Math Strategy Party

Your lesson will take place in the Super Kids Market exhibit. In this kid-sized supermarket inspired by a real Wegmans store you can make a “brick oven” pizza; scan bar-coded products at six actual, working check-out counters; host a television show; and much, much more.

Lesson extensions for before or after your visit

In this lesson, students will work in cooperative groups to shop and calculate their expenses for a party. Describing their math strategies will be the culminating activity. To enhance their experience, try these activities or create activities of your own.

Plan a meal

Have students work in small groups to plan a meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) for five people. Use local supermarket advertisements. Each group should create a shopping list and estimate the total cost of groceries. For additional connections, students can create miniature sculptures of the meal using clay and make an interesting display of their calculations.

How many ways can you make the number nine?

Thinking creatively and sharing ideas with each other can help students to see that there is more than one way to get an answer.

Challenge your class to write as many math problems whose solutions equal the number nine as they can. Students can work in teams to see who can come up with the most equations. Be sure they use each of the operations (+, –, x, ÷)!

Math strategies

Talking about math strategies takes practice. Letting students know that they will be discussing math strategies during their museum visit will help them to be successful.

  1. Write a word problem such as the following on the board. At lunch time, 6 students brought apples, 12 students brought oranges, and 4 students brought kiwis. There were 25 students in the class. How many students did not bring fruit? Challenge: How could the fruit be divided so that everyone had an equal share?
  2. Give students a chance to work on the problem independently.
  3. Have a group discussion about the math strategies used to solve this problem. What methods did students use to arrive at their answers? Then have everyone write his or her strategies out in sentences. Students can also write their own word problems and challenge classmates to answer them.

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