# 3 Coloring Activities for Algebra and Geometry to Incorporate Creativity

You never want it to happen, but it happens anyway.

The light dims in the eyes of our artists whenever they walk into their unfortunately mandatory math class.

And it doesn’t even always mean that they’re terrible at math! In fact, many of my artists were phenomenal at geometry and algebra.

But it also doesn’t always mean they enjoy being there.

**Math Can Be a Joy-Sucking Experience…**

…especially for many of our artsy students.

We encourage our kids to come up with their own strategies for solving problems. And yet there’s something about the absolutism of math that kind of kills off joy sometimes in the creative processes.

Math purists and theorists argue that coming up with solutions to deep problems IS a creative process. But… the thing is, it definitely doesn’t feel that way when it comes in the form of a colorless and shapeless piece of paper.

For our wild ones who yearn to break free of the repetitiveness of rote memory work, they need something else to brighten their day.

**The Artist’s Plea: How to Unsuck the Joy Out of Math Class**

Listen, I know “unsuck” isn’t a word. But this isn’t an English teacher’s blog, so I will use it with no shame.

So let’s “unsuck” the joy out of math class… by adding some color into the mix!

And I don’t mean painting on canvases or anything (though nothing is stopping you from doing so). It really could just be as simple as incorporating different KINDS of activities that include coloring.

Here are a few I love to use – and the artists in my class feel so invigorated as well.

**3 Coloring Activities for Algebra and Geometry Class**

### 1. **Color-by-**Number

Watch the eyes of your artistic students **light up** as they realize they get to do some COLORING in math class!

That on its own is worth it for me.

Color-by-number activities are pretty straightforward. All the kids need to do is solve a quick algebra or geometry problem, match the answer with a color, and color in the right spot. It’s a great self-checking tool as well, since it’s easy to tell if their answers are incorrect – the color simply won’t match what the image should look like.

I know this may seem a bit primary, but there’s something to be said about getting students to do some mindful coloring to calm those algebra and geometry nerves.

After the kids do copious amounts of practice and coloring with resources like these, you even get to put them up on your classroom walls and bulletin boards to add some beautiful color to your space!

I’m all about these kinds of win-wins 🙂

### 2. **Collaborative Posters**

How beautiful would these look in your classroom??

Activities like these collaborative posters hit so many teacher things!

For one, you get kids doing some mindful coloring in math class. Like with color-by-numbers, you’ll be a hit with your artsy students. More opportunities to **bring some joy** into their day.

For another, you’re introducing an opportunity to build community and collaboration among your class. It’s really neat for them to see their individual pages come together as one big mural.

And of course, you get yet another decorative piece to put up and brighten up your room! The kids get to put up something they can be proud of all while practicing their algebra and geometry skills.

Another win-win 🙂

### 3. **3D Building Projects**

If you’ve read my other blogs or used my resources, you’ve probably figured out by now that I’m all about getting kids to do anything hands-on.

Mix that in with the opportunity to color in algebra and geometry class, and I jump on that without much hesitation.

That’s why I created resources like these 3D Building Projects to meet diverse student needs – and multiple artistic interests – all at the same time!

Once students have completed the work on the sheets, they then take their pages and build specified shapes, such as cubes, craftivity, etc.

These activities are fun for both our kinesthetic learners and our artistic students alike.

As for displaying them – I don’t really staple them on the bulletin boards for obvious reasons, but I do like to hang finished products from the ceiling. Makes the room more interesting with all the dangling shapes spinning around!

**BONUS: Writing prompts!**

Creativity isn’t just about visual art! For our artists of the written word: here are color-by-number activities that end with a self-reflective writing prompt for even MORE mindfulness!

What’s nice about these is that the writing prompts are optional – kids who can’t be bothered to do any writing at all, well… they can just leave it blank, no big deal.

For those who are early finishers, they can take some time to do some writing and self-reflection, which is honestly pretty refreshing in math class.

Either way, this is yet another way to meet a student’s creativity needs, and anytime you have that opportunity, I’m all for it!

**More Differentiated Learning Experiences**

At the end of the day, the artist’s plea is a reminder for us to differentiate student learning experiences.

Yes, the worksheets are important. Students WILL sometimes have to sit with a piece of paper and drill math problems so they can practice doing them quickly.

And yet I simply don’t believe that’s the end-all be-all of math ** learning**. There has to be joy in the experience, and as teachers, it’s up to us to understand our student needs and meet them where they are.

For more ideas on how to differentiate your algebra and geometry classes, here are a few blogs with resources to check out:

- Keep Students Laughing (at you) with these Algebra Resources!
- How to Use Geometry Word Walls for to Teach High School Math
- How to Connect Algebra to Real Life: a Gold Rush Exploration Activity
- How to Make High School Math Fun with Tarsia Puzzles
- 5 Easy Differentiated Strategies: Teaching Volume to Disengaged High School Students

**Resource Round-Up**

There are so many different ways to differentiate student learning experiences that one blog cannot possibly share them all. That’s why I’ve written many different blogs about differentiated activities for algebra and geometry class!

But for now, we’re here to focus on primarily meeting the needs of our artistic students who often feel unseen and stifled throughout their math experiences.

Here are the resources I mentioned throughout this blog:

- Color-by-Number
- Collaborative Posters
- 3D Building Projects
- Writing prompts

Is there a particular algebra or geometry concept that you would like some help creating for YOUR students? I’m thrilled to help!

And of course, if you’ve done these activities with your class, I’d love to see photos of how they turned out. You can email me photos to that same email address too! I’m excited to see them!