Fun Christmas Ideas for the Middle School Math Classroom

One of the things I like best about teaching in a Catholic school is the ability to celebrate religious holidays like Christmas with my students so I am always looking for ways to incorporate the fun of the season into my daily classes.  Here is a collection for some of my favorite Christmas activities that go along with topics that I teach in December:

Equation Writing

I write 2-step equations on little slips of red paper, fold them and stick them in a stocking.  I write different Christmas “things” (like Christmas trees, presents, stockings, reindeer, etc.) on little slips of green paper and stick them in a different stocking.

I have the students partner up.  One student from each pair reaches into the 1st stocking and picks a red slip while the other student picks a green slip from the 2nd stocking.  They then have to work together to write a word problem about the thing that’s on their green slip that could be solved using the equation from their red slip.  It’s a great, critical thinking activity!

(If you’re in need of a bulletin board display, have them write their problem on nice paper, make a drawing that goes along with it and then have them solve the problem below it – makes a great Christmas math display)!

Percents

I made this quick self-checking sheet a couple of years ago to review finding the percent of a number.  Students start at the bottom and work their way up.  They know if they did the page correctly if their last answer matches the number in the star.  I use it as a warm-up around Christmas time with my 6th graders – it only takes a few minutes to complete and students (and teachers who don’t want to spend time checking/grading papers) love the self-checking aspect of it!  Grab it for free by clicking the picture below.

(I have a set of Christmas percent word problem task cards for \$3 in my TpT store, if you are interested, as well.  They are fun and challenging word problems that really make the students think Click the picture below if you are interested in them.)

Use sale ads:  Have students calculate the percent of discount for an ad that lists the sale price and original price of an item.  Have them calculate the total price of something including sales tax.  Tell them they get an additional 20% off the sale price and ask them how much something will cost…..the possibilities are endless!

Systems of Equations

Systems are my absolute favorite topic to teach in Algebra!  I love everything about them – but my absolute favorite is systems of equations word problems!  I always teach this topic in December and years ago I made this Christmas word problem activity.  It’s FREE, so just click one of the pictures below to download the resource – it is one of my absolute FAVORITE resources and my students have fun with it every year.  Students answer the word problems – there is a good variety of different types of systems of equations word problems – and then plot their answer on a coordinate plane.  At the end, they connect the ordered pairs in alphabetical order, which makes a Christmas tree.

Those are just a few of my favorite ways to bring the fun of the season into the topics I teach in December.  Please feel free to share your own Christmas math ideas by leaving me a comment!