Friday, August 10, 2012

Words into Math

Last year, I found (and made my own version of) a study sheet called "Words into Math" for my students in Algebra 1.
(Credit: I Speak Math)

I decided this summer to adapt it using posters, word strips and velcro into an activity.  I bought colored poster boards at the Dollar Tree and began cutting out each sign from a different color.  I drew the arrow and parentheses on half sheets of white poster board.  I had bought word strips the year before at the Dollar Tree (yes, it is one of my favorite stores!)

I wrote out all the words from the sheet above on the word strips and trimmed them.

I cut 1 inch strips of velcro and placed the soft side on the words and the other side on the posters.

Here is a picture of my work in progress.

This is what the students will see when they come in.  I will hand out the words on strips when they walk in.  Since there are 34 words, some students will get more than one.

I will explain the activity and have a couple of students at a time place their word(s) on the poster(s).  If someone is struggling, he/she can ask a classmate for help.

As a group, we will discuss the words and determine if all of them are placed properly.

This is my intro to word problem solving for all levels that I teach.  It will be new to some and a refresher for others.

These will be hung at the back of the classroom from the ceiling on clips with string (Lakeshore Learning store in Tampa).

This is what the activity looks like when it's ready to store.

Words into Math

UPDATED: I noticed that the picture of the Words into Math Worksheet and the uploaded doc had errors.  Both of those have been corrected and re-upoaded.  Sorry for any inconvenience!


  1. First of all, thanks for the credit! Second, I LOVE this activity that you made! It's so amazing when other teachers take something and make it so much better!

  2. Thank you for your comment! I often find myself using other teachers' ideas and making them work in my classroom. My husband and I joke that we are both "modifiers" not always original! LOL...

  3. What are the lengths of each of them? Did you play around with it or did you find dimensions somewhere?

  4. The colored posters took a whole poster board except the minus sign. The white ones took the whole board but are smaller ones (12"x18"). The word strips were originally 11", but after writing each word, I trimmed them down. After I wrote all the words, I laid them onto the posters to see how many there were of each and to space them out properly. I used 1 piece of velcro behind each word so the kids wouldn't be able to guess which poster a word went on by looking at the length between the velcros!! I try to think of every little trick they might use.

    To give you an idea of their size, the table (next to last pic) is 2'x6'. It looks smaller because I had to stand on my counter to get all the posters in the same picture!

    Hope this explains it a little better! If not, let me know and I can measure them and take better pics this week.

    Thank you for your interest in my project!

  5. This is such a great idea! I was wondering - do you do this as an "intro" activity or more as practice and reenforcement? I can see it being both, just curious as to which works for you -- thanks!!

  6. Thank you!! I used it for the first time last year with my seniors in Math for College Readiness (remedial math) and will do that again this year. It was more as a refresher, but for some it might have been the first time they have really been exposed to it outside of the actual word problems. If I were teaching pre-algebra, maybe even lower, I would use it as teaching aide, then again as a refresher.