Category Archives: Station Activities

Enticing Students to Think with Food


What better way to end our semester than a few tasks involving food?  Sometimes the last weeks of school can be filled with multiple distractractions.  In hopes of holding my students’ attention while they’re in class, I am bribing them to think with food.  Yes, I have fallen to enticing them with external rewards.








With the Oreo Mega Stuff,  A Recursive Process offers some research by Chris & Chris.  My plan is to follow the QFT model outlined here.  I just recently became aware of the Question Formulation Technique which I shared in this post.  The Q-Focus is simply to display my package of Mega Stuf Oreos, wondering what questions they have – recording all of their comments as questions …and follow the process allowing them to determine their own questions, lead their own learning.  Though I would hope they would approach this from a volume stand-point – letting them design their own questions may lead to other ideas and I am fine, so long as they are thinking and talking math, yes they may eat their research tools once they’ve answered their chosen question.  The final product will be a 30-second pro/con commercial Mega vs. Original supported by their mathematical findings.

Offering several stations to review surface area and volume formulas utilizing various candies as they are packaged as well as the infamous pouring water from a pyramid to a cube / cylinder to a cone will be modeled as one of the station activities.

Finally, using the  Ice Cream Cone  found at Illustrative Mathematics.

ICE CREAM prompt and file

As a “reward” for successfully completing this task, I think a class Ice Cream Party would be appropriate.  I just need to know how much ice cream I should purchase to ensure everyone has plenty to enjoy without too many leftovers.  Assuming the cones are filled with ice cream with a “spherical” scoop atop – sounds like a great homework practice problem to me…

Geometric Measurement and Dimension (GMD)  Explain volume formulas and use them to solve problems
  • G-GMD.1 – Give an informal argument for the formulas for the circumference of a circle, area of a circle, volume of a cylinder, pyramid, and cone. Use dissection arguments, Cavalieri’s principle, and informal limit arguments.
  • G-GMD.3 – Use volume formulas for cylinders, pyramids, cones, and spheres to solve problems.
  • G-MG.A.3 : Modeling with Geometry- Apply geometric methods to solve design problems (e.g., designing an object or structure to satisfy physical constraints or minimize cost; working with typographic grid systems based on ratios).
Several times this year, I’vfe gotten the GMD (geometric measureme and dimension) and MG (modeling with geometry)domains mixed up, I am slowly beginning to internalize the new notations. 🙂

I also like this prompt: Doctor’s Appointment for GMD-A.3.

On a side note – Reading an article in MT the other night – I wondered, “Was I supposed to know that?”

The derivative of area of a circle is the circumference?  The derivative of volume of a sphere is surface area?  Similarly…derivative of area of square is half the perimeter, derivative of volume of cube is half surface area…  How/Why did I miss that? Or did I know it at some point but just pushed it aside years ago?  Interesting…made me wonder and I started looking at other figures – will share more later.

Station Activities – Geometry first attempt


Geometry Station Activities by Walch

Geometry Station Activities for Common Core Standards (Station Activities for Common Core High School Math)

With little time to plan, I jumped right in to a set of station activities for my semester – block Geometry classes!

My first run was with the parallel lines / transversals stations (I know its a bit out of order, but it will be okay!).

I instructed students to take out one sheet of graph paper and we folded them in half, labeling Station 1 & 2 sections on one side and Station 3 & 4 sections on the back side.   Students were in groups of 3 or 4.  I know the big idea is to move around to the various stations – but my new room is too small :(.  Rather than running a ton of copies, I made 3 complete sets of the statin instructions and placed them into page protectors.  Students completed their work on the graph paper.  When complete, they would exchange their station instructions for another station set located in front of the room.  This way students do not have to wait on other groups to complete before moving on.

Using a different color for each station, I highlighted the station # and any Words Worth Knowing (thanks everybody is a genius blog!).  Two of the lessons called for spaghetti, I used toothpicks.  Each student will also need protractors.  The stations are not dependent on one another, so order of completion did not matter.

The discussions were great because students’ angle measures were not equal to their group members’ but the same “patterns” occurred.  I probably like the discussion questions component of the activities best.  Each student responds to a given set of questions in writing.  Then they must pair up with someone who was not in their original group to discuss their responses.  Simple misconceptions are quickly cleared up during this time.

The layout of this lesson allows students to talk about and look for patterns during the station groups.  They process their new information as they write responses and allowed to share verbally again with a partner.  Finally, as a whole class we debrief the entire lesson(s).   This format really supports the literacy strategies discussed this summer in our twitter book chat #lit4math.

I like that no prior knowledge was required for students to successfully learn about transversals and the special angle relationships formed when parallel lines are present.

I have compared the listed CCSS for Geometry Station Activities to the suggested Geometry standards of Appendix A and this book addressed over 75% of those standards.  Only the measurement and any probability suggested for Geometry are not included in this book.  There are 16 station sets and I have my students for 18 weeks…my thought is to use at least one per week, as appropriate…  I’ll share more as we get in to the semester.  But for this first run, I say 2 thumbs up.

