December is one of my absolute favorite months to teach because I love teaching my students about different holidays around the world.  There are so many great resources online for teaching the different holidays around the world! I usually begin teaching this unit the day we get back from Thanksgiving break. We talk about and do many ELA activities for a new country every 2-3 days. I wanted to find a way to integrate holidays around the world into my math block, and here’s how I did that!

Integrating Holidays Around the World into your Math Block

As I mentioned above, I found a way to integrate holidays around the world into my math block! I am always looking for ways to integrate science and social studies into MATH and ELA..like many other teachers! We barely have enough time during the day to fit everything in so when we can tie in a little social studies into our math lessons…we’re gonna do it! Am I right?!!

Holidays Around the World Math Puzzles

This idea came to me in the middle of the night, as all of our best teaching ideas do (does that happen to you?), and I’ve been creating several monthly spiral math review units for it ever since! I call it… UNRAVEL THE FACT. I’ve loved using these hands-on math centers during my Guided Math rotations and my students are always so excited to solve the problems so they can see what new fact will be revealed! The December unit is one of my favorites because my students get to learn about the different holidays and traditions all around the world. You can grab the 2nd grade version and 3rd grade version here.

How Do These Holiday Around the World Math Puzzles work?

In a NUTSHELL…students answer the math problems, put the puzzle together by ordering the answers from least to great, and if done correctly an INTERESTING FACT is revealed. They will have unraveled the fact!

Instant engagement.

Step 1: Solve the Problems to reveal the Holidays Around the World Fun Fact

First, the students answer all 9 questions in random order. Using a thin dry erase marker, students will write the answer in the rectangular box.

Step 2: Arrange the Strips in Order

Once your students have answered all 9 questions, they will put the puzzle strips in order from LEAST to GREATEST. If they have answered the problems correctly (this makes the math puzzle self-correcting because the students will have to determine if the sentence makes sense and sounds right!) and have placed the numbers in order correctly, a HOLIDAY AROUND THE WORLD FACT will be revealed. LOVE being able to tie in so many skills at once! {solving the spiral math problems on the card PLUS ordering the numbers from least to greatest. BAM. Two math skills in one.

Step 3: Accountability

I hold my students ACCOUNTABLE for everything so I have them record their answers on the recording sheet. Obviously I don’t grade these because I already have 2.1 million papers to grade. Instead, I have my students check their answers using the answer keys provided in the file.

Step 4: Write the Holidays Around the World Fact {Optional}

Sometimes I have my students keep track of the facts that have been revealed in their Unlock the Fact booklet because it’s just fun to have your own little booklet filled with fun facts, plus it’s an easy way to sneak in a little writing! Parents enjoy seeing the booklet, too! You can also have your students write their facts in a math journal or writing journal/any journal of your choice or simply use the booklet I’ve provide in this file. I like using the booklet. Some teachers don’t have their students write the facts at all—it’s completely up to you if you want to add in that component.

Here are a few examples from the 3rd grade edition of the Holidays Around the World Unlock the Fact unit.

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Here’s another STEP by STEP example of how to use these math puzzles.

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Here’s an example showing how to use the word problem cards.

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I’m super excited about this resource and have monthly units for both 2nd and 3rd grade. I hope your students have fun learning about the various holidays around the world!


You can also check out my Instagram Story Highlights @theteacherwearsprada to see how I prep and use this resource!

 
 
 

Nesli

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