Thursday, March 5, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Math Activities

Here are two activities I used when I was teaching in Santa Fe, NM with kindergarten through second graders. I thought I'd share them now, so if you want to play them with your kids you'll have time before the holiday. These activities can be changed for any theme, just change the shape from a shamrock to one appropriate to your studies or change the crayon color being used in the race game. These were made into St. Patrick's Day activities because that's the time of year we got to comparison words!
Lucky Shamrock Numbers

Learning Objective: Number Comparison: greater than & less than, Numeral Writing

Materials Needed for Each Pair of Students:
Lucky Shamrock Board
2 Pennies
Score Sheet

  1. Both students flip their coins, the one with heads up goes first.
  2. Lay Lucky Shamrock Board on the ground, standing above the board Player 1 drops their penny from waist height onto the board.
  3. Player 2 does the same thing
  4. Both players look at where their coins landed, the player with a coin on or nearer the higher number wins that turn.
  5. Both players record the number their coin landed on, on the score sheet, and circle the higher number
  6. Play thirteen times, the player with more rounds won wins.
To Make the Shamrock Board: Glue shamrock shapes onto a large piece of construction paper, write a number on each one. Laminate for durability. You can modify this game by the numbers you chose to put on the shamrocks.

Modifications: I used this activity with my second graders by giving each student two coins. Player 1 dropped both coins at the same time and then added or subtracted them, depending on which skill we were practicing. Player 2 did the same. Then the two solutions were compared, with the greater numeral being the winner of that round.

Shamrock Race

Learning Objective: Number Comparison: greater than & less than, Numeral Writing

Materials Needed for Each Pair of Students:
2 Playing Grids
2 Green Crayons
2 Dice
2 Score Cards


  1. Both students roll their own dice, the higher number goes first.
  2. Player 1 rolls their dice.
  3. Player 2 rolls their dice.
  4. The player with a higher number gets to color in that many squares on their grid.
  5. Both players record the numbers rolled, and circle the higher number
  6. Take turns playing until one of the players fill their grid.
To Make the Playing Grid:
I opened a new document in MS, adjusted the margins to .5 inches on each side. Made a table with 15 columns and 20 rows. Then auto fit both to fill the page. The one in the photograph is my master copy from my files, I'd photocopy it for my students. You can also use large graph paper or decrease the number of columns and rows to make the squares bigger if your child can't color in such small squares or does not yet have the attention span for a long game.

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6 Friends Said:

Katie said...

I can see Gavin having a lot of fun with the dice/grid game. I might have to give that one a try this week. Thanks for sharing!

♥ Noelle ♥ said...

oooohhhh, more good ideas! i want to teach so baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaf; waaaaa!!

sniffles and hugs,

Kris said...

This would be fun to do with my little kindergartner when he comes home from school! Wouldn't he think mom was the coolest? What a fun take on math.

Missy said...

I like this. It would be great for my daughter. We might have to play. said...

Oh how perfect! I've been looking for some educational St. Patrick's Day fun, this is great! Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

Teaching Heart Mom said...

These are good ideas! Thanks for sharing!

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