Elementary Math Night

The thing I love about being a teacher librarian is that just about every curricular area fits into it.  Exhibit A, Math Night!

Elementary Math Night

A month ago or so, a third grade teacher and I were talking and she said, “Wouldn’t it be great to have a Math Night, sort of like we had Literacy Night?” It was like she was reading my mind!  I’ve been involved in the Governor’s STEM initiative, but it’s hard for kids to get excited about STEM at high school, junior high, upper elementary – whenever we decide that it’s super important – if we haven’t laid the foundation at all levels.  Math Night seemed like just the ticket.

Several teachers, our principal – plus my husband and daughters! – participated by leading children in fun math games.  My contribution was a QR Code  Scavenger Hunt which I shouldn’t have procrastinated . . . The steps for that were:

  1. Take pictures of 35 items around the school – either in the library or visible from a hallway
  2. List the pictures with descriptive names in alphabetical order in a numbered list
  3. Post those pictures online – I ended up putting them on this blog because WordPress allowed me to upload all of them at once, which my LIS website wouldn’t do
  4. Grab the URL for an individual picture, then create a QR code for it in a QR website
  5. Most important step – immediately save the name of that QR code, indicating what was in the picture!
  6. Put the QR code in a desktop publishing document with the number from the text list so I knew what the QR code was for
  7. Print out that document
  8. Cut out the QR codes with the assigned numbers
  9. Write the number on the back of the QR code
  10. Trim the QR code so only the code itself was showing
  11. Take my list and create four different scavenger hunts with it – so #1 goes to #3 goes to #5 goes to #18 etc.  Ten locales for each
  12. This was the hard part – Take #3 to #1, #5 to #3, etc.  It was confusing!
  13. Print out a form for families to write out the things they found at each QR code

Whew!  I’m sure there’s an easier way, just not sure what it is.  Any ideas?

Plus, when I was in the midst of #12, I found that two pictures that I had taken now were taken down.  Ruh-roh!  So when people started doing it, I told them there might be a gap in the hunt and to just look for other QR codes.  I also said that people who didn’t have a smart phone could participate that way, and as much as possible, I showed them on my phone what the QR fuss was all about.  It seemed like it was faster to just look around for the QR codes – my reader was really pokey!


The most fun – and yummiest – time I had was manning the Hershey Bar fractions table.  Here’s my oldest daughter taking a turn:


Sadly, it looks like the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Fractions Book is out of print.  You can still get it from used sellers on Amazon, however.  (I’d wait for the price to go down – $29.95??)


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