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Include More Daily Math Review in Middle School


Use the Date for Daily Math Review and Math Thinking in Middle and Upper Elementary Classes
                                                Updated 5/2020

Build in daily math review to your middle school math class using the date. Find out how by reading this post.

In 2015, I started adding a little extra daily math review into my classes. How did I do this, I use the date! 

I know it sounds crazy, but this daily math review using the date is so easy to do. And. . . you can review a variety of math skills with your students.

Keep reading to find out how you can quickly and easily add daily math review in your class too!

How to Use the Date for Daily Math Review, Method 1:

Use all the digits in the date to create an equation.

The ‘rules’ for creating the equations are fairly simple:

  • The digits stay in the same order they are in the date; so for Feb 2, 2016, the digits are 2 2 2016. 
Writing the date as a math equation allows you to easily add some daily math review into your day.
  • Any operation signs and parentheses can be added in between any digits.
  • The equal sign can also be placed between any digits.
  • Digits can be used as exponents, as shown in the example in the image. 
  • You can add square roots signs if you can find a way to use them.

How to Use the Date for Daily Math Review, Method 2:

 Write the date so that each number in the date is an expression to evaluate.

For example, for the date February 8, 2016:

  • The 2 for February can be written as the cube root of 8
Example of daily math review by writing the date using math skills.
  • The 8th can be 2 cubed
  • The ’16’ for 2016 can be 64 divided by 4

When to Use the Date for Daily Math Review

It can be challenging to add ‘another thing’ to math class, but using the dates for math review can take as much or as little time as you want.

  • Some days you might just put the date on the board (or use a calendar card for your calendar) for students to observe and mentally note that the expression is equal to the numbers in the date (this is even great in a non-math class!).
  • Other days you might use the date as a warm-up and ask students to show you their solutions.
  • You could even add the dates into your math centers

However you incorporate this type of math review, it’s a great way to provide daily math review. You can address equivalent expressions and MANY other concepts as a type of spiral review throughout the entire year.

It’s so much fun watching students write these in the corner of their notebooks during class even when that was not the assignment.  And. . . during last period students ask to write the equation or expression for the next day. This lets me know that they enjoy both solving and creating the equations and expressions.

Five Benefits of Using the Date for Math Review

What I love about including math dates as a daily review is that they:

  1. Are quick
  2. Can be solved at any time (beginning of class, finished early time, closing of class, or in homeroom)
  3. Help kids to expand their number sense and use some “out of the box” thinking
  4. Help improve students’ understanding of equivalent expressions
  5. Can be differentiated to challenge students:
  • Students can create their own expressions 
  • Students can evaluate the entire expression (using the bars as division signs – a student did this on his own one day!)
  • If you happen to make a “mistake,” students can find it and correct it. 🙂

6. EXTRA Math Benefits of Using the Date

Some other fantastic benefits of using the Math Dates for daily math review are that you can:
Introduce Math Concepts

  • Introduce notations or concepts students haven’t seen before, like the cube root or exponent rules. 
  • As you discuss the date in class, a quick overview of a particular concept can help set students up for greater success when it comes time to teach the concept in the course of the curriculum (especially if they’ve seen it in several different dates!).

Reinforce Math Concepts or Facts You Want to Target

  • Reinforce some basic concepts, like the meaning of exponents. I don’t know about your students, but mine often forget that 2 cubed means 2 x 2 x 2, not 2 x 3. Using the exponents in the date keeps bringing that concept back for review. 
  • In 2017, I used the ‘year part’ of the date to reinforce that 51 is divisible by 3 – this was such a huge help to students who thought 51 was prime.

If your students are struggling to retain a certain concept, give the math dates a try – work that concept into the date.

Where Can You Find Math Dates Created for You?

I post math dates in my Facebook group AND send them to my email community every week. 

Feel free to join my group or subscribe to my emails to have the dates done for you.

I put together Math Dates resources for you to use throughout the year – these have been published by individual months and as a year-long resource on TPT. These are great for middle schoolers and have a BUNCH of number puzzles included as well.

I’ve also added a year of dates for upper elementary math.

How do you include more daily math review and math thinking in the middle school classroom?


Welcome to Cognitive Cardio Math! I’m Ellie, a wife, mom, grandma, and dog ‘mom,’ and I’ve spent just about my whole life in school! With nearly 30 years in education, I’ve taught:

  • All subject areas in 4th and 5th grades
  • Math, ELA, and science in 6th grade (middle school)

I’ve been creating resources for teachers since 2012 and have worked in the elearning industry for about five years as well!

If you’re looking for ideas and resources to help you teach math (and a little ELA), I can help you out!



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