Best Math Friends Lesson Plan

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Grade level: 2


Students will demonstrate the ability to form and solve equations using addition and subtraction based on word problems.

Common Core Standards:

This lesson reinforces common core standard CCSS.Math.Content.2.OA.A.1.
Descriptions of the standards can be found here.

Warm-Up Activity:

Teacher reads the story “I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today!” from the book I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss. Every time the narrator eliminates a group of tigers, teacher prompts students to form an equation representing the process. After the story, teacher explains that the story could be framed as a math problem in words. (Example: “I want to lick these 30 tigers, but not the one that is scrawny or the ten that are ill-tempered. How many can I still lick?”)

Teacher and students brainstorm about situations where addition and subtraction are necessary. Teacher writes students’ suggestions on the board. Teacher explains that, when you encounter these situations, the math problem involved is not necessarily spelled out, such that it is necessary to make your own equation in order to find the information you need. Students select a situation where they think finding the answer will be fairly easy, and the class goes through the solution together. Repeat with one or two more problems. Teacher asks students to choose a situation where it is more complicated to find the answer and may even require more than one equation.

Main Activity:

Students should watch the instructional video of Best Math Friends before playing. Instruct students that they earn “friends” by answering word problems correctly. There are 25 total friends that can be earned. Students can print out certificates showing the friends they have earned when the game is over.

Assessment Activity:

Live Action Best Math Friends:
Use the attached avatar sheet and make copies. Have students cut out all of the avatars and return to you. Describe possible avatars to students and either let them choose which avatar they want to be, or, assign an avatar to each student. Pass out all cut out avatars to each student.

Then, pass out index cards to students and have each student create a word problem of appropriate difficulty. Check word problems for accuracy and spelling.

Next, pass out “friend sheet” where kids can paste in the avatars they earn for answering their classmates’ word problems correctly.

Finally, instruct students that they can earn their classmates’ avatars (and hence earn a “friend” by answering the word problem correctly). Allow 20 minutes or so for kids to circulate around the classroom answering each other’s word problems. Instruct students that they must give an avatar to each classmate who answers their word problem correctly. The goal is to earn all possible avatars.