Great Classroom Action


Annie Forest gives you ten ideas for your last week of class:

Here is my criteria for what makes a good mathy activities for the end of the school year: no/low tech; still incorporate math or problem solving in some way; fun and engaging.

Hey I’ll pitch one in! Here’s an eight-year-old blog post of mine. Every student starts with a 2D paper circle and by the end they’ve collaborated to construct a 3D icosahedron!

Marissa Walczak started carrying around a whiteboard as she helps students with their classwork:

If I wanted to show something to students I would always have to ask if I could write on their paper (which I really don’t ever want to do), or I’d have to say “wait for one sec” and then I’d go grab a piece of scratch paper, or I’d draw something on the board and then it’s far away from the group and then everyone sees it even though I don’t want everyone to see it.

Christine Redemske’s class takes Popcorn Picker to the literal limit, making cylinders that are shorter and shorter and wider and wider.

Tina Cardone gets a lot of mileage out of a very simply-stated arithmetic problem:

In the next question students needed to decide what half of 2^50 would look like. All around the room students wrote 2^25. But children! We just talked about that! And then I realized that 1) it’s far from intuitive, that’s why they included more questions in the book to solidify this idea and 2) the language changed.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. That moment when you get quoted in a Dan Meyer post (!) and have an opening sentence that doesn’t make sense. Ugh.

    Take out the random “a” and it should read: “Here is my criteria for what makes good mathy activities for the end of the school year…”

    Ah, well, hope teachers find the activities helpful and love the idea you added, Dan. Thanks for the mention!

  2. What awesome thought and caring you all put into planning activities for your kids.