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See the Math with this JiJi Day Activity

This month we celebrate math and JiJi! JiJi, the penguin in ST Math, encourages students to persevere through challenges, to love learning, and experience the thrill of success.

Join us for JiJi Day on Friday, April 27th, as students across the country celebrate math and engage in activities that promote growth mindset.

Over the years, this mighty little penguin has helped millions of students learn to love mathematics. JiJi would like to help you and your students discover the math that is all around you.

Here's how to participate:

  1. Print and cut out the JiJi printable(s). 
  2. Ask your detectives (students) to find mathematics in the world around them. (eg., geometric shapes in buildings, a floor tile that inspires interesting math conversation, an array of shoes in a closet)
  3. Detectives will take a picture of the mathematical inspiration, with their JiJi cutout in the picture.
  4. Ask detectives to describe the math they see, and then launch a math investigation or pose questions to students.
  5. Tweet highlights of their photos and discussions to @JiJiMath #seethemath.

We can’t wait to see the interesting mathematical questions you find. You never know, JiJi just might retweet you!

Use Pictures to Launch a Math Investigation


Figure 1: JiJi and some interesting floor tiles.

In figure 1, can we determine any repeatable patterns?

  • Facilitate a discussion with students around the mathematics in their photos.
  • Write down the list of ideas students brainstorm.
  • Working individually or in groups students can select an idea to investigate.

They may not actually do the investigation, but the questions they generate and the math connections they make will provide rich discussions and help deepen students’ math understanding.

Use Pictures to Pose Great Questions

Use the pictures students take with JiJi to pose great questions to deepen students’ understanding and connect concepts.

Example prompts for figure 1: How many rectangles are in the picture? What fraction of the whole is a small square? 


jiji-day-blocks-394635-editedFigure 2: JiJi and some colorful blocks

Example prompts for figure 2: How many shapes are the same/different? Is it possible to create a square with these shapes? What is the fewest number of blocks you need to cover the picture of JiJi?

Think about all the rich conversations you could have with these pictures!

Open-ended question enable deep math conversations and engage students in the modeling with mathematics, communicating mathematically and critiquing the reasoning of others, using math tools and making sense of problems and persevering in solving them.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @JiJiMath so you can tell us about your experience.


Download the See the Math Activity (PDF)

Other JiJi Day Activity Ideas

Twana Young

About the Author

Twana is Vice President of Curriculum and Instruction at MIND Research Institute. Follow her on Twitter @TwanaYoung.


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