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Get Moving During Math Night

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Overview

The research is clear: Healthy kids are better learners. Study after study shows kids who get regular physical activity experience improvements not just in their fitness levels but in brain function, too. Put this research to practice by including physical activity as part of your school’s math night!

The Multiplication Dance

Materials Needed:

  • Non-slip activity mats (one mat per person)
  • Non-toxic paint
  • Paint brushes
1     2     3

4     5     6

7     8     9

To Play:

  1. Paint the numbers 1-9 on the mats in a 3 by 3 matrix like this. Paint numbers close enough together so participants can stand on two numbers at once.
  2. Give each participant a mat. The activity leader says a multiplication problem and participants move their legs to represent the answer. The left leg represents the first number of the answer and the right leg represents the second number of the answer. For example, if the activity leaders says “2 times 9”, participants should have their left leg on “1” and right leg on “8.”

 

Zero In

To Play:

  1. Activity leader arranges participants into rows.
  2. Activity leader chooses a student to stand in front of the room.
  3. The activity leader gives a secret multiplication problem for the student to solve.
  4. The student keeps the answer a secret and remain in the front of the room.
  5. All remaining participants begin to march in place. Starting with a participant in the front row, ask him/her to guess the number. If the secret number is higher, all participants jump. If the secret number is lower, all participants squat down.
  6. Repeat the process with other participants until the secret number is correctly guessed.

Musical Math

Materials Needed:

  • Index cards with a math problem on one side of the card and the answer on the other side of the card.
  • Music

To Play:

  • Arrange desk or chairs in a circle around the perimeter of the room.
  • Place one index card with a math problem on each desk/chair (math problems should face up).
  • Arrange participants in a circle around the perimeter of the room.
  • Start the music and ask participants to walk in a predetermined direction (clockwise or counterclockwise).
  • When the music stops, participants freeze and pick up the index card closest to them.
  • Participants do the math problem then flip the card over to check their answer.
  • Once finished, ask students to place the card down again with the problem facing up.
  • Start the music and repeat!

Tips

Parent volunteers can assist with the organization and management of your school’s math night from start to finish. Volunteers can help create activity cards/stations, organize set-up/clean-up or help lead activity stations.

Connect with the math department at local college or university for volunteers. Utilizing university students is a great way to fill your volunteer needs.