# Math Mondays: 2 + 2 = 6

Is this true? Of course, most of us would immediately say no. And many of you may already be thinking that I shouldn't be teaching math (just like I think when I see someone create a polygon unit that features circles!) And you might very well be right.

For example 2 unicycles + 2 bicycles = 6 wheels. Ah ha!

Once kids realize that they can think a bit unconventionally, they can get really

creative. We do this exercise periodically just to keep our brains flexible. Sometimes students write equations for each other and then trade; sometimes they challenge me with them. Sometimes, we take time to illustrate our solutions. The one shown to the left is one of my favorites: 2 deciduous trees in the winter + 1 evergreen tree in the winter equals one tree with leaves.

I love this activity because:

As always, feel free to link up a blog post or favorite idea for a math-related activity below or shop for your favorite. Last week's most clicked link up came from Two Boys and a Dad blog post about teaching area.

**But**.. occasionally, I will post something like the equation 2 + 2 = 6 and ask students to make it true. The first time I do this, I invariably get responses of disbelief. But when I'm patient and just let everyone think through it a bit, someone will get creative and that's how it starts.For example 2 unicycles + 2 bicycles = 6 wheels. Ah ha!

Once kids realize that they can think a bit unconventionally, they can get really

creative. We do this exercise periodically just to keep our brains flexible. Sometimes students write equations for each other and then trade; sometimes they challenge me with them. Sometimes, we take time to illustrate our solutions. The one shown to the left is one of my favorites: 2 deciduous trees in the winter + 1 evergreen tree in the winter equals one tree with leaves.

I love this activity because:

- Students think creatively
- There is not one right answer
- It's active learning
- You can use it at all levels - it's not just for addition (I've had students create some pretty complex equations with this)
- You can use it as a bell ringer, fun math center idea, or when you finish early. It's even great on field trips or when waiting.
- No equipment required.

As always, feel free to link up a blog post or favorite idea for a math-related activity below or shop for your favorite. Last week's most clicked link up came from Two Boys and a Dad blog post about teaching area.

*Math Mondays is a weekly post sharing tips, ideas, resources, and products for teaching math. If you have questions or think there is something I should share, you can leave me a message on Facebook or at the*__store in the question and answer section.__Tags:
Math Mondays

## 7 comments

Math joke that goes with your post: When does 10 + 3 = 1 ?....

ReplyDeleteOn a clock! (Your post reminded me of that brain stumper that one of teachers did when I was in elementary school.)

Ooh... I like that one. I will have to use that this year. Thank you for sharing.

DeleteCheers,

DocRunning

Math joke that goes with your post: When does 10 + 3 = 1 ?....

ReplyDeleteOn a clock! (Your post reminded me of that brain stumper that one of teachers did when I was in elementary school.)

Here a couple of problems, made up just now, in a similar spirit!

ReplyDelete1 + ? = 0

and

True or False: 77?

Answers:http://i.imgur.com/TmCzof0.jpgGreat...hehe

DeleteThanks for sharing.

Cheers,

DocRunning

This post was featured on the August issue of Math Teachers at Play! I hope it sends some blog traffic your way :) You can check it out at

ReplyDeletehttp://mrseteachesmath.blogspot.com/2015/08/math-teachers-at-play-89.html

Wow! Thanks for sharing. I had no idea. So happy to hear that.

DeleteCheers,

DocRunning

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