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Mathmatic Magnets

Submitted by: Elizabeth Scheibl
From: Westerly, RI
Date Submitted: August 18, 2005

Every year I go to the craft store and purchase wooden people shapes (circles/ovals will do for head shots only) and hot glue gun a magnet on the back. Then on the first day of school I have the kids decorate them with construction paper, felt yarn, etc. to look like themselves. Myself and any other adults that work in my classroom also make a magnets and answer the questions. The kids love to find out bits of information about us. Later, I have them answer a graph question I have written on the board beforehand ( ex. When is your birthday? What type of books do you like to read? What is your favorite subject in school?) The kids them have to place their magnet in the correct spot on the graph. I have a new graph set up each day and the kids get used to answering the graph question first thing in the morning. I usually start off with bar graphs and explain pictographs. As the year progresses, we will count the magnets on a simple graph and put the information into line and circle graphs. This is a fun way to introduce your students to graphing and to learn about them.

I also use the magnets as a way to take a class vote. This keeps arguing to a minimum or students voting more than once. They can also be used later on to identify classroom helpers and are easy to change frequently

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