Before the holidays activities (19 ideas)

 ChefAndrewYeo&nutcrackerGiant Macaroon Nutcracker - In 2013, Chef Andrew Yeo, built a giant macaroon nutcracker in a Boston hotel using given amounts of ingredients. Students try to figure out how much of each ingredient I will need to make a similar but much smaller macaroon nutcracker. 3.MD, MP1, MP2, MP3, MP4, 6.RP.3, 7.G.1, 7.G.6, HSG.MG.A.1

The growth of a snowflake - In this activity, students interpret a graphic that clarifies that growth and try to deduce what conditions various flakes moved through as they fell. 6.G.A, 7.G, 8.G, HSF, HSG.CO, MP1

Holiday candy sales - Students consider which holidays contribute to the highest dollar amount of candy sales.  They then translate a pie chart of data to actual dollars spent on candy. 6.RP.3 , 7.RP.3  7.EE.3
Christmas tree lights - 3-act task - Students first guess how many feet of lights would be required to decorate this tree.  The class finds the mean and median of those guesses.  Then they brainstorm and refine their guesses. Lastly they figure out how large a tree would require 1,000 feet of lights. HSG.MG.A.1, MP1, MP2, MP3, MP4

How much snow is on this car? - Students try to approximate the weight of the snow by using our snow water equivalent percents (SWE) and their own thoughts about how dense this snow might be.  When they've calculated a weight or range of weights, we try to decide whether the car should have been flattened by all of that snow.  Wicked fun!  Is this even possible or was this picture photoshopped? 5.MD.C, 6.RP.A, 7.RP.A, 7.EE.B, 7.G, 7.EE.A

wrapped-boxWrapping presents on the diagonal - Dr. Sara Santos has figured out the most efficient way to wrap presents with no waste.  Why does this work? Let students wrap packages in class traditionally and this new way to encourage conversation and analysis. 7.G.6, 8.G.7, HSG.SRT.C.8, HSG.MG.A.3, MP3, MP4

Beautiful Mathematics - 18 Gorgeous projects that allow students to color, cut, design, and appreciate some of the beauty that is found in mathematics.

Do I have enough wrapping paper? - Students estimate the size of a gift and decide if the given wrapping paper is going to be enough.  Finally they try to create a rule for determining enough wrapping paper from the dimensions of the present. 6.EE.A, 6.G.1, 6.G.4, 6.G.A, 7.EE.B, 7.G.6, 7.G.B, HSG.MG.A.3, MP5

Is one roll enough? - Students can use the man or the basket to s a reference as they try to approximate the size of these gifts and how much wrapping paper will actually be needed. Approximation, surface area, reasoning explanation, and diagraming! 6.G.A, 6.EE, 7.G, 7.NS, 7.RP, 7.EE, MP1, MP3, MP4

Winter Solstice - updated! - Students appreciate how their latitude effects the darkness of their late afternoon location as they study the earth's tilt and the logic of daylight hours. 7.G.3, HSG.C, HSG.GMD.4, HSG.MG.1

Wind Chill - Students examine the patterns that correlate increasing wind and/or decreasing temperatures, use wind chill numbers to estimate possible wind and temperature factors, and generally become familiar with this sort of interpolation and calculation. 5.OA.3, 6.EE.1, 6.EE.2, 7.EE.3, 7.EE.4, 8.EE.7, HSA.REI.B.3, HSF.LE.A.1, HSF.LE.A.4, MP4

 Soda SantaHoliday Soda Displays - First students guess too high and too low.  Then they calculate with all different methods and explain their reasoning.  Areas, arrays ... so many ways to focus this activity.  3.MD.5, 3.MD.6, 3.MD.7, 4.NBT.5, 5.NBT.5, 7.SP.5, 7.SP.7a

Hanukkah was so early this year - updated! - Sunday evening, November 28th, was the first night of Hanukkah this year. It was much later in December last year. Why isn't it always on the same date? Students look at the Hebrew calendar and appreciate the incredible mathematics involved in creating a calendar that aligns both the moon's revolution about the Earth and the Earth's revolution about the Sun. 5.NBT, 5.OA, 6.SP, 8.SP, S-IC

Holiday movies - Students compare the highest grossing Holiday movies of all time.  Rounding, fractions, percents, and choosing the most appropriate graph. 4.OA.3, 4.NBT.3, 6.SP.4, 6.SP.5d

Holiday shipping - How do UPS and FedEx compare in the race to deliver holiday packages on time? MP4, 5.NBT.7, 6.RP.3, 7.EE.3 MP6, MP8

Soda Menorah - Guess without counting. Come up with a reasonable range for the number of twelve packs = guesses that are too high and too low. 3.MD.5, 3.MD.6, 3.MD.7, 4.NBT.5 , 5.NBT.5 , 7.SP.5 , 7.SP.7

Consumer spending - Students analyze a graph of historic consumer spending and look for consistent spikes and drops as they try to evaluate what they are looking at. 6.SP.5, 8.F.5, HSS.IC.6, HSS.ID.3

Holidays are good times for board games.

Monopoly Junior - Educated guessing, tallying from image, analyzing Monopoly Junior. 2.OA.2, 2.NBT.5, 3.NBT.2, 3.OA.3, 3.OA.7

Monopoly - Is each property's rent related to its distance from GO? Graph points, line of best fit, Excel if you like, 5.G., 6.SP.3, 6.SP.5, 8.F.4, 8.SP, S-ID

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