Math Power Towers: Great Guided Math and Math Center Activities

Posted on July 9, 2012. Filed under: Assessment, Common Core, Differentiated Instruction, During the Guided Math Lesson, Elementary math, Math Centers, Mathematical Proficiency | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |


Math Power Towers are Great Fun! Power Towers are any type of cup that you write the equation on the inside and the answer on the outside (bottom) and then have students take the cups, look inside and solve, check outside and if correct they add the cup to a structure they are building.  They can work alone, in partners, or in groups.  It is super fun!  Students are practicing all the different operations, depending on their grade level.

I just finished playing power towers this afternoon with a family friend,  Stephanie.  Stephanie is a funny, joyful, little soon to be first grader. It was very insightful for me because I got to watch and see how Stephanie figured out the problems.

Stephanie, who had just announced that she successfully passed kindergarten, was using a “counting all strategy.” As we played, I encouraged her to use a “counting on” strategy.  She took to the idea.  I could see where a few days of this type of practice and she would be easing into that strategy.  As the teacher, you could do this in a  guided math group and take notes on what  different students are doing.

P.S. I love the many opportunities this game structure offers.  Here are a few ideas. You could have the students reading numbers (inside a number and outside the word), working on particular types of facts (doubles, doubles +1, lucky 8&9) and working on place value ideas (expanded form on inside and short for or word form on outside).

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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