Fun fact about me… I love a good math craft! I enjoy them so much that I’ve included an engaging math craft in all of my guided math units for 1st-3rd grade to wrap up each unit. I’ve also created an endless math craft bundle that includes a ton of fun crafts for different holidays and skills that you can use throughout the year. If you too are a math craft lover, read on as I share a couple of ways that you can incorporate them into your instruction. I’m also sharing a simple way to bring your students’ math crafts to life using a free app called ChatterPix.
How to Incorporate Math Crafts Into Your Lesson Plans
While math crafts are cute, you may be wondering just how to make time for them in your already jam-packed math block. No matter how long you have to teach math, I have a couple of tips to help you incorporate these engaging crafts into your math lessons.
Tip #1: Don’t make it overly complicated.
In my guided math units, I incorporate a skill-based math craft at the end of every unit. This is the activity that students complete independently after they finish their assessment.
Once students finish their end of unit assessment, they can get the pieces for their math craft and get started creating.
To ensure all students know how to complete the math craft, show them a finished example and walk them through the steps and directions before they start their assessment. Hang your finished example on the board or in a place where all students can reference it.
Then, when it’s time to get started, they will know exactly what to do and don’t have to interrupt you or their friends.
Tip #2: Have students complete math crafts as independent practice.
You can have your students complete their math craft independently. This can be incorporated either during your independent practice time in your math block or throughout the day.
Math crafts are a great activity for students to work on as an early finisher activity or at the end of the day if they have extra time.
Tip #3: Include math crafts in your math stations.
One of my favorite ways to incorporate math crafts, and a lot of teachers don’t think about this, is to include them in your math stations.
You can make a math craft one of your math stations. Simply take a finished example and place it inside of your basket, drawers, or wherever you store your math station activities.
Include your example for students to see. Then, have the blank templates and pieces that students will need to complete their own. During their math station time, students can complete their math craft.
Don’t feel like your students have to complete their entire math craft in one day, either. They can complete it in chunks over the course of a few days.
For example, they can make their craft and complete the math portion one day. Then the next day, they can complete the writing portion if there is one or finish up on the math portion. On day 3, they can bring their math craft to life using the free app, ChatterPix.
Speaking of ChatterPix, let me tell you how this app works and how it can help bring your students’ math crafts to life!
How to Bring Your Math Crafts to Life Using ChatterPix
Math crafts are already fun as it is, but I’m going to share how you can bring them to life and take them to the next level with a free and simple app called ChatterPix! You can find this app in both the Apple store and Google Play store.
For this example, I’m going to use my Reindeer Shape Craft. What I love about this math craft is that it incorporates math and writing all in one fun craft. This shape craft is available in my TpT store and website store as well as in my math craft bundle.
How to Use ChatterPix
To make this reindeer shape craft, students are given various shapes to build a shape reindeer. Then they identify the shapes used and their attributes on a graphic organizer. They write down what shapes their body, eyes, antlers, and nose are made of as well as the attributes for each one.
If you would like to take it a step further, you can have your students write about their reindeer. Once they complete the writing process, this is where they can bring their math craft to life with ChatterPix.
This particular craft has a lot of different writing prompts included, so that no matter what level your students are at, they can be successful with this activity.
Once your students have opened the ChatterPix app, they are going to select “Take photo.” Then, they use their device to take a photo of their math craft.
From here, it is going to prompt them to draw a line. The line is going to be the part of the picture that opens up like a mouth to talk.
If your math craft is supposed to have a mouth, like this shape reindeer for example, have them draw their line where the mouth should be, that way it lines up properly. If they draw their line too far up or down, the mouth won’t be lined up when they talk.
They’ll hit the microphone to record their story. It will count them down and students will have 30 seconds to record.
For this example, students might say, “My reindeer is shaped like a pentagon. Pentagons have five sides and five vertices. The eyes and antlers are rectangles. Rectangles have four sides and four vertices. The nose is an oval. Ovals have zero sides and zero vertices.”
Once they’re finished, they’ll hit the stop button. They can press play to review their ChatterPix creation. If they are happy with their recording, they hit the next button.
If they want to re-record, they can press the microphone button. Once they hit next, they can add fun filters, text, and other elements to their ChatterPix creation.
Once they’re done, they hit the next button and then the save button. This will save it to their gallery but it will also export it to the device’s camera roll.
You can check out my YouTube video below for a quick tutorial where I show you these steps and how it works in action.
How to Use ChatterPix With Non-Writing Math Crafts
If you want to bring a math craft to life that does not include a writing or story component, you absolutely can still use ChatterPix!
I’ll show you how using my Valentine’s Cactus Craft that practices math facts and regrouping skills as an example.
This math craft doesn’t have a story or a writing component, but you can still bring it to life using ChatterPix just as well.
To do this, take a picture of the craft. Then, read aloud the math facts shown on the craft along with the answers, such as:
62 plus 29 equals 91.
84 plus 37 equals 121.
45 plus 18 equals 63.
57 plus 36 equals 93.
This is a fun way to encourage students to recite their math facts and get a little extra practice in a fun way.
If you’re really tech savvy, you can download these ChatterPix creations and make QR codes with them to display in the hallway or classroom. Then, students or teachers walking by can scan the QR code and listen to the students’ ChatterPix creation.
There are so many different ways that you can incorporate ChatterPix into your classroom. You can use this free app for other subjects and types of assignments as well beyond just math crafts.
I’d love to hear if you give ChatterPix a try in your classroom! Comment below or come share your students’ creations in our Saddle Up For 2nd Grade Teachers community!
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