Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas / Holiday Activities

The "Dreaded" Word Problems
I try to weave in as many word problems and problem solving tasks throughout the year as possible.  I have created some holiday themed problem solving and word problem task cards, and am in the process of creating even more.  This is a weak area in most grades.  I have included a couple of examples of my Thanksgiving and Christmas task cards below.  Although they can be used in a math center, etc... these cards were presented as a whole class activity.  I presented them using my best friend, the digital projector :)  Once finished, I posted some of the more creative answers on chart paper and displayed them in the hallway and my classroom.  I love these problems because they allow my students to really think and be creative themselves. 
Thanksgiving Tales
 This card is about the size of 1/4 piece of paper. 
I always create 4 to a page.
I simply place the task card on the digital projector and use it as a whole class opening before beginning my lesson.

Oftentimes the students are required to work the problems out showing at least 2 different representations of the problem.  They always have to label, label, label.  I feel that when they label, they have to think more about what they are putting down on their paper.

Christmas Tales

Adopting a 2nd Grader for Christmas
My 4th graders were so excited when I told them they were going to be adopting a 2nd grade child this holiday season.  This simple idea is beginning to develop into a year long project between my class and the 2nd grade class.  I assigned a child from my class to every child in a 2nd grade classroom.  We began the project by designing Christmas cards for the little tikes.  My kids were beside themselves when making the Christmas cards.  Much effort was put into making them look good.  I took a picture of each 4th grader and we placed it somewhere on the Christmas card.  When finished we taped a candy cane to the card.  This first introduction was not in person.  Last Friday, our Christmas party day, I presented the cards to the 2nd graders and told them how excited we were to be their 4th grade pals.  The happiness on those little
faces was priceless. They wanted to write us back right then and there!  Their teacher told me at the end of the day that was all they talked about, in spite of the party and festivities of the day.  I can't wait to get back to school and plan some awesome activities or surprises with my class.  If anyone has any suggestions about some fun activities or ideas please let me know!   


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