Friday, April 29, 2011

Substitute Teacher #2

Hi, ya'll!  Our second Spring Break Substitute Teacher is the sweet Sarah from First Grader at Last!  Many thanks, Sarah, for being here today!

Hi everyone!  It's me, Sarah {a.k.a. Mrs. Cooley}, from First Last and I am so excited to be doing my very first guest blogging post ever at Frogs, Bees, and Under the Seas! 

You know how sometimes the best lessons you ever teach are usually the ones that are spur of the moment, and completely unplanned?  You just think, "Hmm....this could be fun?!" So you give it a try, and it is Awesome {with a capital A!}  Well, that is exactly how Elevator Math Magic was created in my classroom!  The inspiration started when I read Elevator Magic by Stuart J. Murphy:
I was just looking for a a literature tie-in to introduce subtraction!  In this book, a little boy rides an elevator to all these wild and crazy floors.  One floor has a bank that is also a farm.  One floor has a racetrack, and another is a hard-rock candy store!  The kids thought the floors were so funny!  Each time the little boy got on the elevator to go to a new floor, he had to figure out how many floors down he needed to go, and it shows how he uses subtraction to figure it out! 

The kids got more into this story than I expected, so *Bing!* I immediately thought that everyone should create their own floor, and we would make a GIANT building full of our own floors, and we could do our own elevator {math} magic!  First, everyone brainstormed a cool floor.  Some of our floors o' fun:

Maddox's Make Up Salon!  You can also find wigs here.

We also have Andrew's Piggy Ride Place and Griffin's Croc Swamp.

The first floor is Ryan's Monster Truck Track, and the second floor is Carson's Science Discovery Room! 

So, after the kids designed the floors, I glued them together with the hopes of hanging them from the ceiling...but it was WAY too long! Check this out {can't even fit it all in the picture}

We also made an elevator button panel, so we could press the buttons of the floors we want to visit: 

We used our building and elevator button panel to answer addition/subtraction word problems!  {Mrs. Frizzle went to Erin's Science Book Room.  She wanted to go to Carson's Discovery Room next.  How many floors down will Mrs. Frizzle travel?}  For some of the problems, the kids acted them out using the building as a giant number line, and for other problems, they all sat around the building and wrote number sentences on white boards.  The kids are still talking about "elevator math"--and a few of my "math rockstars" are begging me to put it in a center so they can make up their own problems.  {Um, absolutely!} 

Just a fun and unplanned idea that I wanted to share with all of you wonderful people!  Have a wonderful rest of the school year, summer is just around the corner! 


  1. I love this incredibly creative idea! I have the book too! I will for sure be doing this at the beginning of next school year!