Turning students' first names into number values is a terrifc way to build team, assess math attitudes and knowledge, and have fun early in the math year.
First, set up a computer so students can photograph themselves and print a picture of their face.
Next, give each student a print out of a T-shirt.
After that ask students to determine the value of their name in the following way:
If A = 1, B =2 . . .X= 26, figure out the value of each letter of your name.
Next find the total value of your name by adding all the letter values together.
Write the total value of your name in large numbers on your paper T-shirt.
On top of the number, write your name and show the value of each letter.
Below the number, write the following:
All the factor pairs for that number.
The sum of the digits in the number.
The difference between the digits in the number.
Five multiples of the number including the number itself.
Write two, three, or more equations and/or expressions equal to your number.
Any other mathematical facts that you know about that number.
Next, cut out the picture our your face and add it to the T-shirt.
Then the teacher can hang up all the pictures and T-shirts with the title "A Dynamic Math Team." You'll find that the bulletin board display of all the math team will draw attention and elicit mathematical and team conversation.
Students enjoy discovering and comparing their numbers. They also like choosing a good picture of themselves and adding all the number facts.
Make sure to have calculators available for students who struggle with number operations and so students may check their work. As students create their T-shirts, observe their work and listen to their discussion. Ask questions and take notes about their efforts to inform future study.
Use this project to start the math year with a focus on individual students as well as the importance of dynamic teamwork and math investigation and study. This will set the stage for a terrific math teaching/learning year ahead.