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### A Secondary Summer Not Wasted - Blog Hop!

We are getting close to our last week of school, and I have been trying some different activities with my math classes. Last week, we spent 3 days creating rectangular prisms, to help solve the following problem (this problem is very similar to a problem from a computerized benchmark test...a problem that VERY few students were able to figure out. That problem used a triangular prism; I switched it to a rectangular prism):

 Some groups created tiles, others drew them.
"An artist created a rectangular prism covered in square mirror tiles to hang from the ceiling in her studio. The prism's length was 10 inches, the width was 8 inches, and the height was 4 inches.
Find the surface area of the rectangular prism.
Find how many tiles will be needed to cover the entire prism. If the tiles cost \$0.35 each, how much did it cost her to cover the entire rectangular prism?"

To solve this, I had the students actually create the prism and somehow show a way to figure out how many tiles would cover it - it was a great activity! They worked hard, they thought hard, they came up with different ways to solve the problem, they were proud of their prisms, and they could really understand both the problem and the solution. They learned quite a bit more than how to figure out the answers, and so did I, which leads me to my thoughts for "A Secondary Summer Not Wasted" -

 Lots of rectangular prisms!
encourage students to create/build things!  They don't necessarily need to think about what math they are using, or what other "school skills" they are using. They just need to apply these skills to real situations. During our rectangular prism building, I found that many students don't know how to measure to be sure that their lines are going to be straight. If students spend time during the summer to use math in a practical way, they are not only using specific math skills, but they are also using logic, problem solving, and perseverance, which are so critical to every day success. With some help in the tool area, students can work on building bird houses, garden beds, tree houses, and more! This site, Built by Kids, offers some fantastic projects, complete with material lists and directions, for children of all ages. I have to check out this site more completely to see what my daughter would be interested in.

With guidance and practice, students can spend their summers using math in very practical ways (let's not forget about the use of fractions in cooking/baking - one of my favorite activities!!).

How will you use math in your creations this summer?

Continue on the blog hop to see what The Colorado Classroom has in store for the summer!
 Click to go to The Colorado Classroom

### Comments

1. Ellie, that is wonderful. Thank you so much for the idea and the link to the website. I am looking for summer activities for my son that go beyond the worksheet!

2. My kids love to build things. I really like the idea of having them build things during the summer and connecting it to math. They'll have so much fun, they won't realize they are reinforcing their school math skills!

3. I love this idea! Sometimes they just need to get their hands on it to actually understand and visualize what is happening. Thanks for the inspiration!

4. What a creative idea for the summer. I know my daughter could use some practice in this area, and the hands-on activities will get her involved so much better than any workbook could. Thanks for the idea and the link.

### 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

### Love to Doodle (and a freedbie)

Exponents Color by Number For most of my school life as a student (and even as an adult, during PD), I have really liked doodling! During lectures, discussions...it would help me focus, but also give me something to make me look busy, so I wouldn't get called on in class! I always hated being called on and almost never participated voluntarily:) I liked to draw cubes, rectangles, squiggly lines, etc, and color in different parts of the doodles. Download this freebie:-) I really wanted to make some color by number activities. Since I am not good at creating actual pictures, I decided to make my color by numbers similar to my random drawing/doodling. My Exponent Color by Number is most similar to my past doodles, but I thought it was a little too random, so I started using actual shapes. The Integer Operations Color by Number (freebie), as well as most of my other color by numbers are more structured, but so much fun for me to make! Computerized doodling! Anyone else