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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

FACEing Math!!

In October of 2009 I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the regional National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) conference in Boston.  When I go to these conferences I love to stroll through the vendors a few times.  One of the vendors caught my eye very quickly.... FACEing Math!  The booth was colorful, full of fun colored faces, and had a very reasonably priced item.
Kristin and her booth at a conference.
I spoke to Kristin Dewit, the designer, and she told me all about her idea:

  • each student is given a blank "face" template
  • students answer a question based on the topic of the lesson
  • a correct answer and the most common wrong answer are the two choices
  • each choice yields a piece of the final design
The "original" face template

A sample from Algebra lesson 1: 1-step equations with adding and subtracting.

Two different lessons from my resource classes. We always have a class competition for the one we like the best afterwards.  Looks how awesome, yet different they each look!

As the teacher you can quickly check the picture to see if the student is headed in the correct direction.  Also, because the wrong answer is the most common mistake, some great classroom discussion also happens - many debates and amazing pieces of math talk have happened over FACEing math answers in my classroom.  This is a great way to review, or possibly assess, and to make the process a bit more fun (also a great activity to leave with a substitute).  I have found through trial and error that it is often best to have the students complete all the problems before handing them the face - if not, students often get caught up in drawing the nose perfectly instead of moving to problem #2.

I ended up bringing the product back to my school and sharing the idea with my teachers - it was love at first sight!  They LOVED the idea and purchased their own sets.  The other day I decided to revisit the FACEing Math website.  To my joy and surprise, Kristin has expanded.  She now has 10 books varying from elementary levels to high school levels and tons of new faces to create.

Elementary Vocabulary
Elementary Number Sense and Computation
Primary Number Sense Book
Primary Problem Solving Book
Fractions, Decimals, & % Book
Middle School Geometry
Algebra 1
Algebra 2
High School Geometry
and NINE Create books.

The create books tend to be my favorite.  They are templates where you write in your own problem and your two answers.  These are great to make the review / lesson exactly what you want BUT they are also great for having students step up the Blooms's scale and make their own lesson.  

If you've never heard of this product, or if this sounds like something interesting to you, please take the time to visit Kristin's website linked below.  She does not advertise her product and relies solely on word of mouth.  Her passion for teaching and making a fun product is very apparent.  $20 for an awesome resource is an amazing price!  Also, just a quick side note - I am a HORRIBLE drawer and my pics always turn out awesome looking because she spells out how to add in the small features so well. 


  1. Hi Jamie,

    I saw Kristin Dewit at a GATE conference. I love her ideas and designs. Great idea to integrate math and art.

    First Grade Schoolhouse

  2. Hi Mona!

    I love that she has expanded so much in the 3 years since I first saw her. I just put in a large purchase order for my math resource class. My absolute favorite FACES are the Create your own b/c you can really customize the activity to your needs. I can't wait to get my new order in!


  3. Thanks so much for sharing! This is my first time hearing of this and I'm in love. Buying two books now!


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