I put together a sheet of math problems or task cards that are numbered. I typically always utilized task cards for students to review what has been taught all year that I want students to review. You may also utilize math problems related to the current curriculum you've been teaching. Cut task cards or printed math problems apart into one problem per small sheet of paper. Have an answer key printed with the numbered problems - you'll need this the day of the activity. This activity may also be completed with any subject being taught!
Place the individual math problems or task cards into a plastic Egg. They may be folded if you need to. Make sure you have enough eggs for students. I typically have double the eggs than the amount of students I teach. You will, at minimum, need the total number of eggs to be the total number of students you have in your class. I always based the number of problems and eggs I had on the 'fastest working' students I had and the number of students I was teaching. It's better to have too many math problems and eggs than not enough. I wanted them to work through the whole class time. Fill all of your plastic eggs with the individual math task cards or math problems you've cut into one problem per small sheet of paper as shown below.
Place the eggs filled with math problems in a shoebox as demonstrated above in the photo. Make sure the eggs are all closed to hide the math problems. (In the above photo some are open to show you how I put them together. If you look closely my box is becoming tattered so I may have to use a new one this year.) Now all of your materials are ready!
4.) Lead in with Mystery!
Every year I lead students into this activity with mystery! I stand at the door when they enter class with the shoe box under my arm. Of course students are asking why I am carrying a box and want to know what is inside. I let them know when we all get settled I'll let them know what is inside, yet, they have to follow my directions explicitly. When all students are in class and seated I ask what they think is in the box and we have a brief discussion. I then state again they must follow every direction the first time and exactly as I ask or they will not find out what is in the box.
Now the fun part - the total surprise of Eggstravagant Math! I have students lay a piece of paper and pencil on their desk to begin work they will do in a few minutes...of course a few may complain because they really, really want to know what is in the box. I now ask all students to stand up with their hands out and eyes closed. I state that they are not to say a word at all especially after they reach in the box and get something out! I state the directions 2-3 times. You are to stand, eyes closed, and I'll let you reach in and get one thing out of the box, but, you must absolutely not say a word until I say open your eyes. After this I go around the room, state the students name, and "You may now reach in the box and get one thing out. You may not keep it, but, you will use it today."
You may also teach a lesson walking around with the box and let students know after they complete this lesson you'll let them know what is in the box during another activity. I did this during my student teaching when I first created my "Eggstravagant Math Activity" and I was teaching all subjects. Students worked very hard that day and followed every direction just to find out what was in the box.
After all students have an egg, I have them open their eyes. The excitement of having an Easter Egg is wonderful for the students. They then open their eyes and I usually hear 'Aw Ms Moore, it's math to do' and then I hear some chuckles and comments on 'you really got us', etc. At this point when some even state 'I thought you were giving us candy, etc'. I do get everyone's attention, state they are to have paper and work out the problems and I'll check them and after they do the activity, I have candy for them....how can I not have candy with Easter Eggs!
This is when the answer key already printed is perfect to have in hand. If you have 20 or more students working and they want to know if they are correct, then, I have the key ready to check their answers. If the student's answer is incorrect they rework the problem they have prior to choosing another egg math problem to solve.
I also remind them they may not keep my eggs or the math problems, especially, if I am teaching more than one class. The students must also put their math problem back into the egg and can exchange it for another to work on. I do this when I have many classes a day I'm teaching. Another very important piece of information I let students know when I hand out candy - I ask them to promise not to tell any of the other students what is in the box that day. I had to do this one year when I taught 4 classes with lunch between the class schedule....I didn't want them sharing this very secretive information about my mystery box!
All of my students loved this (First grade up to 8th grade) and how I engaged them with the mysterious shoe box, easter eggs, and math. Many would ask me to do the activity again and again.
I sincerely hope you enjoy me sharing one of my favorite activities with you. If you need math task cards, please, visit my TpT Store's Category Task Cards at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Moore-Resources/Category/Task-Cards-Starters or visit my TpT store for numerous resources such as quizzes, worksheets, and more that may be used for this lesson at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Moore-Resources.
Best Wishes, Ms Moore
Certified K-6, 6-9 math, and 6-9 science
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