I remember when I first heard about Clothesline Math, I was excited by all the possibilities. And in a few conference sessions with Chris Shore, I saw there was so much more than I had even imagined that one could do with it!
It’s basically a number line, that’s all. But it’s a nice public giant number line which can get kids talking. Today I came back from spring break and before break, students learned about logarithms. However I wanted to have them recall what precisely logarithms were… so I created a quick Clothesline Math activity.
I hung a string in the classroom. I highlighted it in yellow because you can’t really see it in the photo…
I then showed them this slide – explaining the string is a number line…
I then showed them this slide, which explains what they have to do if they get two of the same number. (I brought cute little clothespins, but mini binder clips or paperclips would have worked just as well):
And then I gave them the rules of play:
I handed out the cards and let kids go. It was nice to see they didn’t get tripped up as a class on too many of them, but I got to listen to debates over a few trickier ones, which we collectively resolved at the end.
Here are the cards I handed out: .DOC FORM: 2019-04-01 Clothesline Math – Logarithms
Here is a picture of some of the cards. The two on the left are average level of difficulty. The two in the middle caused my kids to pause… it took them time to think things through (they haven’t learned any log properties yet). The one on the right doesn’t belong on the number one (it is undefined) and the kid who got that card immediately knew that. Huzzah!
Here’s a picture of the numberline at the end.
And… that’s it!
I was excited to try it out as a quick review activity. And it worked perfectly for that!
(Other things of note: Mary Bourassa made a clothesline math for log properties and shares that here. The author of Give Me A Sine blog does something similar here, but has kids create the cards. I couldn’t find anything with basic log expressions — so I made ’em and am sharing them in this post. Chris Hunter has a nice tarsia puzzle that sticks with basic log expressions here, but I wanted to try out clothesline math so I didn’t use that!) But if anyone has others out there involving logs, I’d love to see them in the comments!)