Seasonal Math Activities

Incorporating Strong Mathematical Concepts and Skills

Fall ushers in the seasonal holidays and classroom teachers and students are eager to capture the spirit of the holidays. It is very easy to incorporate mathematical concepts and skills built around these common themes. Whatever concept your class is currently developing, there are fun ways to incorporate math: estimation, measurement, basic facts, problem solving, discrete math, probability, graphing, data collection, geometry, etc.

When planning seasonal activities, be sure that the activity is mathematically rich and supports student learning or provides additional practice of basic facts and other skills. Appropriate seasonal activities are so much more than pumpkins on a worksheet! Whether you match standards activities to your current unit of study, or add some seasonal math games to your math center or game day, students will enjoy the thematic approach.

Fall 2008 Math Activities

Standards/Objectives: The Fall 2008 collection is organized by Standards/Objectives to make it easier for teachers to coordinate activities to match current units of learning. Here are some suggestions for including seasonal themes in your regular mathematical lessons.

Featured Game: Fat Bat Game

Students roll a die to see how many insects their bat eats. Students may continue rolling, in this Bat version of Pig, until they elect to stop, or until they roll a 1. But be careful! If your bat is still eating (collecting points) when a one is tossed, you are a Fat Bat and lose all of your points for that round.

This game is designed to provide a fun experience in the experimental probability of a single die toss. However, students get lots of practice adding a string of single digit numbers, as they total up their winning points for each round. A data analysis option is included to formally extend the analysis of the game's probability for older students.

Download Fat Bat for the student recording sheet, directions for whole class play, and data analysis option for extending the game.

Strategy of the Month: Using Math Templates

Using math templates during instruction keeps each student actively involved and allows the teacher to informally assess each student's proficiency with the skills and concepts addressed in the day's lesson. Many teachers regularly use whiteboards to have students record answers, write terms, draw pictures, etc. The use of templates in sheet protectors extends this practice and eliminates the time spent drawing diagrams, etc., allowing students more time to demonstrate mathematical proficiency.

Teachers who regularly use math templates include planned task items that assess student proficiency. Careful observation of student responses allows teachers to form flexible small groups for additional instruction or enrichment and also better plan for instruction.

Student Use of Templates: Mathwire templates are designed to be inserted into a clear sheet protector for student use. Students use dry erase markers and erasers to work on the templates. Students may easily store current templates in their desks for easy retrieval.

Teacher Use of Templates: Mathwire templates may be copied onto transparencies for use on the overhead. Insert the transparency into a sheet protector so that the teacher may also use dry erase markers and erasers. This practice keeps transparencies clean and clear for multiple uses. Many teachers keep a binder of transparencies, ready for use.

Tip of the Month

It's always an effective practice for students to come to the overhead to explain how they found an answer or to write in the correct answers. Save the "dead time" of copying by having the student remove his/her template from its sheet protector. The student may simply place his/her sheet protector over the teacher transparency on the overhead. Voila! The student may instantly present his/her work to classmates with no waiting. Instead, he/she concentrates on explaining and answering questions from classmates.

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About is designed to provide activities and appropriate worksheets for teachers to use in their classrooms.   All activities and worksheets support the constructivist approach to learning mathematics and the NCTM Standards.

Activities:   The activities on this site were developed by Terry Kawas and the teachers in districts where she has worked as a math consultant and coach or with students she has taught in college math-methods courses.   The activities are classroom-tested by teachers and appropriate modifications have been made to reflect this field-testing.   These activities are posted online in an effort to share quality activities and routines within the mathematics community.

Terms of Use:   Teachers are welcome to download any of the activities for free use in their classrooms.   No activities may be copied for use on other websites or included in commercial products without permission in writing from Terry Kawas, webmaster.   Contact Terry Kawas