Connect 4

How to play connect four in math

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Connect 4

How to play connect four with your math class?


Teacher Directions: 

  • To make the game board - Take a large sheet of paper, fold it in half, in half and in half a third time. Unfold and trace the lines created with a black sharpie.  Should look like the picture below.





  • Split class into two equal groups.
  • Separate desks to the sides of the room and place the game board on the ground in the middle.
  • Give students a problem to solve and set a timer. During this time, they are able to work with anyone on their team.
    • Note, I have students solve the problems on personal whiteboards.
  • Check every student's answer. If the entire group is correct, take a volunteer from each group.
  • Students who come up will play rock/paper/scissors.
    • Note, during round 1, I let the winner choose which marker their team would like to use. For connect for fall, we had two different leaves. See below:

Connect 4 Fall Edition

  • Whichever team wins the rock/paper/scissors battle also decides if they would like to be the first or second team to make a move on the game board.
  • We continue solving problems, playing rock/paper/scissors until one team wins.


This is a great game to play around holidays with students. The picture above shows the version for Connect Four Fall edition. We also played Connect Fourkey at Thanksgiving and Connect Hearts for Valentine's Day.



Please comment with any questions. If you would like more game ideas, click here. 


How to play movement bingo

B9, B9 and we slowly mark B9 on our Bingo board. This is not the bingo found in your local VFW hall. This is Bingo with a PE twist!


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Teacher Directions:

  • Type the problems that you want to use in the game below. Copy these problems, enough for students in groups of 2-4. Use a different color paper for each group if possible.
  • Cut out all of the problems. Place the problems in an envelope or Ziploc bag. Write a different number on each envelope or bag.
  • Place your desks tables into groups of 2-4. Give each group of desks a number. Then hang their problems across from their location in the room.
  • Type the answer to each problem in the center of a page. Use one page per answer.
  • Print the answers on 11×14 paper. Place these problems in the center of the room as a bingo board. You can have more or fewer problems than I have but they need to make a square. To win bingo students need to have solved correctly all of the problems horizontal, vertical or diagonal on the board.
  • Copy the movement page, cut them apart and give each group one of the movements. You can change these to anything you want but need one per group. I had students change their movements every 2-3 minutes by rotating clockwise amongst the groups in the room.


Student Directions:

  • With your group, doing your movement, move across the room to your team’s bag of problems. Take out one problem and doing your movement move back to your desks.
  • Solve your problem.
  • With your group, doing your movement, move to the bingo board and place your problem on its corresponding answer on the bingo board.
  • Repeat the previous three steps until you have achieved bingo – you have all problems marked horizontally, vertically or on a diagonal.
  • Repeat the first three steps until you have super bingo – the entire board filled.


Student movements: These can be changed to any movement. You need one per group.

  • Walking Lunge
  • Grapevine
  • Hop on one Foot
  • Zombie
  • Moonwalk
  • Skip
  • Monkey
  • Penguin
  • Train
  • Hop Side to Side

Modification:  Give each student group a dance move!

  • Dab
  • Electric Slide
  • Whip and Nae Nae
  • Running Man
  • Shopping Cart
  • Etc.


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Holiday Math Activities

Holidays are a crazy time in my life both at school and home. I’m busy at every holiday trying to get ready to celebrate with my own family and this is also the time my students decide to be extra WILD and full of energy.

Last year, I decided to capitalize on this extra energy. For every major holiday, we did five activities in math.

A sample of the activities we did last year!


  • Domain and Range from graphs – I copied bats, witches, ghosts, and ghouls onto graph paper. Then students found the domain and range.

This year, I have a new activity planned and I’m SUPER excited. I’m calling it, “What’s For Dinner.” I have been saving all of my Costco boxes. I am going to spray paint these boxes black and bedazzle them with cobwebs. Inside, I am going to put in peeled grapes (these will be eyeballs), licorice peels (rat tails), etc. Click the image below for a copy of this activity:

Free Halloween Activity – What’s For dinner


Valentine’s Day: 

  • Earn the Points – I had problems on hearts and students had to earn enough points for the day. The more complicated the problem, the more points it was worth.

My favorite Holidays are Thanksgiving and Christmas. We had some GREAT activities for Christmas.


  • Ugly Sweater Party – We had an ugly sweater party where students performed their rewritten Christmas carol with math. I sang, “Have yourself an arithmetic sequence.” While students performed, we sipped hot cocoa and ate treats that students brought in.


  • Thanksgiving Dinner – I purchased some cheap Thanksgiving plates from Walmart. Students had to solve a math problem on potatoes, turkey, sweet potatoes and other holiday favorites. They stapled them to their plates once I had checked them. In the center of their plate, I had them write something they were thankful for.

Want my Halloween Activity, what’s for dinner? Click here.


How do you celebrate the holidays in your classroom?

Free Active Math Resource Library

As a teacher, I am always looking for new teaching ideas; however, I don’t have hours and hours to create lessons. We’ve created a collection of free active math activities that can be used with any math content level and are also quick (under 10 minutes) to create!  Access our library by clicking the image below.


