Earth Day Math: Partner Problem Solving

Earth Day Math
Looking for an easy math lesson idea to help you get some much-needed one-on-one time or small group time with students?  See what you think about this Earth Day math activity!
Earth Day Word Problems

Earth Day Math Problem Solving

I always have a pocket chart or two on my wall where I keep word problems or other challenges at all times.  I can change these out to be more seasonal, to be more review, or to match the topic we are studying.  In this case, I loaded up this anchor chart with some Earth Day problems!

Earth Day math problems

It’s testing season so I am having to switch my schedule all around and squeeze in math throughout the day.  One thing that helps me do this is having a ready supply of challenges ready to roll so students can work cooperatively and I am freed up to pull small groups for coaching.  Those “wall problems” sure come in handy!  Right now we are wrapping up our big division unit, and I still have a large handful of students who really need some one-on-one coaching.  While I pulled them today, I let the others work on these fun Earth Day problems–which were quite challenging for them!

My only direction was that I wanted them to work ALONE to try solving the problems first–

Earth Day math problems

Partnerships in Math

–and then to partner up to compare NOT JUST ANSWERS, but strategies as well.  I encouraged them to “teach” the partner the strategy they used so they could see a new way of solving the problem–and you should have HEARD the discussions!  It was super cool to see some groups really putting their heads together and studying each other’s notebooks.  I heard things like…

“I never thought about that!”
“Your work is so organized!”
“I can’t believe you were right–I was positive I was!”
“Never mind–I totally see what you did now.”


We spent about 30 minutes working on Earth Day math problem-solving and it allowed me to meet with 1 small group and 8 individual students for error analysis on their exit slips!  (Not sure what I mean by this?  When I give an exit or entrance slip, I quickly sort into “got it” and “oh boy” and then pull students to study their work.  If they are making careless errors, I ask them to “proofread” and try to find their errors.

If they are struggling with the content, I reteach them either one-on-one or in a small group.)  I love having these slips handy for whatever I’m teaching…they really help me keep taking the temperature of the class in only a few minutes!  Click HERE to learn more about my formative assessment slips.  Interested in the Earth Day problems?  Click any other image or RIGHT HERE.

math formative assessment exit slips
Want to pin this for later?  Here you go!
Earth Day Math Challenges



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