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## Cool Math Activities: 10 Ways to Use Shopping Catalogues for Learning

Shopping catalogs are an interesting mathematical resource when teaching respite, as they provide the basis for rapid mathematical thinking. Kids love them and they are so practical. First, they are free, second, they are easy to obtain, and third, they can serve as the basis for interesting math activities. I keep at least fifty catalogs in my bag of tricks.

I usually (but not always) ask before grabbing around 30 catalogs from the storefront.

Catalogs are great for teaching math activities.

They can be used for a number of cool math activities that will keep students actively engaged.

Students will need to cut and paste. It might be a cool math activity, but it involves clutter and noise.

Maybe you should let the next professor know. They may think you have a riot of relief teachers.

But for valuable learning – it’s worth it.

Sometimes when I’m supply teaching, I let them know we’re doing some really cool math stuff and challenge them with some of the math activities below. Often this turns into a race – especially with boys.

At other relief teaching gigs, I write about 5 on the board and let them go. Stop the activity when most children have finished and write 5 more.

10 quick math lessons using catalogs.

- Buy 5 items and get the LEAST change from $50.
- Buy 10 items and get your total between $70 and $75. (You can change the value according to the catalog of children)
- Make two purchases – one for 10 items and one for 5 items. Totals must be within $5 of each other.
- Buy 5 items for your teacher. (Let them know what you like)
- Buy 5 non-food items and 5 food items within $1 of each other.
- Buy 6 items which will give you less than $10 change from $100.
- Find five items under $20 each and rank them in ascending/descending order.
- Buy a pair of items that will earn $2 and another pair that will earn $3 and go up to $10 (or $20)
- Buy 3 items at a time – but the total must be $2, then $3, then $4 and so on.
- Buy 5 items. Purchase 5 more items for the total to be half of your first purchase.

It is easier for the activity if the students all have the same catalog to work from.

If the catalogs are not at the entrance/exit of the store, I ask the service counter of the grocery store if I can take about thirty of them.

The saleswoman looks at me as if I had to escape from a psychiatric hospital, but she hands them to me normally.

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