Math Ideas for BTS - Back to the Archive {Freebie}

Happy Thursday!! I remember spending some Thursday mornings last summer reading Throw Back Thursday posts - and realizing that I had nothing to "throw back" too as it was my first summer of blogging. Another thing I realized through this blogging process is that often times when I post what I am doing it is already too late for others to use since other people start school a month before I do.

But no more : )  Today I am linking up with my friend Nick from Sweet Rhyme and Pure Reason for....

Today I am sharing a post on math ideas for the first few days of school - including a few freebies!!
Hopefully this time the post is not too late for you to use - or if you are new to the blog it is just helpful to you : )

(Originally linked up with Amanda and Stacia at Collaboration Cuties for their Must Read Mentor Text Linky)

The book I am suggesting is a book I am sure many of you use...

I don't want to spend too much time talking about this super fun book so I will just give you the description from Goodreads

Did you ever wake up to one of those days where everything is a problem? You have 10 things to do, but only 30 minutes until your bus leaves. Is there enough time? You have 3 shirts and 2 pairs of pants. Can you make 1 good outfit? Then you start to wonder: Why does everything have to be such a problem? Why do 2 apples always have to be added to 5 oranges? Why do 4 kids always have to divide 12 marbles? Why can't you just keep 10 cookies without someone taking 3 away? Why? Because you're a victim of the Math Curse. That's why. But don't despair. This is one girl's story of how that curse can be broken

The reason I picked this book is that I just wanted to throw a couple of teaching ideas out there to go with this book for the first week or two of school.

I use this book on the second day of school during our first full math class. I use it as a jumping off point to talk about how my students feel about math and to highlight how math is everywhere.

I follow the book up with a couple of activities.

#1. A math survey. I was given a very long and very official survey from one of our math consultants. It was 3 pages long and had a marking key and I am sure would be very helpful to many people - just not me :)
I made this quick little survey to just let me know how my students felt about math and to help me group them (I also use a quick little assessment - but I will tell you more about that on Workshop Wednesday).
Here is my survey. It is not fancy or official - just a little something to get me started on grouping and looking at what kind of feelings my students are bringing with them. Click here for a copy.

#2. A "Math About Me" page. This is sample from Pinterest with no link - sorry!!

I am undecided if I will do this again this year and use it as their Interactive Math Notebook cover or if I will give them this page to decorate for their cover. Click on the picture to get a free copy - there are different subject pages to choose from.

#3. An "I Can't Believe I Used Math in the Summer" page. This was an idea I read about on Teaching with a Mountain View who did a similar activity after Spring Break, so I adapted it for B2S. Students have to draw and write about how they used math over the summer break. I will go through a few examples with my class first of how I used math over the summer. Since most students will have done some B2S shopping that will be an obvious example but I hope to get to some more creative examples - math for baking, building with lego, what time to leave to arrive at the movie on time, how much money my daughters saved, how many cobs of corn to make....

Click the picture to get a copy.

 I will use this activity as an opportunity to introduce my math goals chart. In particular - the pictures, numbers and words pages. Click here to get a free copy of these pages.

Woohoo - that is it, my first Back to the Archive post!!


  1. Wow! I loved every bit of this post!!! I'm so glad you went back into the archives :) Thanks so much for the math ideas and freebies - I plan to use them when I start back next month.

    1. I am so glad that you found things you can use!!

  2. I read Math Curse last year because I read about it on your blog. The kids really enjoyed the book and so did I. I am sure hoping my kids used Math this summer or I'm going to be in big trouble in a few weeks.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  3. I pinned this and am starting to think about the beginning of the year (ack!). I'm glad I still have over a month left of summer break though! ;) Great back to the archives post!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  4. Awesome ideas and tips!!! Great post!!! Thanks so much :)

  5. I ordered the book right now. Thanks for sharing!!

  6. Wow! Some super great ideas here :) I definitely think that I will be doing the "I can't believe I used math over the summer" activity with my students next week!


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