## Incorporating Mathematics into Themed Units

Primary teachers often plan themed units to integrate learning for young students. The Ladybugs unit is the latest addition to Mathwire's Math Activity Themes collection. The mathematics activities include ladybug glyphs & graphing ideas, mats, problem solving, math-literature connections, games, music and links to additional internet resources.

Suggestion for Morning Math Routines: Place a ladybug template in a sheet protector or laminate the ladybug. Use a dry-erase marker to add a new spot each day. Discuss whether the ladybug has an odd or even number of spots, based on whether there are the same number of spots on each side of the ladybug. Incorporate this practice into morning routines to reinforce odd and even numbers.

## Math Contests and In-School Competitions

Consider planning some grade-level math contests or competitions based on Mathwire activities. Teachers who have organized these contests find that students are highly motivated to master basic facts in order to compete. These grade-level competitions and their in-class daily preparations are a great way to include dedicated time for students to master grade-level skills and basic facts. Here are some suggestions to consider, based on popular Mathwire components:

## Strategy of the Month: Collect Data from Games

Students always enjoy "playing games" in math class, feeling that they're getting away without working. Introduce games for practice of math facts, but add a data-collection component to better analyze the underlying probability and help students use probability to strategize and increase their odds of winning. These activities are perfect end-of-the-year activities as they accommodate the changing schedules and absent students that characterize these closing weeks of school.

• See Mathwire Data Analysis: Two Dice Toss for games that are effective data-collection activities. The collection includes pictures, PDF handouts and instructions as well as suggestions for data collection and analysis of results.

## Tip of the Month: Incorporate Themed or Seasonal Elements in the Morning Routines

Change up the Morning Routines a bit at the beginning of each new month. This month, for instance, use the Ladybug Mat suggestion [above in feature article] to provide concrete practice in identifying odd and even numbers. Primary students may use their own mats with chips to reproduce the date and classify the number as odd or even or simply draw spots on ladybug mats in their calendar folders.

Check the New on Mathwire.com webpage to see what's new on the site this month.

Check the Recent Additions to Mathwire.com webpage to see the most recent additions to the site this month.

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