Monday, 28 May 2012

Math on the Run

If you are not yet on Summer break, you are no doubt counting the days until the end of the year...and wondering what to do with your kiddos each day to keep them busy in a meaningful, but fun way... If this sounds like you, read on! A very dear friend, and long time colleague of mine, came up with a brilliant Math game a good few years back. This game requires virtually no preparation, can be done on the spur of the moment, keeps kids actively busy and thinking and is the perfect activity for those days when you you're feeling in a slump. We named it "Running Math" and here's how it works...

You will need a set of flashcards/equation cards for whatever concept you want to consolidate (e.g. number facts, tables, addition of 10's, doubling, etc), paper and pencil or dry erase board and pen and a calculator for each student. Lay all the flashcards out on the floor in a central place in your classroom. Give each child a paper and pencil or dry erase board and pen. Here's the part the kids really like....have them remove their shoes and socks! Now explain the rules:
  • NO running (I know, I know...why is it called running maths then?!!?!)
  • NO pushing
  • NO talking
The object is for each student to collect, write down and complete as many sums as they can within the time you allocate. The children walk (quickly) to the flashcards take one, return to their table, write the sum and the answer, return to the pile of flashcards to swop the card...and repeat....until you say stop. You can time them for however long you feel that they can manage...2mins...5mins...its up to you! When you call 'STOP!' they put their pens down and swop papers/dry erase boards with a friend.

Now it's time to check the answers. I always liked my students to become au fait with the mechanics of a calculator from early on - not to do calculations but as a skill in and of itself. (I know this is a "hot topic" so if you don't like to use calculators then you can check the work yourself.) I had the children use their calculators to check their friends answers. They then counted how many correct answers they had, wrote the total at the top of the page and returned the pages to the owner.

I always liked to "reward" the "Running Math" champ with a round of applause or a few house points. To find out the champ I had all the students stand and then had them sit down if they did not fit the number I called. E.g. 'Keep standing if you got more than 10 correct',  'Remain standing if you got more than 20 correct', etc. (You can go up in whatever interval you feel is appropriate for your students achievements.) Keep going until you have only the champion standing. All the students can give the child a clap (or you could award a small prize).

Once you have played this once you will have your students begging to play it again and again! It became a good old standby activity in my classroom...and the kids LOVED it!

If you are looking for other "active" Math activities you are sure to like my 'STOMP' games (Stomp subtraction facts and Stomp addition facts) available in my TpT store.

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  1. This sounds like a lot of fun! All of my students are very competitive.... They would love this!

  2. That sounds like a blast! I bet the kids are gaga over taking off their socks & shoes lol!! I can't wait to try this!

    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  3. This sounds like so much fun! I am definitely filing this away in my bag of tricks for next year! Thanks for the great post Michelle (and Michelle's colleague:)...unfortunately (I say with a smile), I am officially on summer break and won't be able to give this a shot until August.

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