Saturday, March 1, 2014

Spark Student Motivation Saturdays - Math Libs!

Finding fun activities for 8th grade can be tough because they think just about everything is super lame! However, each week I am bound and determined for them to say, "Wow, time goes by so fast in this class!" because they are genuinely enjoying what they are doing. Normally, this time of year, I have to BEG my students to complete their work. But, not yesterday!

Today, I am linking up with Joanne from Head Over Heals for Teaching!

I have a lot of products from All Things Algebra that I use in my classes, but these activities are some of my FAVORITE! It is her Math Lib Activities - but we specifically did this one for Volume and Surface Area

After giving directions, they got to work and all I had to do every once in a while was quiet them down because we were in the hall and other classes were taking a quiz or test. They would get into some heated arguments discussing what kind of shape it was, slant height vs. height, etc. LOTS of good math conversations going on today!

Basically, here is how the activity works:

  1. There are 9 stations (one problem per station). 
  2. Teacher pairs up kids.
  3. Students answer the question and hope that their answer is one of the 5 answer choices.
  4. Then, there is a phrase next to that answer to fill in to a "Mad Libs" type scenario.
  5. The students LOVE to see which teacher is the "star of the story!"
Here are some pictures of us in action today:

I have another one of these planned to review solving equations at the end of the year :) Go check out All Things Algebra's store. I dare you to leave without purchasing something amazing!


  1. I love her stuff! I am always telling my 8th grade Algebra teacher to check her stuff out!

    Love your post!

    Hodges Herald

  2. Good for you for still making it fun for 8th graders! I truly wish I had more teachers like you when I was in school. I might have done better with math if so!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  3. I have been doing things similar to this with my grade six gifted students this year. It gets them up and working interactively. They actually are motivated to finish the questions! Great way to get in some extra practice too. I will have to check out the set you used, my students really struggle with surface area!

  4. I love that you're making learning so engaging for your 8th graders! As a parent of a high schooler, I appreciate this!!! Very motivating! Thanks for sharing and linking up Danielle!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  5. Please also check out Math Libs is actually our registered trademark, & we have been offering Math Libs for free for well over a decade at and