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This Plus That: More Little Equations

This school year we are counting down the last days of school.  I mean, we all secretly count down the days, but this year for the first time we are doing it together as a school.  We are counting down the last 26 days of school by participating in an ABC countdown.  You know, A is for art creativity day, B is for busy buzzy bee day, C is for compliment day . . . and so on, until Z -- zip up your bags and zoom home for summer!  I have to say, the students are really enjoying each simple, yet fun activity as a break from the normal routines!

Well, Monday was M day (secretly that means there are only 13 more days to go).  M is for math activity day.  I teach reading and writing, so how was I going to manage this one?  Of course, we could read a book about fractions  -- Hershey's chocolate anyone?  We could write our own story problems using our names, or even write about why we love math so much because most kids who struggle with reading love math . . . There are numerous ways to integrate math, reading and writing.  But I have something better!

I recently shared a great new book that I discovered by Amy Krouse Rosenthal:  This Plus That: Life's Little Equations.   This was the perfect opportunity to share this selection with my students!

("M" day + fun math activity) x one perfect book = FUN(reading + writing + math)

After enjoying the book and sharing some of my equations, the students were challenged to create and write their own little equations.  Here's a sampling:

baby + toys = mess (Sehade, age 8)
Santa + gifts = Christmas (Khush, age 7)
book + read = happy (Rachel, age 6)
ice cream + toppings = yummy (Kacper, age 7)
bee + sting = ouch (Angel, 8)
best friend + angry = not best friend (Tristin, 8)
ice pack + patient = nurse's office (Carmen, 9)
friends + pillow fight = sleepover (Daniela, 10)
daylight + dimming = sunset (Cassi, 10)
reading + reading = improvement (Yvette, 9)  
papa + mama + baby = family  (Hannah, age 8)
D. Rose + slam dunk = MVP (Andrew, age 7)
water + waves = surfing (Tristin, 8)

Awesome mentor text + Great thinkers = Life's new equations


  1. These are awesome Michelle! I especially like the first one and the accompanying picture! How cute. And thanks for the book idea--I have ordered this and will use it next year in creative writing!

  2. A blog recommendation + internet connection + bookstore coupon = a new book at a great price
    Love the kids’ equations! I now have this book and plan to use it extensively next year.

  3. What a fun way to wrap up the year. I love how you embraced math activity day with your new book. I ordered this book after reading your blog last week. My boys are enjoying it and I can't wait to use it in the classroom next year. Happy alphabet countdown!

  4. Funny - I just wrote about a very different relationship with numbers (and a not so good math teacher in my past) - I heard Amy talk at a conference and need to get this book!

  5. What fun! I love both the alphabet countdown, as well as what you chose to do for the M's. Enjoy your last days of school.

  6. Michelle, what a terrific way to do the countdown that your school is doing. I'll pass that idea along to everyone. And, I'm glad you shared the use of the book that you talked about earlier. I have the book ordered and am happy to see the wonderful examples your students wrote. Have a good final two weeks!

  7. This such a great idea! I would like to try with 6th grade before the end of the year. Excellent lesson for reluctant and struggling writers. Thanks so much. :)

  8. I am so excited to steal this amazing idea!

  9. I just found these worksheets to use in my class! I LOVE this book!

  10. I just found these worksheets to use in my class! I LOVE this book!


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