Math Warm-Up: Today Is February 4×3×2×1

[Feature photo above by Tom@HK.]

One of my favorite warm-up exercises for Math Club is “Today is ______.” Each student invents one or more mathematical expressions for today’s date and writes his or her favorite on the board for all to admire. Answers range from lazy (24×1 — at least it’s an excuse to talk about identity elements) to unnecessarily repetitive (1+1+1+…), but we usually get a few gems as well.

Today is February \binom{6}{3} + \sqrt[4]{2^{8}}

I need a longer activity for this Friday’s co-op class. Maybe we’ll make our own version of Theoni Pappas’s calendar: I’ll print out blank calendar pages and have the kids fill in expressions for March 2009.

Teachers: Share Your Wisdom

Do you know a quick, effective math warm-up exercise? I’d love to try it out. :) Post in the Comments below, or write it up on your own blog. But don’t forget to come back here to post a link!

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