to go clean out my closets!

Tara
The Math Maniac

### Memory Wheels - First Day, Last Day, and Any Day in Between!

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### Math Class - First Day Activity

Rectangle of pentominoes Many 6th graders seem to have a pretty negative attitude about math, so I try to do something interesting to "grab" them during our first class. Last year, during the first math class, we spent part of the period working with pentominoes. Before working with the pentominoes, however, we played a name game so we could learn each others' names (I find it impossible to start anything else if I don't know some names, and fortunately, I learn them fairly quickly). rectangle outline For the activity, I divided the students into groups of 3 or 4. The directions for the activity were not complicated - the task was to make a rectangle, using all of the pentominoes. I gave students an outline of the rectangle, as pictured to the left, so they would know the correct size of the rectangle. The squares in the grid are each one inch. The rectangle is 5 squares (inches) wide and 13 inches long (13 inches includes the row that has the "Pent

### Ratios Fold it Up!

Getting started with ratios! We pretested ratios, rates, and proportions last week, and I found mixed results in the item analysis. I was surprised to find that very few students were able to write a ratio (the pretest question was: there are 2 hamsters and 1 gerbil - write a ratio of gerbils to hamsters). It wasn't that they wrote the ratio as hamsters to gerbils rather than gerbils to hamsters....they either left it blank, or wrote something that did not resemble a ratio. So, I was glad that I had prepared a couple of Fold it Ups for them to use this week! I think this is the first time I've used this version of Fold it Up (with the triangles folded in) this year, and a few students commented that they like this version better than others (like the one I made for Wed...bummer), because this type won't rip as easily. Click to download...a pic of the inside is in the document. Do you have any favorite ratio activities? Subscribe to Middle School Ma