Tag Archives: Math

EQAO Measurement Math Task Cards

21 Jan

If you’ve read anything we have ever posted then this confession will not shock you. We get bored. Frequently. Probably more often than we should. The thought of doing the same thing year after year is well, it’s enough to make us want to take naps. Long naps. At school. The first couple of years of an assignment you need to repeat just about everything. You make minor revisions based on your experiences the first time. Nothing crazy. Just enough to make it run more smoothly. You don’t do much else because you’re too busy treading water just trying to keep up with learning new curriculum and wading through oceans of marking.

Once you finally get a sense of some routine, boredom sets in. You lose enthusiasm for the topic which is critical in selling it to your students. Yet, you’re tired, there’s still oceans of marking and you don’t want to spend crazy amounts of time thinking of new things to do. Sometimes it’s also difficult as you know it’s something your students in the past really enjoyed doing. The sometimes odd struggles of being a teacher:)

Below is something to help you keep moving along your boredom line. Could be something new to you or similar to something you’ve done but with enough changes to make you somewhat more enthusiastic.


This week, we are sharing the first task cards for measurement. These cards focus more on converting units of measure, selecting the most appropriate unit of measure, etc.  Again, these are from the Ministry and not our creation – we have just compiled them to help us out as we work through EQAO related tasks. 









You can download the file here:

EQAO Measurement Task Cards Brownlee and Belanger


Measurement: Converting Units and Perimeter

2 Jan

This is our second attempt at this blog entry. Our first was, well, it was maudlin and depressing at best. Not very uplifting for the holidays. Basically, we had realized we had stopped doing some things that we used to love. Reflecting on this created a woeful tract filled with plaintive mourning – you could almost hear the self-pitying sighs! Now that we have had some extra sleep, it’s somewhat amusing to read.

The gist of what we wanted to say was take time over the holidays to do something you love. That was it. A lot of dramatic writing to essentially give some cliched advice. It’s also why this is a quick entry. One of us wants to get back to her book and one is still working on mastering her knitting loom.

Sine we both like sharing, we can give you freebies. For this entry we are sharing our interactive notebook entries for measurement on converting units and perimeter.



You can download these files here:

Metric Staircase INB Brownlee and Belanger

Perimeter INB Brownlee and Belanger




Open Response and Math

23 Sep

Over the summer, one of us read way too many math focussed books and not enough fiction.  Then, not content with just reading the books, she often decided that she had to make some organizers to go with the math text.  As Dr. Marian Small is a math guru, she decided to start with her work. Turns out Dr. Small has way more books than anticipated! Anyway, long and boring story cut short, Dr. Marian Small’s Good Questions: Great Ways to Differentiate Mathematics Instruction was a (relatively) more interesting read and offered some great ideas for math instruction. These included:

  • Turning around a question
  • Asking for similarities and differences
  • Asking for a number sentence
  • Replacing a number with a blank
  • Changing the question

Turning around a question, has the teacher give the answer while the students create the problem or number sentence. Asking for similarities and differences, allows students to discuss how items or concepts are alike or different (pretty self-explanatory concept really!). In asking for a number sentence, students are asked to create sentences that include certain words and numbers.

Now that we are back to school, the studious one of us is regretting her poor judgement in frittering away her time on thoughtful tasks. Her sister very nicely sorted out a stack of mysteries for her to read but did she complete that pile? Noooo. Well, her loss is your gain. If you are interested, below are organizers that will help you use these concepts in your classroom.

Now, go! Find a good mystery to read before it’s too late.


Download the file here: Open Math Questions Student Response BLM Brownlee and Belanger

Rotational Art

21 Jun

During a recent unit on transformations in geometry, we decided to combine math and art. We have done this before with Wassily Kandinsky’s concentric circles and an attempt at a perimeter art. While we would happily do Kandinsky’s circles again, we definitely need to revisit the perimeter art idea!

In art, we had been looking at the Pop Art movement through the works of Jim Dine and Keith Haring and were to continue with a look at Andy Warhol. We decided to take the Warhol lesson and mix it up by adding in the concept of transformations. We focussed on the idea of a 4 quadrant approach, bright colours, images from pop culture and, the requirement to complete one of each transformation. Students needed to reflect, rotate and translate their image. How they did this would be explained in their artwork reflection. Since it was one of those last minute decisions the lesson itself needs some work but the overall idea yielded some great artwork!

Fractions, Decimals, Ratio and Percent

2 Apr

We’re in the process of looking at how fractions, decimals, ratio and percent connect. We started off with our interactive math journals to set the foundation for these concepts and create a place that would help students find answers or review processes –  we also decided to add in a section on relating these to our benchmark percentages.  During the week, we used an activity wherein students coloured a pattern or image on a 100s grid in order to help students visually see the relationships. It also allows students to see another creative connection between art and math.

They enjoyed the activity and it seemed to help them see the relationships. After this however, when we were working on some pattern block fractions tasks, we noticed that the students were struggling with the some of the key concepts.  We were thinking that one part of the problem is that we do often present students with items such as the perfect 100s grid when looking at fractions. Consequently, we started to use fraction talks, to look at different shapes and how to determine the fractions within that shape.

As a next step, we think we will revisit our grid by changing the size or how it has been segmented to see if students can show the changes in their learning. Not certain if we will do this through a fractions talk or have them complete it and record their thinking.  As well, we may adjust our ratio column to look at part to part ratios versus part to whole ratios. We are hoping the second piece will reflect a greater depth of knowledge.