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Why Coloring is the Key to Solving Math Problems This Valentine’s Day

What are you up to this Valentine's Day? Follow me as I break out a box of crayons and allow my students the ability to color and relax . . . all while solving math problems with these Valentine color by number sheets.

By now I'm sure you have heard (and probably used) some amazing color by number (and word) worksheets. These are some of my absolute favorite go to supplementary activities, especially on holidays. Students really don't want to do a lot of thought provoking work when they're done passing out candy. Nor do we really want to try and teach a lesson while students are dreaming of the next chocolate delight or thoughtful card that will be dropped in their goody bag. So what do you do?

Break Out the Crayons and Sharpen the Pencils

Honestly, nothing is more delightful than having students actually “work” on Valentine's Day. Yet, they don't truly feel like it is work because they are coloring and enjoying conversations with their peers. I gift each student a new, small box of crayons and an already sharpened pencil. Something that can last more than just that day. Plus, they can use both of these items on the math work. Next up, the actually worksheet. This set includes five sheets, difficulty level growing from 1 to 5. Don't worry, answer keys are included. I usually let my students pick the sheet they are most interested in, since the characters differ. However, at times, I print only two or three, instead of all five.

I ask students to use the back of the sheet as scratch paper, still practicing numbering items and showing work. With any color-by-number activity, students are given a suggested color to use to correspond with the correct response. With these Valentine color by number sheets, students are working on fractions with division.

Collaboration is Key

Even though this seems like a coloring sheet, it is much more than that. Fractions can be tricky business and sometimes the concept can be difficult to grasp. Students deserve the opportunity to feel relaxed and to also be able to talk with one another about problems that may be too tricky to understand, or to simply check answers by communicating. Doesn't this sound like a bundle of coloring fun?



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