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5-Minute Fillers: Computation Skills and More

Volume 36

Twenty-One
Builds thinking and math computation skills

Provide students with four numbers. What operations must be performed to those numbers in order for the total to be 21. This game can be adapted to include addition and subtraction only, or it can be adapted to provide practice in all four operations. Following are some examples of problems you might pose to students in grades 2 to 4:

  • Supply for students the numbers 4, 6, 7, 12: some of the possible operations that students will derive might be [12 + 6] + 7] - 4 = 21 or (12 + 6) + (7 - 4)
  • Give the students the numbers 2, 4, 13, 14: some of the math computations using those numbers might be (13 + 14) - (2 + 4) = 21 or (13 + 14) - (2 + 4)

Sizing Things Up
Builds computation and measurement skills

Pose the following question to students to start a lively discussion, or use is as a prompt for a quick journal-writing activity:

What if you were asked to tell about the most special memory you have of doing something with a good friend? What special memory would you tell about?

Divide students into pairs or small groups. Have them use rulers to measure the bottoms of their feet in inches or centimeters. Record the measurements. Then ask each pair of students to share their measurements. All students will keep track of individual measurements on a chart. When all data is collected, have students figure the average shoe length in the class.

Spot the Spelling Mistakes
Builds spelling skills

Prepare in advance a page of text that is grade appropriate. Build into that text a set number (perhaps ten) spelling errors. Provide students with a copy of the text, or write the text on a transparency and display it for the whole class to see. Challenge students to work on their own or in pairs to spot all the spelling errors. They should write on a piece of scrap paper the ten words as they are spelled in your text and as they should be spelled. Who will be the first to find and correctly spell all ten words?

Analogy Puzzles

Analogies are a terrific tool for stimulating students to think critically. Write the following analogies on a board or chart. Challenge students to select the appropriate conclusion to each analogy. Have students share their responses and the reasoning behind them. Correct responses are shown in bold italic type.

1. Kitten is to cat as cub is to _____.
a. scout
b. polar
c. bear
d. claws

2. Ford is to car as Maytag is to _____.
a. brand
b. washer
c. Chevy
d. repair

3. Knife is to cut as screwdriver is to _____.
a. screw
b. hammer
c. twist
d. drill

4. Small is to petite as large is to _____.
a. tiny
b. egg
c. microscopic
d. giant

5. Loose is to tight as narrow is to _____.
a. skinny
b. wide
c. fat
d. thin
 

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World®
Copyright © 2004 Education World

 

04/23/2004


 

 

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