I am always on the lookout for some new first-week activities to do with my 6th grade math students. In addition to "get to know you" activities, I like to find projects that are fun, math-related, and motivating for students during those first few weeks. One of these projects that I have always done during the first week of school (but you could really do any time of the year) is my Math is Everywhere tile activity. Before the year starts, I buy some white card stock (or white-ish...this year I got some silver/metallic card stock). I then cut them into square tiles. This year I cut them into tiles with 5 inch sides, but I think I have done 6x6 in past years. Whatever works for you! I use a corner rounder from Target to round of the corners of the tiles. Here are the tiles and the start of my example tile that I created to show my students.
For the project, students must think of a place that they see or use math in the real world. I usually brainstorm a list as a class, and then students can either use one from the list or think of their own topic! Once they choose a topic, they use a tile, pencil, ruler, and colored pencils to show how they see math in their topic. Being the baseball fan that I am, I chose to make my Math is Everywhere tile about how we see and use math in baseball. Below is my finished example tile!
*Tip: Many of my students who choose a sport want to know the dimensions of the court, field, etc. Last year, I printed out sheets that had the dimensions to save the time and hassle of students looking them up!
Once the students are finished creating their tile, there is one more step. On the back of the tile, they must write at least three sentences describing what they chose and how math is seen in their topic. Here is the example that I wrote for baseball.
Finally, once all of the tiles are finished and turned in (don't forget names!), I put them all up on my bulletin board. I cut out the words "Math is Everywhere" and staple them in the middle of the board, surrounding it with all of the finished tiles! Here is a shot of this year's tiles! I have a few more still to add, but it's already starting to come together!
Update: I recently posted the "Math is Everywhere" bulletin board letters for free in my TpT store. Be sure to grab them at the following link! Also included in the resource are letters that say "Welcome to 6th Grade" that I use for my hallway bulletin board.
I am excited to link up this post with Miss Math Dork's awesome monthly Math IS Real Life link up! Click the link or picture to see some other great ways we see math in the real world!