Pre-Algebraic Thinking for Elementary Students

We came back from winter break with a two day week last week. I really wanted to do a review of multiplication concepts, because we had been away from school for twelve days. So I had planned some games to practice their facts.

That’s when I saw this on Pinterest:

Math Activity

Click the picture to go straight to Amber’s post!

Amazing! I’ve seen the “all about me in numbers” things on Pinterest, but this one gets them thinking deeper (because they have to make an appropriate number sentence that matches the number!) I dropped my lame game from my plans and whipped up my own version in about 5 minutes on the easel.  Clearly, I am not even half the artist that she is! (Also, I have WAY bigger feet!)

Elementary Math Project Idea

All of the number sentences could have been ___ x 1, but we brought it up a notch!

I showed them how to make it, and we talked about challenging ourselves with the number sentences.  The students who were comfortable could take this pretty far! This project totally differentiated itself naturally, AND we have the added bonus of trying to figure each other’s posters out.  This type of thing really helps develop pre-algebraic thinking, which can be very difficult for third graders to understand.  The activity was age appropriate and helped them see how multiplication and division were related!

Here are some of the student samples:

Elementary Math Project Idea

He *really* likes pigs.

Elementary Math Project

She actually measured her hair!

Thanks to Amber Thomas over at Shut the Door and Teach. I love that the more we share, the more we learn in education!

Shut the Door and Teach!