Friday, November 13, 2015

The Operating Room

Calling all surgeons. After keeping my brain turning with different ways to engage my students, I went back to my notes from RCA, and remembered the wonderful Kim Bearden and the ideas she gave us. So with the help of my wonderful resource teacher, we turned my room into an operating room. We were working on adding and subtracting fractions and mixed numbers, and that is what the doctors needed to do! 

Set up wasn't too hard. I got the aluminum casserole dishes for the bodies, and that is where we put the body parts. The bags of blood (water & red food coloring) I hung from my ceiling with yarn. Each student doctor was prepared with gloves, mask, and head lamp, name tag, and operating tools (tweezers). 

Every doctor had a patient folder with Patient Notes (aka workspace) and a picture of a body where they would record their answers. Sammy and I created differentiated "bodies" to meet that needs of the kids in my classroom. The student's job was to put the body back together by solving the missing addend problems on each body part. As soon as the students were explained their cases, they were off to work to save their patient's life. With a little bit of background sound of a heart rate monitor, the doctors were busy helping their patient. 

Problems were differentiated for my different math groups, and to make that much easier for set-up, I made each table group their math group's color operating room to spice things up! 

It was also perfect that it was Career Day for Red Ribbon Week, so Sammy and I borrowed some of my mom's scrubs and were nurses for the day! (I proposed to my principal that we wear them everyday because they were so comfortable!!)

The students had a great time and loved being a doctor for the day. Most of them didn't take off their name tags all day! 

This activity was such a hit with my kids! If you have any questions, please email me at

If this would work for your class, you can get it here or click the picture below!

Happy Operating! 


  1. Wow!! I couldn't be prouder of you! Hope it is okay I share with others!

  2. I like your blog a lot. Its informative and full of information. Thank you for sharing.
    Nursing Jobs

  3. Thank you so much for sharing! Love it!

  4. I want to do this with my class but i have a couple of questions.
    - is there an entire set of body parts for each child in the middle pan? which leads me to...
    - when they finish a problem, do they keep the part or put it back in the pan?

    1. Hi! In the middle pan is one full body and yes they are finding the "solution" to the problem and they put it back in when they solve the problem! I hope this helps!

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