Thursday, 23 October 2014

What's in a Name?

Using name activities at the beginning of the school year is a great way to grab young learners' attention, as their names are so closely connected to them.  This year my home
room class consists of students in grades 1 & 2, and I found several math related name activities for the the start of the year. 

Place Value

My students built the first letter of their names with multi-link cubes.  I provided them with strips of 1" grid paper.  They copied their initial using the paper and numbered each square and circled each multiple of 10.  Since most of my students are in grade 1, circling the tens helped them see how many 10s and extra cubes they have.  Following that, they filled out a form which tells the number of tens, ones and the total number of squares needed to make their first initial. I adapted this idea from something I found at: Place Value.


Name Patterns

I gave each student a 5 X 8 grid and instructed them to write their names, one letter per square on the grid. Tracing each letter enabled them to see the patterns that can be found when they write their name in a grid.  Of course, the patterns will change depending on the size of the grid..  


We also created a bar graph to show comparisons on the number of letters in the students' first names.  Students then composed sentences that tell what the data on the graph tells us.  Some times the mentioned things like "Two of the children are Waldners," which is not evident on the graph.  We then had to discuss that whatever information we write down must be seen on the graph.  Next, the grade 2 students composed questions regarding the data on the graph which the grade 1 students had to answer.  

The stars on the graph indicate the 7 components that need to be included on each graph to make it complete.  I have a poster up for the students to refer to whenever they do any graphing activity. 

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