## The Activities

**Topic: Multiplication. **Book: Too Many Kangaroo Things To Do, by Murphy. This book is about friends planning a surprise party for Kangaroo, using multiplication along the way. The kids all enjoyed the book, taking turns computing the simple multiplication (1×1 up to 4×4). One kid proudly predicted that the animals must be planning a surprise party.
**Topic: Various, Story Problems. **I made a grid of hexes that were hidden at first. The goal was to find the hex with a diamond printed on it. Each turn the kids got to move their piece to uncover a new hex and then solve a different type of math problem for each picture type. Here are the hex pictures you need, and the full list of problems is below. We worked as one team, and I asked each kid to try each problem. If someone solved it faster than the others, then they were supposed to whisper the answer in my ear instead of shout it out. As soon as the jewel was uncovered, all 4 kids got to pick a prize from our treasure box.
- Firefly – square numbers:
- First square bigger than 0.
- First square bigger than 5.
- First square bigger than 10.
- First square bigger than 20.
- First square bigger than 30.
- First square bigger than 40.
- First square bigger than 50.
- First square bigger than 60.
- First square bigger than 70.

- Unicorn – fractions:
- Divide a circle in half, then split each piece into 3 pieces. How many pieces do you have?
- Divide a circle in half, then split each piece in half, then split each piece in half. How many pieces do you have?
- Divide a circle in four pieces. Then split each piece in 3 pieces. How many pieces do you have?
- Divide a circle in half. Then split each piece into 3. Then split each piece into 2. How many pieces do you have?

- Dragon – money:
- A diamond ring costs $100. How many rings can Hans buy with $125?
- Diamond earrings cost $20. How many earrings can Olaf buy with $207?
- A diamond necklace costs $11. How many necklaces can Marshmallow buy with $110?
- Elsa bought 20 diamond rings that each cost $10. How much money did Elsa spend?
- Sven bought 4 bracelets that each cost $32, and 3 rings that each cost $14. How much money did Sven spend?
- Anna spent $60 on 5 necklaces. How much did each necklace cost?
- Hans spent $39 on 3 bracelets. How much did each bracelet cost?

- Troll – story problems:
- A troll had 12 muffins. He ate some of them. Now he has 7 muffins. How many did he eat?
- There are 20 muffins. Some trolls came. Each troll ate 4 muffins. How many trolls are there?
- 4 trolls brought muffins to a party. Each brought the same amount. There are 24 muffins at the party. How many did each troll bring?

- Witch square – codes: Figure out what the coded word is by subtracting the given number from each letter. For example, DBU -1 = CAT
- -1: DBU
- -2: DTQQO
- -1: QPJTPO
- -2: JCV
- -1: TQFMM

- Maze – patterns:
- 1 5 9 13 __ __
- 1 2 2 3 3 3 4 __ __ __ __
- 91 82 73 64 __ __ __
- 11 22 33 __ __ __ __
- 1 1 2 3 5 8 __ __ __
- 1 2 4 8 __ __

## How did it go?

We had four kids today and they were all very motivated by wanting to earn a prize in honor of my son’s upcoming birthday. We played the game with 37 hexes, and the kids got unlucky and didn’t find the jewel until they had uncovered 30 hexes. Toward the end I started letting them move 2, 3, or 4 hexes without solving the problems, just to make sure we found the jewel.

All four kids worked hard on the game questions. My son is quite far ahead of his age in calculation and story problems but he did a really good job not telling the other kids the answers. The other kids stayed involved though, and we made sure to work out each answer as a group, using Base Ten blocks or counting on our fingers if necessary. One kid got bored after 30 minutes but didn’t distract the others. Another kid especially enjoyed problems the required counting by 4, 20, or 11. At first he didn’t think he could count by 11s, but quickly he saw the pattern and took the lead.

The fourth kid is the least comfortable with the number line but he got really excited by square numbers and solved all three square problems before anyone else (smallest square above 0, smallest square above 5, smallest square above 10). We used Base Ten Blocks to do this. I showed the kids how 9 is a square number because you can make a square out of 9 unit cubes, and he then spent some time making other squares out of unit cubes. He also solved this pattern: 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, _, _, _, _ first.

Everyone enjoyed decoding the witch’s code and trying to sound out the trickier words…pasta? pesto? poh-aye-son? Ooohhhh: poison!

The unicorn fraction problems turned out to be tricky. All the kids could follow the instruction: draw a circle and divide it in half. But “Now divide each piece into three pieces” was tricky. Only my son figured out how to divide each half into three equal pieces. The other kids ended up drawing straight lines and getting three very uneven pieces. Most kids also forgot to divide *each* half, so they would get ‘4’ as the answer instead of 6.

We finally uncovered the jewel, and celebrated. Then everyone picked a prize and ran around outside to get rid of their pent up energy. A very successful circle!