Hello all, I was wondering if anyone can help me. The school year has been going ok so far. I have had to adjust my schedule to accomodate the intervention specialist who comes into my classroom to assist students during math. Well this schedule ajustment means that i teach math in the afternoon now. like 1:30-3:00. Its after recess and after lunch. So needless to say, they are not into it. AT ALL!! They are kinda just talking or laying their heads down on the desk. Its getting really fustrating because the math concepts are sooo important. Can some one help me spice up my math lessons. Or just give me a structure for switching it up. Right now we are doing factoring. But it didnt matter what it was, they are still out of tune at this point of the day.

My first recommendation would be looking at Whole Brain Teaching. It takes some work and practice, but the kids seem to respond well to it. They especially buy into the "Class, Yes" almost immediately. Next, I would suggest manipulatives. LEGOs would work great. Make blocks with various numbers of LEGOs on in them (24, 36, 42, etc) and have them take the blocks apart, in "chunks" of 2, 3, 5, or 7 at a time. Only problem with this is the cost of LEGOs, but if you check thrift stores or yard sales, you can build up a big collection pretty quickly. I would also recommend technology. If you have a Smartboard, you could look up interactive lessons or games online. You can also create your own interactive games or lessons. Finally, bring your own energy and enthusiasm into the lesson. I know it's hard to do after right after lunch, especially when you've already taught a morning full of lessons, but if YOU can energize the room with your voice, movements, prompts and responses to the kids, they will pick up on that and get into it to.

Emphasize projects, applications, creativity, expression. Make it real for the kids. Get them coloring and cutting, experimenting, researching, get 'em moving!

Give students a reason to be motivated. I put a math puzzle on the board before the start of each lesson. They love trying to figure out what the answers are. When they think they have it they raise their hands and I check it. If they have the correct answer they get a piece of candy. After about 3 minutes, i have a student with the correct answer go to the board and show us how they solved the puzzled. At the end of each lesson I do a 5 minute math game. One of my favorites is Target Numbers: I draw a target on the board and write a three to five digit number in the center. Then I roll five dice and write those numbers on the board. The goal is for students to use any operation and the numbers given to get as close to the target number without going over as possible. They Love this Activity!

So, are you doing math for the whole 1:30 to 3:00 time frame? If so, what a great opportunity to try out math workshop!! The specialist can have a group, you can have a group and then you can have two independent groups. Yes, you'll have to do a similar lesson over and over again, but each group is different and how you teach the concept to each group may be a bit different. Believe me, I do this everyday. So, start off with a minilesson, then break for groups, rotate every 20 minutes or so, and then come back together and regroup/organize your thoughts. I know there are lots of threads on PT about math workshops.

I've been using a couple of fun math games. One is called Math and Field...it's a lot of fun and reviews a bunch of core math skills. I've also just come across a collection of math games called Acing Math One deck at a time. I found both from The Positive Engagement Project and they are free. I found them searching for engaging ideas and am excited about what I've used so far. They have instructions and you can download everything without registering.

I've used the Acing Math and Prime and Composite Lines. My class loves both playing math games and these were a great help. Good Website with some neat ideas. PEP (The Positive Engagement Project) is a great resource.

SanJac Teacher, I haven't used the Prime and Composite Lines.....is it in the Acing Math booklet? I need to go back to the Free Download section and check it out.