At the start of the year, organizing a math get to know you activity can be a great approach to introduce yourself and your students to each other while also reviewing math concepts in a fun and creative way. By blending learning with enjoyment, students are more likely to retain information, stay interested, and develop stronger bonds with their peers.
Get to know you math activities facilitate social interaction, create a positive learning environment and provide a valuable opportunity for you to assess your students' current math skills and their attitudes towards the subject. Through observation and interaction, you can gain insights into their strengths and areas for improvement, allowing you to tailor your teaching approach to their individual needs.
To help you get started, we've listed various math get to know you activities in our blog post below. Each activity is designed to inspire creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking while making learning math an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Get started and find the perfect math get to know you activity, for free!
Activities that help the teacher get to know the student
Knowledgehook Kick-off Mission (Elementary, Middle and High School Level):
Try Knowledgehook's free curriculum-aligned Kick-off Mission that covers key topics from the previous grade, allowing you to assess your students’ readiness for upcoming lessons. Once the Mission is completed, you will automatically get a report that reveals students’ strengths and their areas of improvement.
Sign up for your free Knowledgehook account here.
- Math as an Animal (Elementary School Level):
Ask your students to write a few sentences and create a drawing based on the following question: "If math were an animal, what would it be, and why?" This activity will provide valuable insights to teachers regarding how their students perceive math. For instance, if students choose a dangerous or scary animal to represent math, it might indicate a fear towards the subject.
- Math as a Word (Middle School Level):
To understand students' feelings and knowledge about math, ask them to think of themselves as either a math concept or a math word. This task allows students to tell a little about themselves based on the math word or idea they choose.
- All About Me in Numbers (Elementary School Level):
Teachers will provide students with a page of questions that require numeric responses. This activity aims to help teachers get to know their students and assess their comfort level with basic numerical concepts. The questions on the page may ask “How old are you?” and “What grade are you in?”
- Math Art Gallery (Elementary and Middle School Level):
For an engaging and creative math learning activity, assign each student a specific math concept, such as a shape, pattern, or fraction. They will then create artwork that visually represents their assigned concept. Once completed, the artwork can be displayed in a "classroom art gallery" on a bulletin board, showcasing the students’ creativity and understanding of the math concept they explore.
Activities that help the students get to know each other (Icebreakers)
- Math Card Game (Middle School Level):
Give a card to each student from a card deck, and have them place it on their forehead without looking at the number. Students will then walk around the classroom and ask solely math- related questions to determine what number they are holding. Encourage them to ask questions such as “Is my card greater than 5?” “Can my card be evenly divided by 2 into a whole number” or “Is my card an even or odd number?” Students will ask 2-3 questions before guessing what number they have.
- Math Venn Diagram (Elementary School Level):
Guide students through a Venn diagram activity to strengthen their counting, data collection, and visual representation skills. For instance, labeling one circle as "Has a sibling" and the other as "Has a pet" enables them to explore overlapping personal experiences with their classmates. Other ideas for labeling circles can include favourite subject (math, english or both), preference on activity (sports, arts & crafts, or both), and favourite type of learning (collaborative, individual, or both.) This exercise fosters a deeper understanding of categorization and data sorting, providing valuable insights into the relationships between different attributes. Students will also gain an understanding of how visual representation is used to organize information.
Activities that help teachers assess student understanding
- Mini-Lesson Recap (Middle and High School Level):
Assign students into groups of 3-4 and give each group a different question based on the math lesson taught prior. Students will have 10-15 minutes to complete the question on a large chart paper. Once complete, each group will give a mini lesson on how they derived the answer. This allows for students to apply the concepts learned and interact with the class.
- Math Bingo (Middle School Level):
Provide each student with a Math Bingo card featuring a grid of numbers. The teacher presents math questions, and students solve them to mark off the corresponding numbers on their cards. The objective is to achieve a line of marked numbers (BINGO) through solving and marking math problems.
- Measure Me (Elementary and Middle School Level):
Engage students in an interactive measurement activity! Students will measure a part of their body using standard and non-standard units, like height, arm span, and foot length. Afterwards, they'll share their measurements with the other students, working together to arrange themselves from longest to shortest. Students will have to actively communicate to complete the activity in the allotted time. This fun exercise promotes measurement and organization skills while fostering collaboration among students.
Activities that help students to get to know their environment
- Math Scavenger Hunt (Primary Elementary School Level):
Create a list of math-related objects or concepts for students to find around the classroom or school. They could look for shapes, numbers, or measurement tools. This activity will encourage students to explore their environment while learning math concepts. For example, find something rectangular in the classroom (a door), find an object with numbers in (a clock), find out the length of our classroom ruler (30cm or 100cm).