Engagement Archives - Page 7 of 8 - Mary Kienstra

Create a Polygon Project

By: Mary Kienstra on: May 7, 2014  in: Engagement, geometry vocabulary, Math

Have you ever visited a Polygon Zoo?  It might be just the place for a group of math students! Classifying polygons according to their attributes is a critical skill.  Students can listen to teachers talk about polygons, copy vocabulary words, and fill in worksheets, but handling the shapes and discussing them with a partner is […] Read more


Doing Something Right

By: Mary Kienstra on: March 22, 2014  in: #tlap, Engagement, feedback, inspiration, Math

Two essentials for performing at your best are inspiration and feedback.  This past week, I was fortunate enough to have large doses of each.  It was quite a week!  I feel like I must be doing something right. From time to time we all need inspiration.  We need inspiration when things get boring or routine. […] Read more


Pi Day Party Report

By: Mary Kienstra on: March 22, 2014  in: Engagement, fun, graphing, JFF, Math, pi day, pi day party

Everyone loves a math party!  Our pi day parties were late this year, but that didn’t matter.  I changed the celebration to include 2 days this year, since last year was too rushed all in one day.  This year is worked out very well – and we all had fun! Day 1:   Students brought […] Read more


Pi Day – Math Holiday Celebration!

By: Mary Kienstra on: March 6, 2014  in: Engagement, fun, Math, party, pi day, ratio

Our favorite math holiday is coming up next week.  It’s time to plan a party for your math students. Mathematicians have decided that 3.14 or March 14 is pi day – a day to celebrate math.  I teach 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.  They love pi day, even if they don’t fully understand the concept […] Read more


Go For the Gold Part 2

By: Mary Kienstra on: February 27, 2014  in: current events, Discussion, Engagement, Math, Olympics

Today was the day!  I have always loved the Olympics and immersing my math students in these Winter Olympics seemed like a great way to show them math in the world.  All three of my classes (3rd, 4th, and 5th graders) have been researching a specific event and learning about how math is used.  Today […] Read more


Greg Tang Math: SATIS-FRACTION Tournament

By: Mary Kienstra on: February 23, 2014  in: CCSS, Engagement, iPads, Math, tournament

You just never know what will hook students and get them involved in the learning.  This week, my students were absolutely obsessed with a fraction game on www.gregtangmath.com.  The skill they were practicing was multiplying and dividing fractions.  They were “playing” the game SATIS-FRACTION.   We are preparing for the state tests here in Illinois. […] Read more



Student Creators: Let Math be a “Movie Star”

By: Mary Kienstra on: February 8, 2014  in: authentic audience, Engagement, Math, math videos, movie-star

In the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy, creating is the highest order thinking skill. It’s interesting if you think about it.  Kids love to create.  Yet often in school there are limited opportunities for kids to do any real creating.  This year I have iPads in my classroom.  (That changes everything – and that’s a topic for […] Read more



LINE UP for MATH!

By: Mary Kienstra on: January 27, 2014  in: Engagement, Line up, Math, numeracy, vocabulary

Do the students in your class have class numbers or birthdays or any way that they can describe themselves with a number?  Use those numbers to get your students to engage in more numeracy thinking every day!  Use these ideas when it is time to call on groups of students or to line up in […] Read more