I love a good holiday celebration! I love the excitement and sense of joy surrounding a holiday. But as a secondary math teacher, the days leading up to a holiday can be hard. As excitement builds, students’ focus seems to dwindle. So, how can we capture the spirit of a holiday, while still being culturally responsive, in a secondary classroom?
An additional barrier is time. Who has time to plan and execute a celebration in a secondary class? Generally, we leave the parties and school-wide events to the lower-grade schools. In middle and high school classrooms, there is too much content to teach to give up one class period for a party. But what if we can do both? We can use content to celebrate?!
I have gathered a few of my favorite ideas and resources to help do the planning for you!
ACADEMIC HOLIDAY Décor
Chain link activities make great classroom décor, so print them onto colored paper for some festive fun! Great for any holiday (Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Earth Day, etc.)! Just print on festive-colored paper and you have instant holiday décor. Grab this Pythagorean Theorem practice here!
Math pennants keep students engaged and focused on their math through the weeks leading up to the holidays. In this post are a bunch of special holiday-themed math pennants with lots of math and places for students to color. Check out the full set of options available from my friend Shana at Scaffolded Math and Science!
GENERAL HOLIDAY CELEBRATION IDEAS
‘Tis the season for hot chocolate, snow, gifts, finals, and semester grades! I really love this time of year and love bringing some extra holiday magic to the classroom as well. These two posts (linked images) give over 15 ideas for celebrating the winter season without giving up too much class time!
For a festive and fun filler activity, celebrate the holidays and seasons with these All About Me Activities! Students complete countdown-style lists about themselves with a holiday twist. Perfect for early finishers or if you need an easy substitute plan, while still allowing students to get into the spirit! Click each one to see more details!
HOLIDAY-THEMED MATH PRACTICE
My friend Tyra at Algebra and Beyond created these true/false math activities that are digital, interactive, and self-checking! A fun spin on true/false statements by using trick/treat or naughty/nice to get your students excited to review each math concept and determine if each statement is correct. It’s perfect for whole group, partner, or even individual learning. Click here to see these resources!
With these Halloween math activities from my friend Amanda at Free to Discover, students will engage in cooperative learning as they solve math problems. You will love students’ focus and excitement in this no-prep stations activity. Check out all the Halloween resources here!
My friend Jamie from Jamie Miller Math has a bundle of great math practice activities! These Holiday QR Code Activities are the perfect way to engage students with learning, technology, group work, and a mini room transformation for the holidays/seasons should you choose to decorate. Each activity allows students to practice various math skills with 15 practice problems. Click here to check them out!
Color-by-Number activities are not just for elementary students! Big kids love them, too! Celebrate the holidays with content practice. In my TPT store, I have geometry holiday coloring activities and middle school pre-algebra coloring activities. Click this link to see all the activities!
Have a wonderful and festive school year filled with many celebrations!