Math and Mystery Number Skypes

Mystery Number Skype
Mystery Number Skype

During the month of March many primary classes in my school are emphasizing whole number characteristics. Second grade was and continues to focus on place value, even/odd numbers and patterns.  Students used base ten blocks last Monday and played Name that Number with their peers. Teachers in the upper grades in my district have experimented with Mystery Skypes over the past few years, so I thought there might be value in using them in math class.  Last year my class had a Skype session with a school in New York.  Remembering the experience, I thought it might be a good idea to research this further.  While looking through my Twitter feed I was able to connect with @vjohnsonsdb, a second grade teacher.  Val was looking for another class to have a Mystery Number Skype with.  We agreed to have a session last Thursday.

Before the class began I reviewed a few different sites (1, 2, 3) related to the nature of number Skypes.  The students came up with a few questions before the Skype and roles were assigned.  Here are a few questions that were part of our brainstorming session:

  • Is the number even or odd?
  • Is the number between 1 – 25?
  • Is there a 5 or more in the tens place?
  • Is there a thousands place?
  • Do all the digits added together equal 10 or more?

Students were assigned roles as a questioner, ambassadors and researchers.  After we found each class’ mystery number, students were given an opportunity to ask questions about the other class. Afterwards, we researched the other class’ location.  We reflected on the experience and are looking forward to our next Mystery Skype.

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