I know lots of teachers use beach balls in the classroom, but I haven’t used them in such a long time that I thought I’d share my excitement about finally getting some new ones!
I often used beach balls for basic math fact practice when I taught 4th and 5th grades in the elementary school.
I have a little bit of a beach theme in my middle school (6th grade) classroom this year, so that motivated me to get some beach balls again. I ordered a pack of 12 and am writing different math practice problems on them – so far I have practice for:
- multiplication facts
- fraction/decimal conversions
- common measurement conversions.
I have 12 beach balls to fill with math, so I need to decide on more topics. I think I’ll also include:
- square roots
- division facts
- math vocabulary
…I need to keep thinking:-)
Our math classes aren’t that long, but I figure I can squeeze in 5 minutes of extra math review at the end of class once or twice a week. We can toss the beach balls around for some quick math practice:-)
When we used the beach balls for math practice in the past, I’d designate a particular finger for the problem to solve, like, “answer the math problem that your right thumb lands on.”Or, if the beach ball had just numbers on it, I’d give them two fingers and an operation: “multiply the number under your left thumb and your right pinkie.”
With so many different beach balls, I could differentiate for math math students and have 3 groups tossing at a time, depending on their needs. So many possibilities!
Do you use beach balls in math class (or any other class)? If so, how?