 # Home Activities for Middle School Students

Here are some literacy activity suggestions for middle school students:

• Consider a daily routine of reading a book of their choice for 20 – 30 minutes.
• Create a Journal and write in it each day.
• Create illustrations for your journal, take photographs or even glue artifacts into it.
•  Keep a record of all the movies you watch or books you read.
• Write a review for each of your favourite top movies. Make sure you include a 5-star rating scale and share it with your friends or family.
• Create a bucket list of all the things you would like to do this year and check them off as you do them.
• Play word games like Banana Grams, Scrabble…
• Sign-up for a library card through the Okanagan Regional Library

Here are some numeracy activity suggestions for middle school students:

Big Ideas for grade 6: Students should now have a good understanding of adding, subtraction, multiplying and dividing whole numbers. In grade 6 they spend a lot of time working with fractions, including fractions larger than 1 and also working with percent.

Have your child explain how to find 15% of a number without using a calculator😊 Example to find 15% of 120 they can find 10%, which is 12, and then 5% is half of 10% so another 6 makes 15% of 120=18)

https://www.prodigygame.com/ This is a game for practicing math concepts.  You will need to create a free account.

Card and dice games that we have been sending out during home learning are great ways to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Being able to add numbers to 20 quickly and knowing times tables will be very helpful in future grades and life experiences! Examples of games: Yahtzee, 10,000, Crib (link to rules). Check out our website at: https://sd83.bc.ca/family-math-games/

Daily problem solving: It is so important to use math in context, rather than always a page of questions. Help your child see how math is used by giving them a question each day such as “I mowed 2/5th of the lawn and your uncle mowed 2/7th of the lawn. Who mowed more the lawn? Show how you know.” OR “15% of the people in the room are wearing glasses. If there are 40 people in the room, how many are wearing glasses?”  Students should be encouraged to solve the problems using pictures just as much (or more) than equations. Great mathematicians use diagrams frequently to help sort out what a question is asking them to do.

Knock ‘em down Multiplication (Use nerf/squirt guns, or use a tennis ball/water balloons/bean bags/water hose/rolled up socks etc.) Write the numbers 1-10 (or whatever numbers are appropriate for your child’s math level) on plastic cups. Line them up on a ledge outside. When you say “Go”, the child gets 3 tries to knock down the cups. They then multiply the numbers together and tally their points. The first one to 1 000 (or 10 000 depending on how long you want to play) wins. Example: If they hit “4”, “6”, and “3” they do 4×6=24, then 24×3=72, and they would earn 72 points.

A harder challenge: if they hit 2 numbers, they multiply them together and earn that many points. However, if they hit 3 numbers, they must choose how to organize their equation to maximize their points. They combine any 2 digits to make a 2-digit number and multiply it by the remaining third digit. Example: If they hit “4”, “7”, and “8” they could choose to do 47×8=376 OR 87×4=348 OR 74×8=592, which ever they decide would give them the most points.

If I had a Thousand Dollars…
Pretend that you have \$1,000 to spend. Research what you would buy (you can ignore any taxes for this activity). Make a list of what you would buy, and find the total. How close can you get to spending the entire \$1,000 without going over?

Big Ideas for grade 7: Students learned to add, subtract, multiply and divide with positive and negative numbers. Have your child explain to you how to calculate -15+7 or -13-(-3) without using “rules”. Students also work a lot with % calculations, such as finding 12% of a number. Have your child explain how to find 12% of 200 without using a calculator! (example: 10% of 200 is 20, therefore 1% of 200 is 2.  12% can be thought of as 10%+1%+1% so 12% of 200 is 20+2+2=24

If you are looking for online examples or practice, the link below offers quite good explanations of grade 7 concepts.

https://cemc.uwaterloo.ca/resources/courseware/courseware.html  This site offers good videos to explain concepts in Grade 7 and 8 math, and offers practice questions and explanations.

https://www.prodigygame.com/ This is a game for practicing math concepts. You will need to create a free account.

Positive and Negative Numbers: Working with positive and negative numbers is often easier to understand when talking about the temperatures outside. This website is great for comparing the current warmest and coldest places in Canada. https://weather.gc.ca/canada_e.html

A significant concept in grade 7 is working with percent and discounts. Here is an idea for supporting this understanding:

Shopping spree: If I had a Thousand Dollars…
Imagine that you have been given a total of \$1,000 to spend. Research what you would like to buy, remembering to include taxes. Create your list of purchases and try to spend as close to \$1,000 as you can without going over.

