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 activities for a new country every 2-3 days.

Integrating Holidays into Math

I also found a way to integrate this holiday around the world unit into math! 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?!!

Math Puzzles

This idea came to me in the middle of the night, as all of our best teaching ideas do, and I’ve been creating several monthly spiral math review units for it! I call it… UNLOCK THE FACT. I created a 2nd grade version and a 3rd grade version. 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!

How Does It 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!

Instant engagement.

Step 1: Solve the Problems

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 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.

PIN to Pinterest for later…
holiday-around-the-world-activities-math-puzzles-2nd-grade-math-games-3rd-game-math-games-math-centers-unlock-the-fact
Pin this image to save for later.
holiday-around-the-world-activities-math-puzzles-2nd-grade-math-games-3rd-game-math-games-math-centers-unlock-the-fact
Pin this image to save for later.
holiday-around-the-world-activities-math-puzzles-2nd-grade-math-games-3rd-game-math-games-math-centers-unlock-the-fact
Pin this image to save for later.
holiday-around-the-world-activities-math-puzzles-2nd-grade-math-games-3rd-game-math-games-math-centers-unlock-the-fact
Pin this image to save for later.
holiday-around-the-world-activities-math-puzzles-2nd-grade-math-games-3rd-game-math-games-math-centers-unlock-the-fact
Pin this image to save for later.

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

holiday-around-the-world-activities-math-puzzles-2nd-grade-math-games-3rd-game-math-games-math-centers-unlock-the-fact
Pin this image to save for later.

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

holiday-around-the-world-activities-math-puzzles-2nd-grade-math-games-3rd-game-math-games-math-centers-unlock-the-fact
Pin this image to save for later.


I’m super excited about this resource and have monthly units for both 2nd and 3rd grade.


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

 
 
 

Nesli

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *