Creating a Summer Review Packet (Day 1)

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Students will be able to draw from their math knowledge gained in third grade to create a summer review packet for their peers.

Big Idea

Students that can write their own story problems, and create math situations that require thought and perseverance to solve, are students that understand. This engaging activity reviews all of the third grade concepts and creates a review packet as well!

Warm Up

10 minutes

School ends in 3 days and the students are antsy!  To engage them in math, while their minds are on swimming and sleeping in, I tell them they are to become authors and publish a math workbook. The people solving their work will be all of the third graders in our school and another school in our district, where I have a friend that teaches. 

On the board, I write all of the parameters of the workbook assignment. They are:

  • 3 Multiplication story problems
  • 3 Division story problems
  • 2 Fraction problems, one must be word problem
  • 2 Elapsed time situations
  • 3 Graphing problems
  • 2 Geometry questions 
  • 2 Area and Perimeter situations
  • Answer guide with examples of solution strategies for all questions. 
  • A cover for their book.


I also tell the students they will work in small groups of 3-4. They may decide to divide the work, or work on one problem at a time, together.  I will put all the mini books together as a larger book and make copies for everyone. 

Active Engagement

35 minutes

As student groups begin to work, I roam the room and watch for situations that call for help, or opportunities to prompt deeper thinking.  During this activity, I am watching, obviously, for students to recall all of their learning, organize it by backwards thinking in order to create questions, and demonstration of solid strategies for their solution pages. 

This student was working on one problem in his section and had the solution written, but did not add any helpful strategy work.  I spent some time working with him in order to add to his solution. 

This team of girls was working on checking their solutions and realized that they had made a mistake in the way the question was asked.  This is analytical thinking and hard to do. My role isn't to do the thinking for them, it is to listen and have them think out loud to me. 


10 minutes

As a closing, I ask students to trade some of their work with nearby teams in order to share the different question types and solution strategies.  Because I ask students to write problems for work that we did throughout the year, this was a helpful step because some students had "forgotten" a few details and needed review they were able to gain from peers.