Monday, October 27, 2014

How to Teach Multiplication with Leaves

I have heard that the leaves are almost over up north, but locally, our trees are just starting to show their colors.  Students love anything seasonal, so using leaves to teach multiplication and estimation would be a great way to boost engagement in your math class.

A fun approach to practicing multiplication using leaves


magnifying glass (optional)
pencil and paper

Get Started

Tell your students to count the number of veins in a leaf.  Let them work for five or ten minutes, or until they get frustrated.

Introduce Multiplication as a New Method

If none of your students has caught on yet, show your students how to estimate the number of veins in by multiplying the number of small veins coming off of each larger shoot by the number of larger shoots to determine the number of small veins.

Students use leaves to practice and appreciate multiplication and estimation

Discuss Estimation

Have a class discussion or assign a paragraph on the topic, "Is using estimation by multiplication or simply counting the number of veins a better way to find the total number of veins in the leaf?"

I hope your students enjoy bringing the lovely fall (or spring!) foliage indoors while sharpening their multiplication skills and learning the value of estimation.

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I can't wait to hear what you have to say! Thanks for sharing.