Saturday, February 21, 2015

Spark Student Motivation : Let's Go Shopping

Keeping students engaged and showing them the real life applications of the standards is something I am constantly trying to improve on. In an effort to do just that I had my students "Go Shopping!"

Last month when we were working on decimals I pulled out my stack of supermarket flyers and created a shopping list for my students.

They worked in pairs to find the items in the flyer and solve the given word problems.  After completing the problems, they were given a challenge of spending as close to $100 as they could without going over. This was a great activity for my early finishers.

This activity also worked very well with my ELL students. Before we started "shopping" I made sure that each item I picked had a picture that went with it. We also talked about how the flyer is organized into categories such as dairy, produce, frozen foods, and meats. That discussion led to identifying the meaning of the words dairy and produce. What started out as an accommodation for my ELL students ended up being beneficial to most of my class.

I was surprised at how many students were not familiar with supermarket flyers. Others wanted to know if I stole them from the supermarket. (This question made me a bit concerned about their opinion of me - although I am pretty sure they were kidding.) I assured them that at the end of the week, the supermarket is very willing to donate the expired flyers to teachers.

Store flyers are a fun way for students to practice math concepts. In the past I have used them for comparing and rounding decimals as well as multiplying and dividing decimals. I have also given the students the opportunity to create their own word problems and then switch with a partner to solve. The possibilities are endless.

Be sure to check out Head Over Heels for Teaching to discover other ways to motivate your students!

1 comment:

  1. We've used this while teaching decimals and planning a Thanksgiving feast, but I LOVE the idea of using it for early finishers! They could complete other challenge projects! Looking at sales ads and shopping is always motivating! (for us too!) :) Thanks for sharing and linking up Kim!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching


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