iHeart Math Holiday Hop

Welcome to day #9 of the iHeart Math Holiday Hop! I am so excited to join 22 other math bloggers to bring you holiday tips and treats through the month of December! If you have never been to my blog before, I am a math interventionist in NYS. I work with students in grades K-5 and have a background in intermediate special education. Image Map
Holiday Tip #1: Giving Back
It is easy to get caught up in the stress of the holiday season. I love the idea of committing to 1 act of kindness towards someone else and 1 act of kindness towards yourself each day of the month to keep yourself and others sane! This may be as simple as committing to leaving within 45 minutes of the end of the school day to get home and spend time with family, treating yourself to a special drink in the morning (Starbucks!), or putting down your pile of grading so that you can go to the gym. Work will always be there, it will NEVER truly be "done" so take time for yourself. An act of kindness towards others could be as easy as leaving a copy of that great lesson you are doing on a colleague's desk, bringing in a muffin for the teacher who comes flying in having already readied their 3 kids and dropped them off at their own respective schools. You know how exciting it is to have an anonymous treat dropped off in the morning- commit to giving someone else a great start! 
Holiday Tip #2: Math Tip
Picture this, it's the day before the holiday break, the kids are excited and bouncing off of the walls and you just want everyone to be safe until dismissal. Learning would be a MAJOR victory but it seems like a far fetched dream... 

Or is it? 

I save my best trick for the day before breaks. Math scavenger hunts :) Ahead of time, I prepare, essentially, task cards and tape them up around the school. Students are broken into teams and they go off and do math review. But because they are in a team and walking around the school it seems super novel and they have no problem at all doing a set of math problems quickly and accurately! 

I would recommend making the tracking sheet novel in some way. At Thanksgiving, I have students collect a turkey feather at each station, when their turkey is complete with all 8 feathers, they are done. At Christmas, they are collecting ornaments as they go. When their tree is fully decorated the hunt is over. Before April break? Easter egg hunt with fake money inside. Get counting kiddos :) 

Also, if your students tend to bring in a CRAZY amount of snacks on the day leading up to a break, it is fun to set up a snack in the classroom and allow students to come back at the 1/2 way point for a special treat. 

I am telling you, I have used this strategy for years and it works. every. time. 
Holiday Gift for YOU!
Want to try the scavenger hunt? I put together a scavenger hunt for you! I have included one set of task cards appropriate for grades 1 and another appropriate for grade 2. Both use the same game board. Click the collage below to grab it. Enjoy! 



Thank you so much for stopping by today! Tomorrow, head over to Math Coach's Corner for the next day of the iHeart Math Holiday Hop!
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3 comments

  1. What a perfect way to spend the day before vacation! I usually do a day full of centers with breaks in between for read alouds and extra recess and I think your scavenger hunt will fit in perfectly. Thanks for sharing!

    Tara
    The Math Maniac

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  2. Love the idea of a math scavenger hunt on the last day. What a great way to keep the kids engaged...and learning!
    Kim
    Teaching Math by Hart

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