Christmas Math

”Math at Christmas time?!” the kids moaned. I said, "You betcha." And we proceeded to have a grand time with our studies. Chuck the text book and have a blast with some of these activities.

Make a class graph of favorite "tree toppers". Make a large Christmas tree shape from green tagboard. Make a graph with appropriate number of columns on the tree; column headings might include: angel, star. bell, other. Children may sign their name under the column of their choice.

Make a list of gifts (real or imaginary) you want to get for others for the holidays. Allow yourself a fixed sum to "spend" for the gifts. Check prices in catalogs and newspaper advertisements. List the cost of the item. Add the cosst of gifts and subtract form your fixed budget amount.

Triangle Reindeer

Materials:
cotton swabs
brown crayon
9" X 11" brown construction paper
white scraps of paper
9" X 11" black construction paper
glue
scissors
red tissue paper

Directions:
Demonstrate drawing a large triangle on the brown paper for the face. Draw two smaller triangles for the ears. Draw two circles on the white paper for eyes and two smaller brown circles for the center of the eyes. Wad up the tissue paper to make a nose. Glue the large brown triangle on black paper, add triangle ears, circle eyes, and tissue paper nose. Color the sticks of the cotton swabs brown and glue on the top of head for antlers.

Snowball Math

Use this indoor game to reinforce multiplication facts. To play, line up ten coffee cans-each labeled with a numeral from zero to nine-randomly against the wall. From a distance of three feet, have students toss styrofoam snowballs until two drop into cans. Kids score by multiplying the numbers. After four turns each, kids total score. This works best if you divide students into groups and have a set of ten cans for each group-then students may take more turns.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Inject holiday fun into charting and calculating by using the song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas". First, post the words to the song, then have your students chart the number of each gift given day by day, with totals for each day and a grand total for the 12-day period. Use the chart to pose further problems:

· What's the total number of all gifts given on day 1, 2 3, and so on.
· What's the total number of gifts given over the 12 days?
· Which gift boasts the largest total?


Encourage children to go further and design graphs-perhaps pictographs-showing all the gifts received on each day. Invite them to devise their own puzzlers and word problems for each other.

Students will compare the height and weight of reindeer to that of more common deer, horses, and cows. They will create graphs.

Math -- reading a chart. How many greeting cards will be sold this holiday season? Invite students to use the estimated sales figures presented on the Greeting Card Association Web site to answer the following questions:

· How many cards (for all holidays) will be sold in 1998? (6.8 billion)
· How many dollars will people in the U.S. spend on all holiday greeting cards in 1998? ($7.5 billion)
· How many Christmas cards will be sold this year? (2.6 billion)
· How many Chanukah cards will be sold this year? (10 million)
· How many Chanukah and Jewish New Year cards will be sold in all in 1998? (20 million)
· Were more cards sold this year for Mother's Day or Father's Day? How many more? (Mother's Day, 55 million more)
· For which holiday are 900 million cards sold this year? (Valentine's Day)
· Were more cards sold for Halloween or Thanksgiving? (Thanksgiving)
· How many April Fool's cards were sold this year? (500,000)


Other fun sites for Christmas Math and Christmas Math Worksheets:

http://sln.fi.edu/school/math/merry.html
http://www.abcteach.com/Christmas/ChristmasTOC.htm
http://members.tripod.com/~LadyDonna/xmas.html
http://members.aol.com/poetrynook/ChristmasMath.html
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/1465/xmasclass.html


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