Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Math Toolkits Spark Math Questions!

Last night at LEO conference center in Leander, TX, several enthusiastic high school students helped our math department fill and pack "Math Toolkits" for 3rd and 4th grade students to take home with them this summer.

While packing the toolkits, we all were noticing all of the math problems around us!  

How many decks of cards in this bag? 
How many equations can you write from this image?

Each bag has 12 decks of cards. How many bags would fit into this rectangular prism? 
How many decks of cards?

About how many books in each stack?

Estimate: About how many cards?
How could we make these cards easier to count?

We have 16 boxes for 3rd grade and 16 boxes for 4th grade. If there are 1,000 math toolkits, how many toolkits would evenly fit in each box?

What questions do you have when looking at these dice?

If there are 25 toolkits in each box, how many boxes will we need for 1,000 toolkits?

Additionally, as everyone began packing the toolkits, several different strategies emerged. Some people choose to do two or three bags at a time, while others did five at a time. One person had a system for knowing how many bags went into each box by counting out the number of bags beforehand. As we shared ideas, the math educators in us were making many connections to the math classroom. One parallel is that we all naturally came up with our own way or strategy to tackle the problem. Granted, some strategies were more efficient than others, but we all shared our ideas, valued each other and celebrated the hard work we accomplished.
A sincere thank you to all of the volunteers who helped us fill and pack all of the toolkits!
We appreciate you! 

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