A Math Christmas Activity – Christmas Card

This is a great math activity for the holiday season. It is also great for any math level/content area. The added bonus is that it is very quick to create! This activity would fit in one class period in middle or high school (43-50 minutes).

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Step 1 (this is probably the longest step):

You need to find a Christmas card online that is funny and appropriate for students. You could also buy Christmas cards at Hallmark, Walmart, etc. A third option would be to have students design a funny Christmas card as a group. You could collect them and use them for this activity. You need one card per group. (I will have at most 8 groups with students working in groups of 3-4). You could use the same card for each group or a different one for each group.

A couple of options that I found online:

Step 2: You need math problems for students to solve. You need enough to take the allotted amount of time that you want this to fit in. I will make this take one class period (43 minutes). Students will be reviewing domain/range, evaluating inputs and outputs from a function. I will have 8 different problem sets for students to complete.  I need one puzzle piece for each different problem set. Therefore, I will need to cut my Christmas cards into 8 different pieces.

Where are you going to find these problems? They could be problems from your book, a worksheet you find online, a worksheet that came with your book, etc.


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Step 3: Cut your cards into the amount of problems students will solve. If they are doing 10 problems, you need 10 pieces. If they are doing 5 problems, you need 5 pieces.

Note: you need one card per group. I will have students complete this in groups of 3 to 4. I will place each group’s card into a Ziploc bag, number it (1-8 since I have 8 groups), and hang it in my room.  Each group will have a number at their desk which corresponds to their bag.


They will solve a math problem, I will check it. If it is correct, they will be able to choose a puzzle piece from their bag. They will repeat these steps until they have earned all of their puzzle pieces. Once they have all of their pieces, they will need to put their puzzle together. The first team to accomplish this will win a prize.


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Three Thanksgiving Activities for any Math Classroom

iThis week, we are practicing math by playing Thanksgiving games. We play a week’s worth of games for all major activities. During Halloween, we did a murder mystery, Dem Bones, What’s for Dinner.

I’m really excited to share with you our Thanksgiving activities. These are great for all math levels and can be used with any math content!

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ACTIVITY 1:  Find my Feathers

This activity is great for any math content and at any math level.

This is the bald turkey used for the activity. Students hooked feathers to this as they collected them.

First, I copied and laminated the turkey above for each group. I had students working in groups of 3-4. Next, I made feathers out of construction paper. I had 8 different color feathers, enough for each group to have a set.

Next, I created a problem set for each color feather. There was a red feather set, yellow, green, blue, etc.  I placed one problem set at each group of 4 desks.

For each color feather, I wrote a clue for students to find their feather in our room. For example, the yellow feather clue read, “Find your yellow feather where you can turn in your late work.” Students received their clue only after showing me their work for the yellow problem set.

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Activity 2:  Turkey Target

Students solved math problems to be able to throw a rubber duck at different sized turkey targets. I placed a masking tape line they had to stand behind to make their throw. The smaller the target, the more points they earned. The group with the most points at the end won a prize.

This is one of the rubber ducks we used. They are all Thanksgiving themed.

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Activity 3: Four Key

This is connect four Thanksgiving style. Warning, your students will LOVE this game! Great with any content and any grade level.

First, to make the connect four board, take a large piece of paper, fold it in half four times. Draw in the lines created with a Sharpie.

Second, split your class into two groups, place half of your desks on one side of the room and half on the other side. Place your game board in the middle.

To play, give students a math problem to solve and enough time to work it out with their group. If they are correct, they send one representative to the game board. They play a round of rock, paper, scissors. The winner chooses whether they want to make their move first or second. Repeat these steps until you have a winner. Note, for the winning round, I play best out of three for rock, paper, scissors and I allow them to send up anyone from their team. All other rounds, they have to send up someone new.

Want a video series that includes all of these games that your students are going to love? Click Here. 

Math Musical Chairs – Halloween Edition


Today launched the beginning of my week’s worth of Halloween activities in Algebra class. I have a costume for every theme. Today we played math musical chairs. How does this work?


  1. First, move all of your desks to the edges of the room and place your chairs in the middle of the room.


2. Separate students into two groups.

  • Note, I used two different colored leaves for my groups. I passed these out as students entered the room.

3.  Play Halloween Music – Pandora has a great Halloween station. You can also play “Monster Mash” or “Spooky Skeletons” from YouTube.

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4.  Have students play a round of musical chairs.

5. The student who is out moves to their side of the room.

  • At the beginning of the game, I told students which side of the room was for the yellow leaves and which side of the room was for the orange leaves.

6. Complete a math problem on the whiteboard. Time this and any student who is in the middle and is incorrect is also out before moving to the next round of musical chairs.

7.  Take out a chair.

  • I have 31 students in my room. I took out 2 chairs for the first few rounds to keep play moving.

How do you keep the students who are out engaged?

  • Once students were out and moved to their side of the room, I kept checking their answers. If they were incorrect, I randomly chose someone else from their team to be out.

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The Pumpkin Toss – A Halloween Math Game

How to play the great pumpkin toss! I will be dressing up to math all of my Halloween activities. For this activity, I have you guessed it, a pumpkin costume.


  • 45-50 minute class period

Materials Needed:

  • 5 plastic pumpkins
  • Candy
  • Plastic spiders to throw or other object to throw

The ones shown are $1.49 at Party City.


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Teacher Directions:

  • Purchase 5 plastic pumpkins such as the ones shown below.
    • Note, I purchased 5 different colors to make it more colorful in my room.

  • Place candy inside each pumpkin.
    • Note, I used cheaper candy inside the closest pumpkins to the line.
  • Place pumpkins in a row.
  • Use masking tape to draw a line on the ground students have to stay behind.
  • Give students a set of problems to solve.


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Student Directions:

  • Solve a math problem.
  • Check answer with teacher.
  • If answer is correct, throw plastic spider at pumpkins.
  • If spider lands in a pumpkin, you win a piece of candy from that pumpkin.
  • Repeat previous steps until class is over.


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Holiday Math Activities

Holidays are a crazy time in my life both at school and home. I’m busy at every holiday trying to get ready to celebrate with my own family and this is also the time my students decide to be extra WILD and full of energy.

Last year, I decided to capitalize on this extra energy. For every major holiday, we did five activities in math.

A sample of the activities we did last year!


  • Domain and Range from graphs – I copied bats, witches, ghosts, and ghouls onto graph paper. Then students found the domain and range.

This year, I have a new activity planned and I’m SUPER excited. I’m calling it, “What’s For Dinner.” I have been saving all of my Costco boxes. I am going to spray paint these boxes black and bedazzle them with cobwebs. Inside, I am going to put in peeled grapes (these will be eyeballs), licorice peels (rat tails), etc. Click the image below for a copy of this activity:

Free Halloween Activity – What’s For dinner


Valentine’s Day: 

  • Earn the Points – I had problems on hearts and students had to earn enough points for the day. The more complicated the problem, the more points it was worth.

My favorite Holidays are Thanksgiving and Christmas. We had some GREAT activities for Christmas.


  • Ugly Sweater Party – We had an ugly sweater party where students performed their rewritten Christmas carol with math. I sang, “Have yourself an arithmetic sequence.” While students performed, we sipped hot cocoa and ate treats that students brought in.


  • Thanksgiving Dinner – I purchased some cheap Thanksgiving plates from Walmart. Students had to solve a math problem on potatoes, turkey, sweet potatoes and other holiday favorites. They stapled them to their plates once I had checked them. In the center of their plate, I had them write something they were thankful for.

Want my Halloween Activity, what’s for dinner? Click here.


How do you celebrate the holidays in your classroom?