Decimal Problem Solving

I like to do a lot of problem solving with my students, usually having them work together so that they can model for each other and share/listen to each others' thinking. For the past two days, most of my math classes have been working on "Party Planning," which is the problem pictured here.  Students worked with one or two partners, to come up with combinations of foods that "Reggie" could buy for a party.

I love listening to the kids' conversations as they work on things like this - "No one eats pretzels," "I'd choose candy and chips over pretzels," and so on.

The students had a few important questions for me, though, as they were pretty serious about this planning:  Is this a "regular" party or like a sleep-over party, because the kind of food would depend on how long the party is."  "How big is the container of ice cream?"  "How big is the bag of candy?" And then there were a few other ideas, that made me realize I needed to add some more detail/requirements, like the students who said, "Let's just get 50 bottle of soda!" Or the students who decided that 5 fruit trays would be a good plan (even though Reggie wanted a variety of food items).

So, I revised the problem, which you can download, if you'd like. This page is part of a larger product that includes several other problem solving pages, as well as a Footloose task card activity.

1. Any chance you have a key? I'd like to use this as center work as I re-teach some kids...

2. Hi Katie, thanks for your question! I actually don't have key because there are many possible answers. I ended up checking each students combinations to see if they worked. Sorry!

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

This post has been moved to:  http://www.cognitivecardiowithmsmm.com/blog/memory-wheels-first-day-last-day-and-any-day-in-between

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