*Station 4 deals with corresponding angles – and I reworded Question #1, because it was misleading.  Anytime you use investigations, you should definitely go through the entire lesson / activity before presenting it to your students.  (duh?) I see this happen too often, teachers just pull out an activity and pass out to students with little/no knowledge of what students will expect / questions they will ask.  The book also gives a list of possible student misconceptions to watch for.

If your students are not used to this layout of lesson – it may take a little more time to get them through it.  Once students got a feel for it, the last stations went more smoothly and quickly.

I hope to hear more from others who are using station style lessons. @tbanks06 also shared some experiences with stations for #myfavfriday and said its the best $40 you’ll spend this year!  Shop around – I found all 3 of my station books for under $85 total.

Got to give a little shout out to HoppeNinjaMath – welcome her to math teacher blogging!

Station Activities for Algebra I

I began working on creating cards for the activities needed in this book:.  I typed the “index cards” needed for several of the lessons.  Feel free to borrow/tweak and use in your classroom – and share – please, just don’t sell “my cards.”  You can find the card sets I completed here.

I am now teaching Algebra 2 and Geometry, so the Algebra I project is not going to get completed anytime soon.  Sorry.

Made for Math Monday Project #2 Station Activities



So what’s up for M4MM this week?   Maybe not so crafty – but useful and needed.

Hanging Vinyl Tape Measures

Often I am collecting “vertical” height data – either with students’ heights, bouncy balls or Barbie Bungee.

I have a set of 10 metal tape measures (from the tech prep era grants), similar to this  but it takes several pieces of duct tape criss-crossed to hold these up on a wall.  It would be more ideal if I could find lightweight, vinyl sewing tape measures.  However, most of those are only 60″.  Considering I teach 9th grade, many of my students are taller than this.  I picked up a couple of the tapes at my local Mighty $1 planning to piece them together and use a sharpie to remark it and make a longer tape.  To my surprise – the tape measures were 8′!    Woo hoo!  So, now, I actually needed  to cut the tape measure down.


  • Sticky wall-hook
  • D-ring or key-ring
  • Vinyl tape measure
  • A couple of marbles/stones for weight.
  • Hot Glue

I trimmed my tape to 82″, folded it over the D-ring and glued it.  I then glued a couple of flat marbles to the bottom to give it weight, allowing it to hang straighter on the wall.


Next, I measured 80″ on my wall to determine where to place my hook.


With the hooks in-place around my classroom, I can pull the tape measures out of the box and quickly hang them up prior to data collection.  They can also be hung backwards to measure in centimeters.  This is a project I’ve contemplated for a couple of years – and MMM has given me reason to actually do it!


Magnetic Border for your White Boards

If you also notice my white board border (Hmmm.  How are those two words related?  Random thought from all the literacy reading I’ve been doing this summer.)  This is something I’ve done for several years.   I purchase magnetic strips; cut them down to 1″ – 2″ pieces; hot glue them on the backs of border strips and use them on my white-boards.   I make sure to have pieces on the ends of the border strips and space out a few magnets in between.  I actually saw this same idea on an elementary blog the other day (sorry, I didn’t pin it) – but she had laminated her border, then hot glued the magnets on it.  I’m just too lazy to do this – but I’m sure it would allow the border to last longer.  Although, mine lasted several years and still looked great without being laminated- I was just ready for a change – and I did occasionally have to replace a strip that had gotten bent/written on.  You could easily use different borders to block your larger boards off into sections.

Station Activities for Algebra I

Another project I am working on – organizing materials needed for Station Activities from this book .

Though not difficult, it takes a bit of time to prepare the cards needed for some of the activities.  I began with their suggestion of index cards – then decided to actually create a file of the cards, so  I could share with other teachers.  Feel free to borrow/tweak and use in your classroom – and share – please, just don’t sell “my cards.”  I will share the files here as I complete them.  Open the files, print on card stock ( I suggest a different color for each station to keep them separated, but they are labeled*), cut apart, laminate (if you like) and have fun!

I also purchased 8×10 clear acrylic frames as suggested by I Speak Math in this post.  I really like her idea of creating a 5th station but only assigning students to 4 stations – to avoid overlap – removing the set time limit at each station can allow groups to work at their own pace.   As I plan for my 5th stations, I will post those suggestions here.

You will still need to purchase your own copy of the book for the actual station activities, but hopefully these files will help make your implementation of the activities a bit easier.  You can download a sample lesson from each of their books.  The book is from Walch Education but I shopped around and found mine for about $15 less. 🙂

If you notice a missing card set, either the lesson does not require cards or I just haven’t finished them/uploaded yet (sorry).

*Card Label sample:  REI Set 1 Solving Linear Equations #2 means Reasoning with Equations and Inequalities Activity Set 1 and Station #2.  The labels may/may not need to be there since this is my first go-round with this book/activities.

I’ve gotten all of the shared cards printed and cut apart – and ran them up to school – our Library Media Specialist volunteers to laminate items for us during the summer (THANK YOU DH!!!!)

While making these cards and going through some of the activities – my wheels have started turning – on ways I can use some of the strategies in other pieces of content standards as well…more to come on those later!

Hope you’ve found a helpful hint or resource in my post today!!!