Monday, May 5, 2014

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

When I think of Cinco de Mayo, I rarely think about what the holiday actually means. It is pretty sad that I honestly have to re-research every year why we celebrate this holiday.

Since we are studying Mexico (ancient Aztecs, but still), I had to include some activities around Mexico's defeat over Napoleon's French army.

I decided to begin the day with a small packet at each child's desk that I downloaded off of Teachers Pay Teachers (click the link to see the maze that will explain what happened in Puebla!) Along with the maze, I also included a small synopsis of what the holiday celebrates with some follow up questions that I found on the same website. (Honestly, fellow teachers, please don't reinvent the wheel! There are so many great activities for free on TPT that save me time every day and they add so much to my own lessons!)

Pregunta: How can I add Cinco de Mayo fun in my math lessons?

Cinco de Mayo fun brings me back to some of my college days, where Cinco de Mayo was the last big hurrah before finals and packing up our dorms for the summer. I went to many tacky theme parties, and even though these games are not traditional to Mexico, they are a tradition at college parties everywhere: BEER PONG  and FLIP CUP.

No, I did not give my 3rd and 4th graders alcohol, people! But I did kinda-sorta teach them drinking games to practice multiplication!

In MULTIPLICATION PONG, the cups are set up:

Instead of beer in each cup (seriously, if you think I did that, I'm worried about you!), I wrote down a multiplication equation that we are practicing.

The kids had three chances to throw a ping-pong ball into the cup. If they land inside a cup, they have to answer the multiplication equation. If they don't answer it correctly, they have to do as many jumping jacks as the product :)

Now, for multiplication flip cup:

I wrote down a multiplication equation on the inside of a cup.

Then, I flipped the 3 cups upside down and placed them at the edge of the table. There were 3 cups on each end. Teams had to compete against each other to flip over all 3 cups and answer the equations underneath. Whoever flipped over all of their cups and answered the problem correctly won that round! Each team had 5 tries for each cup. Again, if they flipped over a cup but did not know the answer, they had to do as many jumping jacks as the product.

It was a raucous, good time had by all! I'm almost sad I won't get to witness what might happen seven years from now at their first college parties when one of my former students says "I think we played this game in math in third grade..."

We have been studying skip counting patterns to help us understand multiplication. I wanted to do some reinforcement of skip counting and number patterns with my class, so I gave the kids a fun Mexican food themed worksheet to find patterns.

Of course, we couldn't do a worksheet about chips and salsa without enjoying some ourselves. Luckily for snack, we could have our very own fiesta with chips and guac at snack! Muy delicioso!

I am going to continue the Cinco de Mayo celebration at home tonight.  I am going to be doing some Latin dancing in my weekly Zumba class, and will be making tacos for dinner! How are you celebrating?

Adios, mis amigos! 

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