Symmetry with Pattern Blocks

Symmetry Fun

Symmetry with Pattern Blocks

We had lots of fun learning about symmetry this week! Besides the lesson in our math book, we did all sorts of great activities to practice creating symmetry. We have our standardized tests next week, so we enjoyed doing some fun activities to unwind and relax before our long week.

Symmetry with Pattern Blocks

First, we did a symmetry gallery walk activity. Each group got rulers and either pattern blocks or base ten blocks. They had to create half of a design on one side of the ruler. Then they had to collect the pieces someone would need to make the other half be symmetrical. This step is VERY important. Students that didn’t pay attention to that step created problems for the students that later tried to do the second half. After the students were done, they had a chance to walk around and choose another design to finish. Once they finished the design, they got to mix up the pieces and create a new design for someone else to finish. They loved creating designs and walking around to see everyone else’s designs!

Symmetry with Base Ten Blocks

Our next activity was probably my favorite! I took pictures of each student in front of the whiteboard. Then I went into PowerPoint and cropped each picture so it was cut in half – right down the middle of the nose. I printed them out (I used color, but you could also do it black and white) and surprised each student with their “half of a face”. I used an example to show them how they could use a ruler to measure to best match the other side of their face. Some however chose to just “eyeball” it. Then they mounted their picture on construction paper to post in the hallway! Some turned out amazing, others struggled, but they will make great memories for their family!

Symmetrical Photos Classroom Activity

Lastly, I wanted to do something for Valentine’s Day that incorporated symmetry into a Valentine’s gift they could give to family members. I found this great post on Pinterest – Create Art with Me: Valentine’s Day Projects. I decided to use the bookmark idea to create Valentine’s Day bookmarks using symmetry.

Symmetry Bookmarks

Go to the blog post for all of the directions. I let my students create any design they wanted. Some obviously turned out better than others, as with any craft, but overall it was definitely a success.  Instead of using packing tape, I just laminated them. If you don’t have a personal laminator for your classroom, I highly recommend it! So what symmetry activities are you doing in your classroom?

Symmetry Bookmarks

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Baseball Multiplication and Ugly Christmas Sweaters!

As we all know, keeping the students engaged during the days before a break is always a challenge. For the second year in a row, our third grade held a grade-wide baseball multiplication tournament complete with a bracket! Our building has three sections of third grade. The three teachers sat down and created 22 groups of 3. We numbered them and used that to create a bracket. We found a 22 team bracket on

Bracket for Baseball Multiplication Tournament

On the day of the tournament we super politely asked the custodian if we could borrow the lunchroom for an hour in the morning (between breakfast and lunch). Then we collected our dice, counters, and game mats. Our game mats are from Everyday Math. Not sure how to play Baseball Multiplication, click here! Then we explained the rules for the tournament to the students: everyone has to participate, take turns, be good sports, and follow our regular expectations. We explained that each team should switch after 3 outs or 3 runs. We shortened it to be able to get through 5 rounds of play. Then we set the students off to play! What were the other students doing when they had a “bye” or were out of the tournament?  We set up some tables with decks of cards for math games, crayons, pencils, clipboards, and plenty of fun math printables. The students loved the new math printables we saved up for this day. Their favorites were these fun “Ugly Christmas Sweater Color-By-Product” sheets!

Ugly Christmas Sweater Color-By-Product

They loved coloring the fun designs in fun color combinations while they practiced their multiplication facts! Then at the end of the tournament, we gathered all of the students together. After we had everyone help clean up, we announced the winners! The winning team received some large foam dice from Dollar Tree to play Baseball Multiplication with at home! The second and third place teams received a fun toy from Dollar Tree as well. The kids loved the tournament and we spent a solid hour practicing our multiplication facts the day before break! It’s a win-win!

Baseball Multiplication Tournament