9 Back to School math activities for teachers, students, and parents

It’s nearly time to start setting the alarm clock earlier and revamp last year’s lesson plans! The truth is, teachers, parents, and students may all need a jump-start to get psyched for the new school year after a summer of sun and fun. Here are nine activities to get your creativity motor running, and get parents and students onboard for a productive and fun year of math learning:

Rekindle Your Passion for Math

1. Get inspired. Want to see a great example of someone who has fallen head over heels for math? Check out comedian and self-proclaimed math geek Adam Spencer’s Ted Talk, Why I Fell In Love with Monster Prime Numbers. His passion for these odd numbers provides a new take on the “mysterious magic of math.”

2. Rediscover the magic. In another inspiring Ted Talk, mathemagician Arthur Benjamin explores the magic of the weird and wonderful Fibonacci series. Benjamin poses the question, “Wouldn’t it be great if every once in a while, we did mathematics simply because it was fun, or beautiful, or because it excited the mind?” We respond with a resounding, “Yes!”

3. Join a global community of math educators. Join The International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE) to connect withEdTech leaders and innovators from all over the world. Connect with the ISTE Community. Catch up on the latest announcements and events, and find out what ISTE members are chatting about on their blogs and Twitter—all in one place!

4. Get socially active. Hop on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (see hashtags below) with other teachers for camaraderie and advice on how to put more zing in your math lessons.

Make Math a Family Affair

5. Help parents get ready for kindergarten. The transition from preschool to kindergarten is huge for parents as well as for little students. We’ve put together 8 tips for parents preparing to send their child off to their very first day of school.

6. Send home a freebie on the first day of school! Check out our free printable math growth chart that gives parents the information they need about their child’s math development (ages 4–8). This one-page chart is packed with information about math skills by age, and games and activities that help children to learn.

7. Present a Family Math Challenge. Challenge students to involve a parent or their entire family in a DIY project that involves math in some way. Think fun, personalized, productive learning that takes math from the classroom into the real world. Have a class brainstorming session to dream up ideas: make a kite, build a birdhouse, design and sew or knit a scarf, organize a kitchen shelf according to size of object—the possibilities are endless!

First Day of School Math Fun for Students

8. Add a math fact to the name game. Ask students to introduce themselves and give one piece of information about their family in the form of a math equation. For example: “We used to have four family members, but I have a new baby brother so now we have five.”

9. Plan a math scavenger hunt. Create math problems with answers that provide clues to where students can find little prizes—pencil sharpeners, colored pencils, stickers, and streamers—that can be used to make a “Welcome Back” banner for the classroom. (This is a great icebreaker for students who haven’t seen each other over the summer months!)

21 Hashtags for Math Teachers

Need a quick connect with other teachers? Check out these Twitter hangouts for teachers that are in some way connected to math:

  1. #BlendedLearning
  2. #CCChat (Common Core Chat)
  3. #Curriculum
  4. #DeeperLearning
  5. #EdApp
  6. #EdChat
  7. #EdData
  8. #EdLeaders
  9. #Education
  10. #Innovation
  11. #KEdu
  12. #Leadership
  13. #LearnerExperience
  14. #MiddleSchool
  15. #NTChat (New Teacher Chat)
  16. #OnlineLearning
  17. #PersonalizedLearning
  18. #STEM
  19. #Teacher(s)
  20. #math
  21. #mathchat