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Me By the Numbers, a Back-to-School Math Activity

Research shows the importance of building relationships with our students. During the early days of the school year, we often incorporate getting-to-know-you activities. Why not add a little math to the equation (pun intended)? A number of years ago, I came across this back-to-school math activity posted by middle school teacher Katrina at Live, Love, Teach. I loved the idea of a Me By the Numbers poster and created a template for teachers to use.

Activities like this have several benefits. First, they give us a glimpse into our students’ lives and interests–something that should always be our goal with a new class. Next, they also help students get to know each other and make connections with students who may share their interests. And finally, they help connect students to math in the real world. Oftentimes, the only math students can identify outside the classroom is homework! We want them to understand that math is interwoven into all aspects of their lives.

Consider making your own poster as part of your introduction to the students. It’s a great way to introduce the idea that you and the students are all mathematicians working together in a mathematical community.

back to school math

Since we’re talking back-to-school, check out this post on back-to-school math game hacks.

Click here to grab your copy of the Me by the Numbers template.  Enjoy!!

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  1. Thank you so much for this! A template was exactly what I thought about – how would my little incoming 2nd graders draw the lines and get their boxes! I could sense the frustration. I appreciate this.
    – Sydney
    Lessons Learned

    1. Sydney, I know exactly what you mean!! I imagined that a lot of TEACHERS would be frustrated drawing the lines and boxes. Ha ha!

  2. I love your posts on Facebook, how I found you. I just need to figure out a way to organize your blog posts with my curriculum map, any suggestions?

    1. Welcome, Alicia! If you scroll to the bottom of this post, you’ll see an index called Find What You Need. Click on any of the words or phrases to bring up all the posts with that tag. Hope that will help a little!!

  3. Thanks so much for making and sharing this. I’ll be using this in a few weeks for my summer school students and again at the beginning of the year for my 3rd graders. Thanks again.


  4. Thank you for sharing this, I’m certain that this template will serve several purposes! Excited to use these this coming school year!

  5. Donna, I’m trying to download the template, but it will not let me. Frustrated! Can you email it to me?
    Shanda Besson

    1. What trouble are you having? When you click on the underlined “here”, it should take you right into the Google Doc. Are you getting some type of error message?

  6. Thank you! Loved it on Pinterest and now you’ve saved me some time making one myself! I hope you get some time to relax before going back to school again. 🙂

  7. I really love this idea as well, but is there a brief overview of where students get the numbers or do they just make them up?? Thanks so much for making the template!!!

  8. Thanks for sharing your template….saves me one more thing to do in the race to get ready for the beginning of the school year. Such a fun idea!

  9. I used this with my undergraduate math methods class…they loved it. We discussed the benefits of using it in a classroom and that math is everywhere! Thank you for all your great ideas!

  10. Thank you Donna for another amazing post. I can imagine modifying this for Pre-K/K using pictures they can find or pre-cut pics…with parents assistance of course. Also, maybe modifying the spaces to maybe 4. This is a great “getting to know me” activity. Is there a template already created for younger students? If so…please let me know how I can obtain a copy. Thanks Again!

    1. Andrea, so glad you like the activity! At this time, the template in the post is the only one I have. 🙂

  11. Thank you. I plan to use this with my new 6th grades at the start of the school year. This will be great to display.

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