Monday, July 30, 2012

Made 4 Math Monday #2

I'm pretty darn excited about my second Made 4 Math Monday post!

About a month ago, I watched a presentation in my grad school class about using literacy stations in the younger grades.  One of the activities that was shared involved students creating words using water bottle caps that had letters written on them.  I immediately started to collect water bottle caps (and had my parents, sister, aunts, uncles, and cousins do the same!).  Obviously, I teach middle school math so I wasn't going to use letters on the caps.  I wasn't exactly sure how, but I knew I would use them in some way.

Fast forward to last week when Hodgesgal posted this on her blog: Fractions, Decimals, and Percents Game.  I downloaded the game board and instructions right away.  I can't wait to use the game with my 7th graders!  We don't get to percents, though, until midyear and I really want to use these bottle caps sooner than that.  So, I created a Decimal & Fraction Matching Game to be used during centers.

The game is a center activity for students to complete in pairs. Each pair will need 2 game boards, 2 timers, pencils, and scrap paper. Each player will also need a set of 28 water bottle caps: 14 with fractions and 14 with the equivalent decimals already written on them.

I've decided that the students will play head-to-head. Each will start their timer and place each matching decimal-fraction pairs on the game board. When a player is satisfied with their answers, he or she will stop their timer. Once both players are finished, they will check each other’s work using the answer keys. Five seconds will be added onto a player’s total time for any incorrect matches. The player with the fastest time wins!

I started by making the game board.  (I will definitely be laminating them.)

Next, I got out my Sharpies and the bottle caps...

I made the fraction caps first.

Followed by the decimal ones.

I also made the matching percent bottle caps (so that they'll already by done when I want to play Hodgesgal's game).

I color-coded the bottle caps by type of number.  You could also make it more challenging by just using 1 color for all.

I bought this container at Michael's a few days ago to store the bottle caps.

It was only $0.99 (which I think may have been a mistake) and then I used my teacher's discount!  My plan was to have a compartment for each number and to have that number written on the bottom.  I think I have to get smaller containers to store each set separately though.

I really think my students will like this.  They normally love anything that involves a little friendly competition!  You can get the game board, directions, and answer key at my Teachers Notebook Store or at my TeachersPayTeachers Store.  I plan on making other activities to use with the caps...they are perfect for comparing and ordering rational numbers as well!


  1. Just pinned this because I have to do this with my 7th graders. We start soon with Frac, Dec, and Percents so this will be a good solid game they can play to review.

  2. I love that the bottle caps can be used for so many other activities as well! Thanks so much for sharing your creation!

  3. I love this idea! How many sets are you planning on making? I need to start collecting caps..

    1. I'm going to try to make at least 4 sets (fractions, decimals, and the matching percents so I have them done). I have asked everyone I know to save their caps! It's been helpful!

    2. Nice, I will have to start asking around. A period vs. period bottle cap contest could be fun too :)

    3. Oooh! I like that idea a lot!

  4. I LOVE that you took my idea and made it even better!!!!

    I plan on using this one too!!!!

    Hodges Herald

  5. Katie,

    Can you email me. I want to send you something!


  6. Katie, this is too fun! I will definitely be making this for my 7th graders this year. Thanks for sharing! I also read your post about interactive notebooking... this will be my first experience with that as well, so I'll be checking back for your results throughout the year.