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.

 

What is your favorite holiday activity to use in your room? Please share by commenting below. Want more ideas like this? Click here to join our list. 

 

 

 

 

mathland

Mathland

How to play mathland!  If you like this activity, please join our mailing list for an activity like this sent to you once a week, click here. 

Teacher Directions: 

  • Take colored pieces of paper and lay them around your classroom. I used red, yellow, blue, green, orange and yellow and this is the order I laid them out. Choose a pattern and keep it throughout the room.
    • Teaching Note:  I had different pathways but it was confusing to students. I changed my papers to only travel one path in my classroom.

mathland

  • On white pieces of paper, have the four math operations (plus, minus, times, and divide).
    • Teaching Note: You only need one copy of each. Spread these out amongst the colored sheets.
  • On the first paper, write start. On the last paper, write finish.
  • Deck of cards, You need to have the four operation symbols + colors of paper on the ground in the card deck for the game.
    • Teaching Note: I used the google documents playing card template to make my deck.
  • To mark the game board, use things already in your room. (stapler, tape, pencil, cups, etc.) Teaching Note: You need enough for each group to have one.
  • Place students into groups of 3-4.
  • Give students a problem set. You could share a Google Document with them, give them a worksheet, assign them problems from their book, hang problems on the wall, etc.)

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Student Directions: 
  • Solve a problem.
  • Check it with your teacher.
  • Draw a card from the deck and move the appropriate amount of spaces.
  • Repeat previous steps until you finish.

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Full Size Formulas

When I begin teaching any new lesson, I always think about how I can make it more interactive and engaging for students. When using formulas such as the slope formula or the quadratic formula, I often have students lose negative signs. I developed activities so this no longer happens!

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When I used to teach the quadratic formula, I used color in ax2 + bx + c = 0 for a, b and c. I used a different color for each. Then I would use the same colors in the quadratic formula. I still had some students that didn’t follow this even using the colors. This reach more of my students than without color but it didn’t reach them all.

As you can tell from my other posts, I enjoy games; however, they aren’t always the best way to introduce a topic. I needed a way to make the quadratic formula more engaging. I blew it up and laminated it. I enlarged two copies of the same quadratic equation.

Now, students could physically cut out A, B, and C in standard form and place it on the appropriate spot on the quadratic formula. I had two copies of the same quadratic equation since we need A twice.

Next, we used dry erase markers and wrote the equation that was left.

Finally, we discussed how to simplify the quadratic formula.

Video of lesson: http://https://youtu.be/cpkB1IFGetw

I did the same with the slope formula and had students no longer lose the subtraction sign when they are finding the difference between the x-coordinates and y-coordinates.

How do you make formulas more engaging?

 

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