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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Christmas is Coming! Keep 'Em Learning!

Christmas is my favorite time of year!  I love everything about the whole holiday season.  If it's a year where all of my students celebrate Christmas, we have some real fun reviewing all kinds of math, language, and geography skills.
I can find the math in just about everything, just like in the book, Math Curse {wink}.  One of my favorite activities, (12 Days of Christmas A Gift Giving Dilemma) is to read the 12 Days of Christmas and then the math begins!  I have students figure out how many total gifts were given.  Let's see . . . he brings 1 gift the first day, and the second day he brings 2 turtle doves and a partridge, so that's 3 gifts on day 2 and so he's brought 4 gifts in all in two days.  Holy smoke!  How many will it add up to by the end of the 12th day?  I introduce the lesson with a YouTube video and using a fun SMART Board file.  Look out!  Let the pattern hunting begin!

After students have figured out how many gifts were given, {in true Math Curse style} I say, "Woa!  I wonder how much all of that cost?"  (What Was the Cost of the Gifts Given from the 12 Days of Christmas?) You should see the looks on my students' faces!  Oh my gosh, it's hilarious but students know me and that I love to have fun with learning so off we go calculating prices for five more days of math fun.

Then the 12 days of Christmas song reminds me of other math problems and it takes us awhile to solve all 12 problems.  (The 12 Days of Christmas Math Problems.)  For example, If a partridge flew from pear tree to pear tree and he flew 26 feet and landed on the first tree.  Then he flew 35 feet and landed on the second tree, and 37 feet to the third tree an 46 feet to the fourth tree.  How much would that be in all?  Then, how much would that be in yards?  And then on we go to day 2's math problem.

Then we use the 12 days of Christmas to solve grammar problems!  (The 12 Days of Christmas Grammar.)  Will it ever end?  {wink}  On day 1 (homophones review), did the partridge lay a pair/pear of eggs in the nest?  And did the true love leave his present over there/their/they're?   How about the card from the true love?  Was it signed your/you're true love?  Did people come from all over to see/sea the partridges?  And what happened to the pear trees when the wind blew/blue all night long?  Then day 2 comes and it's time to use proper nouns with the Christmas song.

 For students who will be away from school or if you want to challenge your learners, there's The 12 Days of Math, Language and Geography Activities.  This also makes a great "What do I do when I'm finished?" packet.

All of these activities have answer keys so students can check their own work and all of the activities are designed for students to review and sharpen essential kills.  I love that they work so hard and intently during a time when many students are unfocused or unmotivated.

So now you have another glimpse into the fun we have learning in my fourth grade classroom at Christmas time.  Enjoy everything about the holidays but keep the students engaged and learning!

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