Must-Read Mentor Text: Safari Park

Happy Sunday!
Hubby and I are off for a fun-filled adventure day, exploring a new church, a downtown food festival, and a ferry ride across Puget Sound. We're taking advantage of this beau-ti-ful weather before the rains come :)
Before we head out, I'm joining the lovely ladies, Amanda and Stacia, from Collaboration Cuties, for their
Must-Read Mentor Text linky:
Today's theme is Math and I want to share a fun book I will use for introducing the concept of algebra to my students:
Amazon description: From the MathStart series, this story begins with Grandpa taking his five grandchildren to the opening of Safari Park. Though each child starts out with 20 free tickets for rides, Paul promptly loses his. Grandpa decrees that each cousin must take Paul on a ride, which might take 2, 4, or 6 tickets. Other treats, such as food and games, cost 1 ticket. As they go through the day, intense mathematical calculations ensue as the kids figure out what they have spent, how much is left, and how they can spend it. The math is worked out visually on the pages, illustrated by lively, colorful ink-and-wash drawings. Younger children may enjoy this picture book as one of the few taking place at an amusement park; older students are more likely to take on the mathematical challenges presented. As Murphy notes in the two appended pages of complementary activities and suggested reading, this book offers experience in finding a missing element, "an important step in the development of algebraic thinking."

As I begin this new school year, I am most nervous about teaching fifth grade math for the first time. 
Sometimes I feel like this:
Anyone with me? :)
As a student, I did well in math, but never enjoyed it as much as Reading or Social Studies. But I don't want my dislike of math to affect my kiddos. I have been praying for a passion and enthusiasm for math that would be contagious for my students :)
I plan to off my year start by making math come alive to my students - by giving them opportunities to see real-life applications to the math concepts we study.

Here's some Pinspiration for making math applicable:
1. Math is Everywhere: Students took a walk around the school and took pictures of real life objects that represented a math vocabulary word
Students took a walk around the school and took pictures of real life objects that represented a math vocabulary word. Examples: Congruent concrete blocks, parallel lines on the playground, right angles at the corner of a window. Next students wrote about what they found.
2. Real-life Math Problems
Real Life Math Lesson!
3. Numbers Important to Me: Have students decorate their math journals with numbers that are important to them
Have students decorate their math notebooks with all the important numbers from their life.
How do you get your students interested in math?
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