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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Learning Never Takes a Break!

When I ask kids what they did over spring break, I so often hear "nothing." Horse Hockey!  Even if you didn't go on an extravagant vacation, you most certainly DID do something.  Then I pose the question, "How did you use math during spring break?" and the vast majority say they didn't. Au Contraire, my friends! Then one or two students will get what I'm asking them, and the class goes wild!

By the time we posted all of our math ideas, the kids were so thrilled with their list.  They thought they were oh, so, creative (and many of them were)! They were pleased that they did, indeed do math, and they started seeing math everywhere.

And then I asked them how they used reading over spring break, and you guessed it, they say they didn't! (Or if I'm lucky, a few will say that they read a book).  Eventually they get this, too, and we continue to generate ways we read over spring break.

This is a quick but incredibly meaningful activity to do with students when they return from break (spring break, winter break, beginning of the school year, etc.).  It is such a great reflection, and every time I do it, the kids love it.  They always come back telling me all the ways they used math the next day!

Update:  I decided to add a FREE printable version of the anchor chart for students to bring home with them over the break so you have the option of giving them a bit more time to think through their ideas! I'd recommend sending these pages home over the break so they can track them, then have them select their favorites to put on the class chart.  Click the image below to enjoy the freebies.


  1. I like this idea because it gets the kids thinking that these skills just aren't used in school.

  2. Wanted to add just found your task card corner. My students love doing task cards :)

  3. We go back I'm doing this tomorrow! Great idea :-) The posters look awesome.


  4. I love this idea - what a great way to reinforce how they use these their skills everyday. I will be pinning this for next year!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  5. Love, love, love this idea!! Definitely keeping it around for next year at this time :) Thanks!

    3rd Grade Thoughts

  6. Great idea! Would love to do this after summer break.:)

    iTeach 1:1

  7. Such a great idea!! I will definitely be doing this tomorrow morning. What a great way to wake up their brains after a break while reinforcing real-world math and reading! Thanks for sharing! :)

  8. Thanks for sharing this quality information with us and i like this. I hope you post again soon.

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  9. Creative. Truly, creative. Thanks for sharing this awesome idea with us. I am pinning it, and I am tweeting it.