The end of the semester is upon us! While the energy in your classroom may be brimming with anticipation, there is still math to be taught and deadlines that loom. Here are some December math activities that will get you to winter break.
Math Activities to Survive December
Business as Usual – Perhaps, you have timed it perfectly; the end of the unit or your midterm falls on the last day before the break. Bravo! You are a planning wizard.
If you haven’t heard, Maneuvering the Middle launched projects for 6th, 7th, 8th, and Algebra 1! These projects are flexible in nature and can span 3-7 days. They are purposeful, standards-based and make a great alternative to an assessment.
RATIONAL NUMBERS + LINEAR RELATIONSHIPS
- 6th graders research and calculate the costs of flying or driving to various destinations. Grab it here.
- 7th graders will calculate the cost of traveling to various National Parks and calculate the percent change in park and gas prices. Grab it here.
- 8th graders will plan a vacation and apply discount options to their vacation expenses to explore the effect on the linear relationship. Grab it here.
- Algebra 1 students will use and represent linear relationships to help them plan a vacation on a budget. Grab it here.
- 6th graders plan a career fair and compare the lifetime earnings of various careers. Get it here.
- 7th graders calculate household incomes and analyze best cities to live in based on earnings. Get it here.
- 8th graders calculate and plan saving for college. Get it here.
- Algebra 1 students find and use an exponential function to predict the rising cost of college. Get it here.
2. Winter Solve and Color Freebie
If you need a day or two for your students to complete something calmly, but also keep it math related, check out our winter solve and color freebie.
Click here to get it!
- 6th – Ratio Application
- 7th – Proportional Relationships
- 8th – Non-Proportional Relationships
- Algebra 1 – Writing Linear Functions
These concepts are typically taught in the Fall and will be great for review.
*** Fun tip: Project a fireplace, turn on some tunes, provide some colored pencils, and walk around blissfully as the fire hypnotizes your students into a peaceful calm.
3. Cookie + Dessert Recipe
This is a project that requires little planning and has a festive energy, but also engages students in a unique way. You can also give students a choice! Print off a variety of dessert recipes and allow students to pick what they would like to “make.”
Then students have to determine how much they need to make (ex: enough for the class, enough for the whole school, enough for the staff). Students have to use rational operations to calculate how much of each ingredient they will need.
You can go even further and have them shop for all of the ingredients using the various curbside or delivery options available. Texan here to recommend HEB.com.
4. Shop for Friends and Family
Let students go shopping! Give students a budget for how much they can spend to buy gifts for their friends and family. Give students a specific website to stay on like target.com and have them record their total. To spice it up, provide coupons and BOGO opportunities.
5. Jigsaw to Review
If you are preparing for a midterm, then a jigsaw may be right for your students! If you aren’t familiar with a jigsaw, essentially students become an expert in a specific math skill and then come back together with students who became experts on other math skills. Then, they teach each other their respective skills. If you need more ideas for test review, check out this test review post.
Just For Fun
While these are not December activities that are math specific, there are sometimes opportunities to do something winter themed and festive.
6. Gingerbread Houses
At my last school, we used the last few days of the semester to do celebratory type activities. I would ask students to save their milk cartons (they act as the base) from lunch for the week leading up to the activity, and have students bring in various candies, frosting, and graham crackers. I would use butcher paper to cover my tables, we would decorate for an hour and then students would take their gingerbread houses home.
Tip: You need plastic knives for spreading frosting, paper plates as a base, and gallon-sized plastic bags to transport.
7. Holiday Cards
This is the perfect activity for your class after a midterm or on an adjusted bell schedule class period. Students can make holiday cards for custodial staff, cafeteria workers, or administrators. You could also adopt a nearby assisted living facility!
8. Make Snowflakes
I used this activity for our adjusted bell schedule (30 minute classes) after our benchmarks. Students needed a brain break, and I needed something for them to do. This is the video I used to make colossal snowflakes that were hung in the gym for the winter dance.
No matter what you choose to do to make it the end of the semester this December, remember that students are jazzed for an upcoming break and to use that energy to create excitement for math. What December math activities are you planning on implementing?