Cut It Up: This activity is great for a station, warm-up or exit ticket.

Cut it Out

This is a flip book. There is a problem which students open to reveal the answer.


Lay It Out: Do you teach a math concept that follows a process? 

If you teach math, the answer to the above question is yes. Lay it out uses notecards to have students look for the pattern in the process. You write out each step on a note card and students place the process in order.


Are you feeling Lucky Game? This game could be used with any math concept/topic. Best is that it can be played with any worksheet or problem set from the book. Students solve problems, then place their group name on a number in a spreadsheet. Based on how many problems you think they will complete, you decide on which numbers to use in the spreadsheet.

Do you want directions/videos for the games on I am describing then click here.


Envelope Activity: Place students into groups of 3 or 4. Write a math problem on the outside of the envelope. Inside the envelope place paper or graphs for them to complete the problem. Students will take a paper out of the envelope, work out the problem and put their solution back in the envelope. They rotate their envelopes clockwise, take out a sheet of paper, solve the new problem and place their solution back in the envelope. They continue this process until they have their initial envelope back. Once they have their original envelope, they take out all of the papers and check everyone’s solution. If there are any that are different, they discuss the error as a group. This is great for error analysis and the math practice involving critiquing the reasoning of others.


Bucket of Lies: Solve math problems incorrectly, make copies of your work and place them into a bucket. Have students work in groups of 2-4. They will take out a problem, find the error and discuss how to correct it. This is an activity that you could do with every chapter. Use the errors you are seeing on formative assessments to help them prepare for their summative.


Do you want access to our entire library? Click the image below: 





Algebraic Proofs + Converting from standard form to slope-intercept form

This week in Algebra 1, we are doing stations. Our stations will involve Algebraic Proofs as well as converting from standard form to slope-intercept form. If you would like a copy of these stations, click here.

Station 1:  Algebraic Proof Envelopes

I’ve type statements and reasons for algebraic proofs. I will cut them apart and place them into an envelope. Students will place the steps/reasons in the appropriate order to complete the proof.


Station 2:  Algebraic Proof with Sleeves

Students will fill in the missing steps for proofs. They begin with only reasons missing. Then have steps and reasons. Finally, they have to write an entire proof on their own. They will have to complete the Algebraic proof envelopes first.


Station 3:  Bucket of Lies

This is an error analysis station. They will have to identify and correct my errors.


Station 4:  SAT Practice 

They will have to complete two practice SAT type questions.


Station 5: You Try It 

This is online practice through the website IXL.


Station 6: Write It 

This station involves writing in words how to convert from standard form to slope-intercept form.


If you would like a copy of these stations, please click here. I will share with you a 30-page pdf. It includes stations, directions and answer keys for each station.


What are your favorite activities to incorporate into stations?


write a mathography

Math Journal – Write a mathography

write a mathography

Have students write a math a mathography; great icebreaker activity and great for working on growth mindset


To begin every school year, I have students write a mathography.  I want to learn thier history with math. When I taught my 105 minute daily Algebra block class, they brought a lot of baggage with them to my room every day. Most of them hated math and had a bad experience with learning it.

I spent time working on changing how they viewed math and their ability to learn it. I begin with these questions in paragraph 1:

Paragraph 1: I would like to know more about your history with math and you as a learner.  

  • Give three adjectives to describe math and explain why you chose them.
  • As you look back at your favorite math lesson, what were you doing?
  • Describe a great math class.
  • Describe a great math teacher.
  • How do you like to learn?
  • Is there anything I should know to help you be successful in this class?

When they were writing the paragraph above, I stressed that I didn’t want them to write what they thought I wanted to hear. If they used words such as hate, boring, etc., I wanted them to explain why those were their adjectives.

I used their back story to change their viewpoint on math. My goal by the end of the year was to make the class their favorite subject!


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In addition to writing about their history with math, I wanted to learn more about their personal history.

Paragraph 2:  I would like to know more about your family.

  • How many people are in your family?  
  • Do you have any siblings? If yes, how old?
  • Do you have any pets?  If yes, what type and what are their names?
  • What was your favorite family vacation?
  • What are your favorite hobbies?

Paragraph 3:  I would like to know more about your passions.

  • What do you participate in outside of school?
  • What does your family do together for fun?
  • If you could spend time doing anything, what would you choose?

Before they began writing, we created a mapping diagram to help them organize their thoughts. In paragraph 1, we began by generating adjectives about math, then they gave a reason for their thoughts. They used this information to create their sentences for paragraph 1.

I’ve found created graphic organizers helped them write better.

Finally, I had them complete a rubric before they turned in their assignment. I do this with every writing assignment and project. I’ve found I receive higher quality work.



