Maybe I Should Have Asked If You Would Rather Make Valentines or Eat Chocolate-Covered Ants

UPDATE 1/26/2021 – Here is my up-to-date Wakelet collection of Valentine’s Day resources.

Around this time last year, I wrote about using the “Would You Rather?” format for math problems.  This idea was brought to my attention when Richard Byrne posted about John Stevens’ awesome site where he regularly publishes these challenges.  If you have middle-high school age students, I highly recommend that you check out John’s blog.

Because my students are younger, I made a series of my own “Would You Rather” questions last year.  A few of them tied into Valentine’s Day.  You can access the problems and download the slides for your own use here.

Click here for more "Would You Rather" problems!
Click here for more “Would You Rather” problems!

I rolled out the set a couple of weeks ago for new groups of students to try.  I decided this year to give them a format for their answers.  I wanted to make sure they not only answer the question, but show their math and cite any resources they used (we haven’t worked on formal citations yet, as you might notice).  As you can see from some of the examples below, the sheet the students fill in has evolved a bit to make it a little more visually pleasing.

The students are allowed to choose any of the problems they like to work on.  It can be interesting to see their preferences.  What’s fun is that even the students who choose the same exact questions can have completely different correct answers.

I’ve been meaning to make some more of these because I like the multiple steps necessary, what the students learn about searching the web for information (they are working on finding reliable sources right now), and the writing needed to describe their thoughts.  However, I haven’t had the chance to add to the collection.  In the meantime, feel free to use the ones from last year and let me know if you have any suggestions!  And here is a link to the PDF for my latest iteration of journal sheets for these challenges.

Would You Rather Be My Valentine or Do a Few Math Problems?

Would You Rather Be My Valentine

UPDATE 1/26/2021 – Here is my up-to-date Wakelet collection of Valentine’s Day resources.

Earlier this month, I saw a post by Richard Byrne that led me to this great site of mathematical “Would You Rather” problems.  John Stevens (@JStevens009) is the clever man who creates these mathematical challenges, and I love the thinking that is required to solve the questions he poses.  I tried a few with my 3rd graders, and they were hooked.  Many of the problems, though, require a little more advanced math knowledge than generally possessed by 8-year-olds, so I thought about penning a few of my own.  Since Valentine’s Day is closing in, I decided to go with that theme.  I asked John if he minded me borrowing his idea, and he generously gave me the go-ahead.

The rule I give my students for these problems is that they must prove their answer using mathematical reasoning.  They are allowed to use the internet to research and/or do some hands-on measurements.  It’s possible that they may be able to justify completely different answers.  For example, on the one about the pound of chocolate, they might choose the lower amount instead of the higher because they are not huge fans of chocolate – though that seems to be rather rare.

I don’t know if you have ever heard kids playing the actual “Would You Rather” game, but it can get a little disgusting.  They seem to enjoy the gross questions, so I threw one into this series for the sake of low entertainment 😉

Feel free to use the Google Presentation, this Powerpoint file, or this PDF.

UPDATE 2/8/16: Here is a link to my post that includes a printable sheet for students to record their Would You Rather responses.

For more Valentine-related links, check out this post!

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