Extension: Give your child a list of criteria for spending the money. For example, you must spend a minimum of 15% on food; a minimum of 10% must go into investments or savings, etc.

Daily problem solving: It is so important to use math in context, rather than always a page of questions. Help your child see how math is used by giving them a question each day such as “In a pie eating contest, each pie was cut into 8 pieces. Stacy ate 15 pieces of pie and Grady ate 2 1/2 pies. Who ate more pie? Show how you know.”

OR “15% of the people in the room are wearing glasses. If there are 40 people in the room, how many are wearing glasses?”  Students should be encouraged to solve the problems using pictures just as much (or more) than equations. Great mathematicians use diagrams frequently to help sort out what a question is asking them to do.

Knock ‘em Down Multiplication (Use nerf/squirt guns, or use a tennis ball/water balloons/bean bags/water hose/rolled up socks etc.) Write the numbers 1-10 (or whatever numbers are appropriate for your child’s math level) on plastic cups. Line them up on a ledge outside. When you say “Go”, the child gets 3 tries to knock down the cups. They then multiply the numbers together and tally their points. The first one to 1,000 (or 10 000 depending on how long you want to play) wins. Example: If they hit “4”, “6”, and “3” they do 4×6=24, then 24×3=72, and they would earn 72 points.

A harder challenge: if they hit 2 numbers, they multiply them together and earn that many points. However, if they hit 3 numbers, they must choose how to organize their equation to maximize their points. First, they combine any 2 digits to make a 2-digit number and then multiply it by the remaining third digit. Example: If they hit “4” “7” and “8” they could choose to do 47×8=376 OR 87×4=348 OR 74×8=592, whichever they decide would give them the most points.

Big Ideas for grade 8: Probably the biggest part of grade 8 math is developing a solid understanding of working with fractions, including how to add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions. Practice with these concepts is really important! Fractions become the basis of a huge amount of the math in the next few years and it is important to have a good understanding. While it is ‘easy’ to multiply and dividing fractions by following a procedure (multiply the top and bottom, or invert and multiply for example), the really important thing is that students know WHEN to multiply and WHEN to divide the fractions. This is where it is really important to include word problems in all fraction work.

The website below offers some good examples and explanations of grade 8 math concepts, for those looking for a little review:

Shopping spree: If I had a Thousand Dollars…
Imagine that you have been given a total of \$1,000 to spend. Research what you would like to buy, remembering to include taxes. Create your list of purchases and try to spend as close to \$1,000 as you can without going over.

Extension: Provide your child with a list of criteria for spending. For example, you must spend a minimum of 15% on food; a minimum of 10% must go into investments or savings, etc.

Planning a Trip
If you could travel anywhere within BC, where would you go? Plan your trip, including how long it would take to get there, where you would stop along the way, and whether or not you would need to stay overnight on your way to your destination. Research the price of gas and the fuel efficiency of your vehicle, and calculate how much it would cost in fuel to drive there. (If you are unable to research, you may choose to use \$1.09/L for gas and a fuel efficiency of 9L/100km).

Daily problem solving
It is so important to use math in context, rather than always a page of questions. Help your child see how math is used by giving them a question each day such as “I have 3 2/3 metres of lace and need 3/4 m for each placemat I’m making. How many placemats can be made?” OR “Gerry is buying a new snowboard with a regular price of \$249. The board is on sale for 20% off, and Gerry needs to pay 5% GST and 7% PST on the purchase price. What is the final price of the snowboard?”  Students should be encouraged to solve the problems using pictures just as much (or more) than equations. Great mathematicians use diagrams frequently to help sort out what a question is asking them to do.

Knock ‘em Down Multiplication (Use nerf/squirt guns, or use a tennis ball/water balloons/bean bags/water hose/rolled up socks etc.)

Write the numbers 1-10 (or whatever numbers are appropriate for your child’s math level) on plastic cups. Line them up on a ledge outside. When you say “Go”, the child gets 3 tries to knock down the cups. They then multiply the numbers together and tally their points. The first one to 1 000 (or 10 000 depending on how long you want to play) wins. Example: If they hit “4”, “6”, and “3” they do 4×6=24, then 24×3=72, and they would earn 72 points.

A harder challenge: if they hit 2 numbers, they multiply them together and earn that many points. However, if they hit 3 numbers, they must choose how to organize their equation. They combine any 2 digits to make a 2-digit number and multiply it by the remaining third digit. Example: If they hit “4” “7” and “8” they could choose to do 47×8=376 OR 87×4=348 OR 74×8=592, whichever combination they decide would give them the most points.