A math menu is basically a list of tasks for students to choose from. They can be games, task cards, sorts, tasks....anything you want them to be. I created mine menu with real-world math problems relating to multiplication of fractions. I wanted my students to be able to demonstrate their problem solving skills and their knowledge of multiplying fractions.
I decided to only allow my students two days to complete this menu, so I assigned everyone a minimum of 2 appetizers, 3 entrées, and 2 desserts of their choice. I think they could have easily worked on this for another day or two. They loved having the autonomy to make curriculum decisions for themselves. The variety of difficulty on the main tasks provided something for everyone. I witnessed students read over a task and decide it was too easy or too hard and switch to something that was a better level for them and my students really showed mathematical perseverance with these tasks.
While they worked on the tasks, I had time to work with individual students who needed extra support. It gave me time to discuss student work and mathematical thinking with students individually. Which was a great informal assessment to help me know if they were ready to move on. But my most pleasant surprise came from a student who worked for an hour on one of the main tasks. And I mean worked hard for a solid hour. When the time came to end math for the day, he said to me, "I can't believe I worked the whole time on this problem." This is the student who often gives up when something looks or feels like work - whether it's easy or hard. It kind of felt like payday minus actual money in the bank.
At the end of the second day, I had my students put their tasks in order with the menu and staple them together to turn in and that same student came and told me, "We need to do more of these. They were fun." Really? A math menu for review just engaged my hard to engage student? Oh yes, I'll be making more math menus.
If you are interested in my Math Menu: Multiplying Fractions, it's available at TpT. You can also check out other products for fifth grade at Focused on Fifth's Products for Payday linky.