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?


  1. Wow....some great math ideas! Your Sunday Fun Day sounds amazing! I want to take a ferry ride across Puget Sound!! My husband and I went to Seattle for our honeymoon last year...and LOVED it! We want to go back so badly.

    Have a great day!
    Mind Sparks

  2. Love your pinispiration math ideas- each one of them can be applied all the way down to my first graders! I really need to get them in the habit of seeing math in "everyday" ways and to see get them finding math "real life" math problems! Thanks for the awesome reminder! PS I laughed out loud at the ecard-too funny! Have a fun day with your hubby and enjoy the beautiful weather!

    Learning to the Core

  3. I have not seen this book but I love this series!! Perfect for beginning algebra! Yay!

    I am totally with you on the ecard. I feel like that all the time and 4th grade math makes me very nervous, especially since it is full of fractions and decimals (eeek!)

    I love all of your pinspiration! My goal this year is to make math "real" in all that I do!

    Thanks so much for linking up! I hope you had a wonderfully adventurous day!
    Collaboration Cuties

  4. I predict that you are going to LOVE 5th grade...even 5th grade math!! I used to feel about math like you do. Now...I LOVE it AND am even good at it...well, at 5th grade math, anyway!! Seriously, I have a Reading Specialist degree and Social Studies/History has always been my greatest love, but I really, really enjoy teaching math. You have wonderful ideas and are going to be an awesome 5th grade math teacher! Thanks for sharing!! :)
    PS 5th graders are amazing...they are more independent, are enthusiastic learners, have a great sense of humor, love to discuss and exchange ideas, care about others and are eager to "make a difference", AND best of all, they still think their teacher knows a thing or two. :) Have the best year ever in 5th grade!! :)

  5. I thought I had all the books in this series - but this one does not look familiar to me - I will have to investigate as soon as I get back in my classroom :)
    Love the bulletin board idea of looking for math in the school and all around!!
    Hope you had a great day :)

  6. Fantastic book! You will love 5th grade. I have taught it for the last 5 years!
    Great ideas for real world application.
    Good luck in your new position.
    Fabulous Fifth Grade Fun

  7. I love your 'Maths Is Everywhere' board. My class and I usually just brainstorm on a poster and then have that slogan up all year, I love how much more interactive and detailed yours is.
    Is it possible for you to include a close up of some of the students' work from that board? I cannot read it and really want to know what you got them to write.


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