Began letter with  Dear  Yes No

Paragraph 1:

Addressed each bullet Yes No

Written in complete sentences Yes No

Appropriate grammar/spelling Yes No


Paragraph 2:

Addressed each bullet Yes No

Written in complete sentences Yes No

Appropriate grammar/spelling Yes No


Paragraph 3:

Addressed each bullet Yes No

Written in complete sentences Yes No

Appropriate grammar/spelling Yes No


Each Yes is worth 1 point and each No is worth 0 for a total of 10 points.



Grade out of           /10


Grade your paper using the rubric and staple this sheet to the top.



How to play mathland!  If you like this activity, please join our mailing list for an activity like this sent to you once a week, click here. 

Teacher Directions: 

  • Take colored pieces of paper and lay them around your classroom. I used red, yellow, blue, green, orange and yellow and this is the order I laid them out. Choose a pattern and keep it throughout the room.
    • Teaching Note:  I had different pathways but it was confusing to students. I changed my papers to only travel one path in my classroom.


  • On white pieces of paper, have the four math operations (plus, minus, times, and divide).
    • Teaching Note: You only need one copy of each. Spread these out amongst the colored sheets.
  • On the first paper, write start. On the last paper, write finish.
  • Deck of cards, You need to have the four operation symbols + colors of paper on the ground in the card deck for the game.
    • Teaching Note: I used the google documents playing card template to make my deck.
  • To mark the game board, use things already in your room. (stapler, tape, pencil, cups, etc.) Teaching Note: You need enough for each group to have one.
  • Place students into groups of 3-4.
  • Give students a problem set. You could share a Google Document with them, give them a worksheet, assign them problems from their book, hang problems on the wall, etc.)

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Student Directions: 
  • Solve a problem.
  • Check it with your teacher.
  • Draw a card from the deck and move the appropriate amount of spaces.
  • Repeat previous steps until you finish.

Gain access to activities that work for any math level/ content


sing it, songs to teach math

Sing It – Using Songs to Teach math

Gain access to a collection of activities that work for any math content/level

Gain access to game/activities that work for any math content.

Check out my good-bye song. I will be performing for each of my classes. Warning before you watch, I CAN’T SING!



I created a mash-up of songs to say good-bye to my students.

I’ve used songs throughout the year:

  • When I taught domain and range from a number line, we sang to Beyonce’s Irreplaceable. This really helped understand negative versus positive infinity. We sang, “To the right, to the right, positive infinity is off to the right or To the left, to the left, negative infinity is off to the left.”
  • At Christmas, our math class participated in an ugly sweater party. I launched our holiday party by singing the famous Christmas classic, “Have yourself an Arithmetic Sequence.”
  • We are currently working on solving quadratic equations. I had students write their own song for the quadratic formula. First, we sang it to “Pop Goes the Weasel.” Then I played for them the following examples from YouTube.

One Direction:


Cup Song:


Get Low:


  • Next, students wrote and performed their own song about the quadratic formula. There were some great performances. My top two were a group who sang to Eminem, and their song began, “If you know the quadratic formula, please stand up, please stand up.” I also had one group sing to Dean Martin’s That’s Amore

As they were working on a quadratic math lib in class today, I heard many of them humming their songs to remember the formula.


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sum it - a quadratic activity

Sum it – solving quadratic activity

We are beginning our ABC countdown tomorrow with Aloha day. I am trying to create a new activity for each day to celebrate our last few days together.

Tomorrow students are going to participate in an activity titled Sum It.

Teacher Directions: 

  • Place students in groups of 4.
  • Assign each student a letter (A – D).
  • Hand out the first problem set.


Student Directions: 

  • Solve the problem that corresponds to your letter.
  • Add all of your solution together.
  • Check your solution with your teacher.
  • Repeat previous three steps until you have finished all 7 problem sets.

I will have a prize for the first team to finish. Maybe I will bring some pineapple!

Once students are finished, they are going to complete a sort for solving by factoring versus solving using the square root method. One problem on the sort has solutions that are decimals which will lead to the quadratic formula on Friday.


Enjoy the last few days of school. If you are looking for more inspiration to end the year, join our active math tribe. We send a weekly email with a movement activity + Free murder mystery activity + Access to our free active math resource library.


What if your laundry wasn’t categorized?

Can you imagine getting dressed if you didn’t categorize your clothes? How much longer would it take you to get dressed in the morning?

Have you ever had someone else put away your dishes and tried to find something in the kitchen?

Students feel this way with math if they aren’t able to categorize it. One way to categorize is by using signs.


How do I use these signs in Algebra? 

We are currently working on solving quadratic equations. I made signs with the different ways of factoring, (GCF, trinomial, grouping, difference of squares).

I also made signs for different ways of solving (Factoring, Square Roots, Quadratic Formula).


How did I use these signs in AP Statistics? 

Another use I’ve found in AP Statistics is with probability and complements. (These are the ones in the image). I had students that didn’t understand how to identify the complement so I made signs. I needed a way to make the concept of complements concrete.

On one side was the probability from the problem (miss) and the other side was the complement (make).

First, they identified the probability in the problem then they flipped their sign to identify the complement. This helped them write the new probability.


Please comment with how could you use these signs in your room? 

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