A Valentine's Day Mystery

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Students will be able to use concepts they have already learned in order to locate numbers on the 100 grid.

Big Idea

Holiday excitement can present a work challenge. This lesson requires students to work and review, but they think they are involved in a holiday party game!


5 minutes

To begin the lesson, display a 100's Chart on the screen.  Ask the students questions to warm them up in what it means to "move" from side-to-side and up-and-down on the grid.  For example, you might ask, "What number is 30 less than 93?"  When they answer 63, shade it in and ask how they figured that out.  Ask other questions that are examples of your type of review questions.  Each time, ask the students to discuss with their partner before answering.

Tell them that there is a Valentine's Mystery to be solved.  All of the clues require them to use their knowledge of math.  When they find the answer to a clue, they should shade that square on the 100's chart in using the correct color.

Remember, you can set up activities like this for any holiday, substitute lesson plan, or even homework for a fun way to review.

I found the picture online and wrote clues for the colored-in numbers, leaving some blank. See the reflection for why I chose to do that.

Active Engagement

35 minutes

As the students work, listen in to their conversations and reasons for coloring in certain numbers. Some of my students ask for help when they can't remember the definition of a term.  I do not help, instead asking what resources they can use to figure this out. Some pull out their reflection journals, some look to the vocabulary word wall, and others turn to math resource books.  I do not keep them from using any tool they feel is useful.

Seeing how they problem solve on their own is valuable information for me.  The strategic use of resources is always a good mini lesson for the future (MP5).

These girls work together, but have different ways of recording their thinking.  You can see one of them keeps track by writing her answers on her paper, while the other colors in the grid. Guess who got confused?  Notice the "showing of work" by one student as well.  This is what we hope for in math thinkers!


5 minutes

The closing is simple for this lesson.  When the students are done, I ask them to place their completed work on their desk.  I then have them "drumroll" as I put the master picture up. They look to see if their work mirrors the master.  We discuss any mistakes and celebrate their success with a few conversation hearts!