It was a pretty low key in fourth grade today--for a once in a hundred year event!  The kids were pretty excited about 12-12-12 day...and we tried to incorporate some fun throughout the day...we wrote number sentences with ways to make 12, we brainstormed "Top Twelve" lists...but the most influential part of the day came with a team activity where trios were give 120 seconds to try to list 12 items in a category...like fruits, famous people, authors, and so on.  Their "challenge" was to see how many categories they could "complete" as a team.  The kids had a blast--and I enjoyed a little eavesdropping while they worked.

"Isn't a pumpkin a fruit?"
"Does SpongeBob count as a famous person?"
"Is New England a city?"  (This group was trying to complete their "cities" category using only pro football teams)
"Can I put myself down as an author?"

Very fun indeed.  But the most important part came at the end where we talked about how they think they would have done on this task ALONE, and all but one very confident young man emphatically declared that the team was far more successful.  I probed for answers.

"I got stuck and my team helped me out."
"B's mom travels for work so we used a bunch of her cities."
"W is a football freak so he knew lots of athlete names."
"I don't write very fast so it helped that A could do that."

Wow.  Powerful stuff for a bunch of 9 and 10 year olds.  Don't get me wrong--we acknowledged the "glitches" involved with teamwork as well, but the kiddos definitely agreed that all our practice this year has paid off--working in teams is getting easier.  We grown ups probably need to remember that too, don't you think"  ;)  Happy 12-12-12 to you all...
Writing some of our "Making 12" equations...

Excellent cooperation...this group had it together!
Helping out a teammate...


  1. We did a 12/12/12 day too with some team activities - it was a lot of fun! Some of my kiddies told me that they might be around to see the next one since they just might live to be 108. Great Math skills :)

  2. Just found your blog. I'm a new follower!

    Bren P.
    The Teacher Diaries

  3. @Lynn...it was a fun day!

    @Bren--glad you found me! I hope you find your way back often!