Math Scavenger Hunt (Days 1 - 5)

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SWBAT create examples of math standards in the domains for third grade including operations and algebraic thinking, numbers in base ten and fractions, measurement and data, and geometry.

Big Idea

Students demonstrate mathematical thinking with real world examples.


5 minutes

I begin these lessons each day with a quick warm up of the skill that will be the focus for the day. For example, on the day when the students are working with area, I review finding area with simple rectangles and L-shaped polygons.  When reviewing fractions, I ask the students to order fractions on a number line, or to draw models and compare fractions.

I use the warm-up as a chance to review the skill and also as a quick observational assessment for students who may need support or differentiation with the domain and standards.

Because this lesson occurs over five days, each warm-up is different and addresses a specific domain.  I chose to present the lesson in the order of the domains written in the Common Core Standards. 

Day 1 - Operations and Algebraic Thinking

Day 2 - Numbers & Operations in Base 10

Day 3 - Numbers & Operations - Fractions

Day 4 - Measurement

Day 5 - Geometry

Review The Domain

5 minutes

During this section of each day, I review the mathematical knowledge, practices, and skills students learned and practiced in this domain.  Because each domain covers multiple aspects of specific content, it may be important to focus on specific standards for review or enrichment. Other options include having different groups of students focus on a specific standard within the domain so that all standards are addressed.  

For example, in the measurement and data domain there are standards that include graphing, time, liquid measurements, and distance measurements.  All students could focus on one of these areas, or the groups of students could be assigned a specific area for their focus each day. 

To review the domain, I ask the students to create a list or a class chart of the different types of math that is connected to these sections.  I found using technology to research this information helpful in the engagement of the students.  Other students use some of our district provided math resources to look up information, and some of the students find math manipulatives in the classroom that can be used for modeling.  This type of search reinforces the activity of searching for the items and information, rather than only relying on a class discussion or direct instruction from me.  

Find Examples

20 minutes

I choose to present this lesson with a focus on a different domain for each group of students each day.  This allowed students originality and creating their own examples. Students work in groups of 2, 3, or 4 to find the examples for each of the different standards in a given domain. I vary the size of the groups to meet the needs of my students.  Some students work well in larger groups as a member of a team, while other students worked more efficiently in smaller groups.  This also allows me to differentiate the groups and provide support to students with peer models.

I provide students with the instructions to create models or find real world examples of math standards.  For example, while working within the fraction domain, I ask the students to show examples of fractions including 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4 and 1.  These unit fractions are just a portion of the requirement for third grade, but the task can be accomplished within the time provided in a daily lesson.  Students who need enrichment work with sixths and eighths. Other students are given the task of just working with fourths.   

As they create their examples and models, they photograph their work using iPads and digital cameras.  An alternative to taking photographs could be to have the students create the model and present it in real time or draw it.  I emphasize creating original models to push their thinking and application of the standards to real world examples. 

The student in this video is working on providing a model of fractions.  While she used fraction manipulatives, the key information I wanted to observe was the explanation of equivalent fractions, ordering fractions, or both.  Because this is a key standard in third grade Common Core Standards, the students' explanations of their knowledge is the main objective of this task. 

Create Videos

15 minutes

During the presentation section of this lesson, my students create videos using the Show Me app.  I want the students to present their ideas and explanations for the class to critique.  These videos also provide me with assessment information and student participation data.  I also focus on the real world application of the math standards.  These videos give students a way to present their work without feeling shy in front of a group.   

In this video, the students present a model of place value knowledge.  In this instance I wanted to check how students would build the thousands place value or if they would consider rounding up, and then decomposing from hundreds to ninety-nine.  In this particular video, the students did not round, but rather built just to the given number.