I love teaching through the holidays. From fall through Christmas I have have so much fun with my students, and seeing holidays and events through their eyes makes everything a little more special. This can be a great opportunity to engage students in meaningful math tasks that reinforce a rigorous curriculum. I’ve recently created ten 4th grade Christmas math centers that are great for reinforcing math concepts taught in the first half of the school year. If you’re a 3rd grade teacher, you can visit this post to learn more about my 3rd grade Christmas centers.
These activities were designed to be used as centers that can be organized with file folders or any basic container or storage device. I like to attach each center activity title page to the outside of a file folder and attach the center’s directions on the inside of the file folder and laminate the folder. The only prep needed is to print the task cards and/or recording sheets, laminate, and place the cards inside the corresponding file folder, and you’re ready!
In one of the centers, students solve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division word problems that are all based on Christmas shopping scenarios. I love that this gives students real-life math problems. Yes, one of the cards is upside down:)
What’s In Santa’s Bag?
My students still need to work on understanding the value of a digit, especially in relation to multiples of ten in multiplication and division. They can tell me the value of a digit in a number, but they need practice being able to mentally multiply and divide by multiples of ten, so I included a little extra practice. I think this will be great practice for students, and it will be a huge help with long division.
I love to incorporate graphing throughout all of my instruction, rather than having an isolated graphing unit. I’ve included six different graphs: 2 bar graphs, 2 line plots, and 2 picture graphs. For each graph, there are four task cards based on the graph.
My Haunted Math was so popular, I decided to create a Christmas version. This is very similar to the popular game of Clue. In this version, someone hid Santa’s bag. It’s students’ job to determine who hid the bag, what was in the bag, and the room where the bag is hidden. Students will use the clues on the Haunted Math task cards to solve the mystery in a similar manner to clue. To find a clue students solve the problem on the recording sheet and find the task card that has the answer to the problem on the recording sheet. It will either be a who, what, or where card. Student check off the clue on the table to the right. When students find the who, what, and where that was not checked off, they find the solution to the mystery!
This activity is FULL of multi-step word problems that involve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Students use the Christmas Candy guide to solve problems based on the case of the candy. I explained that the candy is extremely expensive, because it had to be shipped to the North Pole. The real reason for the high prices is that I wanted students to have plenty of practice with 2-digit by 2-digit multiplication.
Frosty Factors and Multiples
For some reason, factors, multiples, prime, and composite are the most challenging concepts my students learn all year. I definitely wanted to add a little extra practice, so I’ve included an entire activity dedicated to factors and multiples.
This is one of my students’ favorite activities. I have a collection of five different Christmas images that students can complete a symmetrical drawing for. Half of the drawing is already completed for students, and they use grid paper to complete the drawing. This is a great way to squeeze in a little geometry instruction!
Gingerbread Multiplication and Division
In the Gingerbread Multiplication activity, students have a collection of cards that represent multiplication problems. Students should group all of the distributive property cards together, partial product cards together, and area model cards together. Then, students should match the distributive property cards with the corresponding partial product card. After that, students should match the two cards with an area model card that reflects the same multiplication problem. Students rite the matching multiplication number sentences on the recording sheet and solve the problem. There is also a set of division cards that can be completed the same way.
Put all of your Christmas junk mail to good use in this activity. Give students access to various catalogs, and have them use the catalogs to solve complex math problems. Students will create a budget, shop for others, and look for ways to save money.
Christmas Algebra Pictures
This is, by far, my favorite activity in this set of Christmas math centers! The cards start out fairly easy, so students to understand the process and develop a little confidence. Then, they gradually become more and more challenging. My class is now obsessed with these, and the difficult ones are great for teaching growth mindset.
This is what we’ll be doing in math through Christmas break. You can find them here!