In the first days of school, our goals are both that kids get into subjects as well as that they build relationships with each other (just like last year!). One of our first forays into math this year was with a challenge about names.
The original activity was called “How Much is Your Name Worth?” and was all about how each letter of your name is worth a certain amount (i.e. a=1, b=2, c=3, etc.). While it was definitely a math challenge for some (we might have forgotten how to add over the summer!! LOL), it was also a reminder of how sometimes things are harder than we thought and we need to work through the tough parts.
For me, it was also an invitation to revisit the activity I was asking them to do and change what was tricky. Not because I wanted to make it easier, but because we realized that the directions on the first try were really confusing. Some were stuck with what to do, not how to do it. So I made a new sheet, and also invited a new question to the challenge that they could attempt with a partner (which added another level to the activity). Their new question was:
The other thing that happened here was watching kids as they solved the problem of who’s name was most expensive by thinking about both the length of the names, and which letters were included. There were resources everywhere that could help them if they knew they were there: the lunch sheet, our checkoff grids, the word wall, the helper chart, our mailboxes, our cubbies–the list went on and on!
In the end we didn’t really ask the question of who’s name was most expensive, but we all got our math brains moving, solved some problems together and worked with our friends! That’s a great start in my book!