Mathwire.com

## Math Activity Themes: Ladybug Math

These small red insects have captivated many children familiar with the Ladybug, Ladybug, fly away home verse. These themed math activities easily integrate into science and/or literature lessons on insects and all things Spring.

These math mats may be used for easy counting or for part-part-whole relationships of addends and sums. Students may use a variety of counters as dots or use foam circles which can be purchased in bulk at craft stores. Alternately, the mats may be inserted in sheet protectors, and students may use dry erase markers to draw the dots.

For simple fact practice, the student tosses a die and places that many dots on one side of the ladybug. He/she tosses the die again and places that many dots on the other side of the ladybug. The student counts the total number of dots and writes a number sentence to tell the sum.

• B/W Ladybug Mat includes mat, recording sheet and number sentence template.
• Color Ladybug Mat, pictured at right, may be used with round counters or black foam circles.

## Ladybug Odd & Even Numbers

Students use counters and their ladybug mats. Count out the correct number of counters for the given number. Place counters, alternating sides, onto the ladybug mat until all counters are placed. If there are the same number of counters on each side of the ladybug, then the number is an even number. If one side has an extra counter (spot), then the number is an odd number.

• B/W Ladybug Mat includes mat, recording sheet and number sentence template.
• Color Ladybug Mat, pictured above, may be used with round counters or black foam circles.
• Suggestion for Morning Math Routines: Place a ladybug template in a sheet protector or laminate the ladybug. Use a dry-erase marker to add a new spot each day. Discuss whether the ladybug has an odd or even number of spots, based on whether there are the same number of spots on each side of the ladybug. Incorporate this practice into morning routines to reinforce odd and even numbers.

## Ladybug Glyphs & Graphing Ideas

Use a variety of graph formats to collect data: clothespin graph, bar graph, Venn diagram, etc. Using different formats and discussing your choice models effective mathematical thinking and decision-making for younger students.

• Have you ever caught a ladybug?
• Do you know the Ladybug verse?

### Ladybug on the Move by Richard Fowler

• See NCTM's Ladybug Lengths for a measurement lesson based on this book.
• See NCTM's Hiding Ladybugs Game. Students must plan a path that will take the ladybug beneath the leaf for a great problem solving experience. This online applet encourages students to refine their paths until they are ultimately successful.
• Ladybug Leaf is another online version of this applet game that requires students to estimate distances in a Logo-like environment.

The Ladybug, Fly Home! Game uses a one-die toss to move that numbered ladybug one space closer to her home. Students add their results to the Class Recording sheet by adding a tally mark for the winning ladybug. Class discussion focuses on the fairness of the game by asking if each ladybug has an equal chance to win? PDF file includes directions, game mat, recording sheet and math center icons

• Ladybugs introduces students to the algebraic concept of growing patterns or functions. In this case, the dots on the ladybug change with age. Students will use a picture and a function table to analyze the pattern's growth and write a rule in words and/or variables/numbers.

• Singing is a strength for many young learners. Teach students the Sesame Street Ladybug's Picnic song to reinforce counting to 12.
• See the You Tube Video of this Sesame Street song

• See NCTM's Hiding Ladybugs Game. Students must plan a path that will take the ladybug beneath the leaf for a great problem solving experience. This online applet encourages students to refine their paths until they are ultimately successful.
• Check out NCTM's Making Rectangles to teach the ladybug to draw rectangles on the screen.
• NCTM's Ladybug Mazes completes the series by challenging students to plan a path that will move the ladybug through a maze. Once again, students are able to play the path and see how the ladybug moves. They may then choose to refine their path until the ladybug successfully moves through the entire maze.
• Play BBC's Count Hoot's Addition Game where students must select the ladybug with the correct number of spots to be the missing addend in the given problem.
• Play the Odd Olly and Even Elly Game to help students master odd and even numbers.