Looking for a hands-on math activity for your students? You should try "Power Tower!" All you need is some cups from your local dollar store and this laminated document. Split your class into small groups and challenge them to create strong structures as they are answering math problems.
Each division problem is worth a certain amount of cups. Easier problems are worth one cup, some questions are worth two cups, and the hardest ones are worth three cups. Group members work together to solve the problems. All members must agree and be confident in their work because when time is up, the teacher goes around and checks their final answers! If all answers are correct, then that team gets to keep all of their cups. If a one cup question has an incorrect answer, then one cup is removed from the top of the tower; if a two cup question is answered incorrectly, then two cups must be removed from the top of the tower, etc. The tower must be strong enough to remain standing while cups are being removed.
After ALL teams' answers have been checked, the team with the strongest and tallest tower wins! I like to take a picture of the winning team with their tower and put the picture on display in the classroom.
Have fun with this student-centered, hands-on activity! :)
Virginia SOL: Math 5.4