Tuesday, December 2, 2014

iHeart Math Holiday Hop

I have the pleasure of linking up with 22 wonderful math bloggers for an almost month long holiday hop.  We are excited about this collaboration because each day you can access a different blogger with  several holiday tips and a special gift.  Just click on the link at the bottom of this post to move to the next blog in this series!

Stocking Stuffer #1 Giving Back

This time of year when I am so busy and I have so many things planned with my students and my own children I like to take some time to remember that not everyone has a life this full.  Many older people spend their days alone and are looking for ways to pass the time.  I like to spread holiday cheer to these folks by helping my students establish connections with senior members of our community.  My favorite way to do this is by taking a class caroling at the adult day care center.  The smiles on everyone's faces are priceless!  

Stocking Stuffer #2 Holiday Math Tip

Living in the Northeast, the holidays and snow go hand in hand.  In the weeks leading up to the holiday vacation, student focus isn't at its best.  I find a great way to increase engagement in my math class and to review what we have been learning is to have a snowball toss.  Give each student a small piece of scrap paper and have them write something on it.  This could be something they know about fractions, an equation that equals 100, a division story problem or anything else you might be working on.  When they are done, have them crumble up their paper into a snowball and throw it at a target that you have drawn on the board or displayed on the screen.  Then each person goes up and picks up a snowball to read to the class.  It is a great way to share student thinking without putting anyone on the spot because they read someone else's idea.  It also will increase your student engagement and bring out misconceptions.  

A Special Gift

There is nothing like some holiday themed activities to help pass the long days of December.  I want to thank everyone for their support this year and give back to all my readers with a special gift.  

Primary teachers
Reindeer theme take away from 10 freebie!
Upper Elementary Teachers
Fraction addition and subtraction story problems reindeer task cards
Thank you for checking out our #iHeartMath Holiday Hop!  Make sure you stop by tomorrow and see what Sarah and Courtney over at Adventures in Guided Math have in store for you!


  1. I love the snowball activity. We will be doing this to let out some steam this week! Thanks for the idea!!!

    Hodges Herald

  2. I love the snowball idea. Definitely going to try that when our snow starts up. Great post...as always!
    The Research Based Classroom

    1. We have had several snowstorms already! Luckily the last batch just melted off and we are ready to start again.

  3. The snowball activity is always a hit in my classroom; we do it with different literacy activities too.

  4. The snowball toss is a great way to make formative assessment fun for students and teachers!

    Greg aka Me Elementary Math

  5. What a cool blog hop!
    Thank you for the reindeer game. I also love your snowball toss:)

  6. I love the reindeer subtraction, Tara! Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas!

    1. You are welcome! My kids had a lot of fun with it.

  7. Love the idea of a snowball toss. I can definitely see my grade 8 students getting into that, especially the boys. Thanks for the great idea!
    Teaching Math by Hart