Hallowe’en Math – and the spooky complement of 5

Happy Fall!
boooooo

I wanted to send along a list of spooky books for math investigations for spreading the Hallowe’en math love. I hope you can find some or all of these in your school libraries… There are so many fun contexts to explore around this season – from notions of pumpkin circumference to skip counting, from growing patterns to playing with the operations and the complements of 5 and 10.

One of my favourite contexts for thinking about parts of 5 stems from a story called Room on the Broom. Just this week I worked in a K/1 classroom and explored the missing part – or complement – of 5. Then we read the book by Julia Donaldson, in which a witch and her friends fly about on a broomstick – adding a friend until there are 5 on the broomstick in all. We “built” some of the book’s illustrations in egg carton 5-frames, and talked about how much room was still left on our broom, if our brooms, like hers,  had 5 seats.

Next, I whispered a number from 1-4 in each child’s ear (I left off zero and five for this initial exploration…) and had them build that number in their 5-frame broomstick. Then I asked the children “How much room is on your broom?”. The K/1 kids then had to find the person whose broom “completed” their’s… Click to take a look in the pictures below:

a child with 2 on his broom finds a child with three on her broom:
3 and 2

and they put their brooms together (one on top of the other) to fill it up.
brooms together

The egg cartons I like best are clear plastic ones – and you can see why… looking through one 5-frame to the other is a powerful way to see the parts of 5!

After a couple of turns with this game, I asked children to record what they did and how they filled up the room on their broom with their partner. You are welcome to use the There’s More Room on my Broom! line master to try this with your students as well. In the photo below, you can see see one of the grade 1 students working to show her thinking on the form…

recording thinking

Have a fun and spooky mathy season!
Carole

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