# Valentine's Day Math Activities

## Valentine Quilts

This Valentine Quilt is a great culminating activity for a study of the geometry of quilts. Each student designs a 9-square paper quilt patch using only red, pink and white paper. Students may elect to use a traditional quilt pattern or design their own original pattern and name it. Assemble all of the quilt squares into a class quilt.

• See Quilt Menu for resources for teaching a mathematical quilting unit.

## Valentine Symmetric Faces

Reinforce the concept of symmetry with this art project which colored paper and symmetrical placement to create symmetric masks. Use red, pink and white paper for Valentine's day or red, white and blue paper for patriotic masks for President's Day.

• See Symmetric Faces for instructions on creating these masks from 1.5 sheets of construction paper. Students will develop an "eye" for symmetry as they correctly place cut pieces to create a symmetric face.
• See Symmetric Faces Photo Gallery for ideas to get the creative juices flowing. Note how the color combinations as well as the facial features affect the final product.

## Mathwire Valentine's Day Math Activities Collection

See more Valentine's Day Math Activities from the Mathwire collection that include suggestions for math activities that use the small candy valentine hearts to practice graphing, fractions, counting and patterns. Students might also use the candy to play the Grab the Candy!game. The collection includes more problem solving and discrete math activities as well as a suggestion to make Valentine Symmetric Faces to study symmetry.

## Black History Month: Freedom Quilts

There is much written about the use of quilts during the Underground Railroad days. Known as the Freedom Quilt patterns, these quilts were displayed as signals to slaves that they should begin to pack for the journey (Wagon Wheel),dress up (Shoofly) and get ready to escape (Tumbling Blocks). Quilts were also used to alert fugitive slaves to food (Bear's Paw), the way north (Star) and danger (Log Cabin). Because quilts were such an American tradition, they could be hung on porches or displayed on fences without attracting attention.

Freedom quilts and the history of their use by the Underground Railroad as a secret code for fugitive slaves relates geometry, literature and history, providing an interdisciplinary approach to this important topic.

## Featured Game: Grab the Candy (Valentine's Day Version)

 This game is designed to provide practice in coordinate graphing for young elementary students. Use the heart-shape valentine candy or craft foam hearts as pieces for this holiday version of the game. After introducing the game to students, make it available in the math center for extended play and practice. Download the Grab the Candy Game: Valentine's Day Version for directions and game mats for three different versions of the game:

## Strategy of the Month: Using Games to Promote Basic Facts Fluency

Every math teacher struggles to find ways to encourage students to master their basic facts. Whether for addition and subtraction facts or for multiplication and division facts, teachers collect many ideas from which they can draw activities to meet the varied needs of learners in their classes. Games and Who Has? activities are especially motivational and continual play can help students develop fact fluency in an effort to master the games and capture the most points.

## Tip of the Month: Place Math Games in Math Center for Extended Practice

Students benefit from lots of practice to develop basic facts fluency. Provide several packets of game materials in the math center and allow students to play in pairs when they are finished assignments, during indoor recess, transitional times, etc. Some teachers also create game packets that may be signed out and taken home for additional play with parents or tutors.

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