Christmas fun in the classroom!

So we have been working on some fun things this week in our room.  I love the holidays!  It is my favorite time of year.  Benchmark testing got in the way of the fun somewhat after coming back over break, but now that it's over I can get back to reviewing my kids for the end of the semester.  Here are some of the things we are working on...

My turkey hat went over so well that I decided to make another, but I wanted to make it more rigorous and of course tie it in to the curriculum I have to teach at the moment.  To make that happen I looked at what we needed more help in and it was clear my students needed a little more practice with choosing the write operation when solving problems.

So I made a hat that had problem solving on it. My students were so excited to make it that they cheered when they saw it (I'm not kidding) it was quite funny.  Sometimes we forget that they are only 8 and 9  I think.

Here is what it looked like...

It is a little hard to see from the hat, but students solved word problems and then using a color key they colored each light bulb according to the operation they chose to solve the problem.  They also had to show their work.  Some chose to do it on the back of their light bulbs and just write the answers on the front.  I checked theirs before we stapled them down.  The antlers had multiplication problems on them for them to solve as well.

If I had this to do over (aka next year) I will run the antlers on cardstock so they stand up straight.  Other than that, this was  a great activity and went over very well.

You can find it here.

We also did a second activity that involved sorting and solving problems.  We put the presents under the trees with this one.   Each tree had the symbol for the operation on it and the holiday themed word problems had different problems on them and students and to sort the problems under the correct tree.

My students being smarter than their teacher, and used to doing interactive notebooks, made the product better than I did.  They glued the edge down and made a flap so that they could show their work behind.  This made me alter the product a little so that this could be done easily for your students.  So you will see a tab on the gifts in the document, but on my example it isn't there.

When I teach my students to solve problems we ask ourselves questions and use a thinking map that I developed last year.  (The thinking map is available in my Mixed Operations Problem Solving Bundle.)

Students ask themselves: "Does the problem have a total number of something?

If the answer is yes, then I subtract or divide.  They then ask, "Does the problem have groups or am I removing something from the total?" Based on this they then choose their operation.

If the answer is no, then they add or multiply.  They ask, "Am I putting together two different numbers?  If so they add.  Or am I taking groups of the same number and putting them together? If so I multiply.

Here is a picture of the thinking map I use.  This has really helped my kids both last year and this year.  It can be a little complicated if you don't have an explanation, but I have found that in teaching it and talking them through it I teach them to think through the process.

My students have a copy of this glued in their interactive notebooks and we walk through this process when we go through problems.  It gets a bit more tricky as we get into multistep problems, but if we go sentence by sentence it still works...but that is a different post for a different time.

Stay tuned for pictures of my perimeter activities and more holiday fun later this week!  Enjoy!

1 comment

  1. Just saw your blog on Instagram and instantly fell in love with the puppy theme! Your products and clip art are also amazing!



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