October is one of my favorite months of the year. It’s my birthday month AND Halloween rolls around! Between dressing up, watching spooky movies, and going trick-or-treating, what’s not to love?? And I really enjoy bringing the spirit of Halloween into the classroom however I can. Halloween math activities for elementary students make the perfect centers throughout the month of October. Here’s a list of my top 9 favorite things to do for math to celebrate Halloween.
Halloween Math Centers
I use math centers every week in my classroom and change them out monthly. So, when October comes, I always have plenty of Halloween-themed math centers ready to go. I really enjoy putting out lots of partner games so students can play together against a friend. We do a lot of spiral review in math centers so students don’t forget the concepts we learned earlier in the year.
I have always been a fan of puzzles ever since I was little and my love of them definitely carries over to my students each year. Puzzles are a great way for students to build their collaboration skills and work together to complete a task. I always have Halloween puzzles available for them to do if they finish their main task early. These Halloween math activities for elementary are perfect to pull out when we only have a few minutes or when I have fast finishers who need something to do. Read more details about implementing Halloween Math Puzzles here.
Halloween Secret Picture Tiles
What are secret picture tiles?? Secret picture tiles are tiles that are put together to form a hidden picture at the end. Students solve math equations while playing this game. When all equations have been solved, students get to see the picture they made! I really enjoyed using these last year when I was teaching in a hybrid classroom. My students in person did the cut-and-glue version and my online students played digitally on Google Slides. There are so many ways to use Halloween math activities for elementary in your classroom.
Halloween Brain Teasers
Brain teasers are always a favorite of my high-ability students because they present a challenge. Students use the clues given to figure out what the missing numbers are. Students need to be strong in number sense, logical thinking skills, and math facts in order to rise to the challenge. I reward students with a small Halloween eraser when they finish all ten!
Halloween Balance Beams
For the few students who need a great challenge, I always pull out Halloween Balance Beams. These require a great deal of patience and logic to be successful. Students may have to guess and check and try multiple strategies before finding the answers. If my students do well with logic puzzles, I always recommend they try balance beam games.
Halloween Hide and Seek
Playing hide and seek digitally is an activity I love to use when we’re all gathered as a whole class. I may use it when we have a few minutes before recess, or at morning meeting, or for some math fact practice. Students solve the math facts on screen to try and figure out where the Halloween character is hiding. When they solve each fact, you simply click on the pictures shown to make them disappear. The student who “finds” the Halloween character always gets to come up and call on students on the next slide. I love how easy it is to use and my kids always choose this if I give them a choice when we have a few minutes to spare. You can learn more about Hide and Seek games here.
Halloween Whole Group Games
Another way I like to celebrate Halloween with my whole class is through whole-class math games. To stick with the Halloween theme, I divide the class into small teams. Each team gets a haunted house sheet and I scatter ghost math facts all over the classroom floor. The students hunt around the classroom for the ghosts that belong to their haunted house. Kids love finding the correct matches and racing against the other teams to complete their haunted house first. Because I want it to be special, we do this during “Fun Fridays”. The best part is the kids don’t even realize we’re working on fact fluency while we play. You can learn more about Whole Class Math games here.
Halloween Room Transformation
The week of Halloween, I always do a Halloween Classroom Transformation. This is normally one of my favorite room transformations of the entire year. Why?? Because of 3 words. Halloween Trick Bags. If you don’t know what trick bags are, let me explain. They are bags that you fill up with “interesting” items that the kids put their hands into.
Here’s how it works in my classroom. Students go around the classroom during the Haunted House Classroom Transformation and meet 10 Halloween characters. Each character has a math challenge for them to solve. When they finish each challenge, they come to the teacher to get checked. If their paper is correct, they choose a card from a witch hat I have at random. However, if the card pulled says “Trick”, they have to stick their hand in one of the trick bags. If their card says “Treat”, they receive a piece of candy from the Halloween candy jar. You can read more about the Halloween Classroom Transformation here.
Halloween Math Activities for Elementary found at Target!
Did you know that the Target Dollar Spot sells Halloween themed games every year? I love finding games that are less than five dollars that I can use year after year in my classroom. Believe it or not, I have had some of the games from Target for over 8 years and they’re still going strong! Some examples are Toss the Witch Hat, multiplication fact eyeballs, Pin the Eye on the Ghost, and more. If you haven’t checked out the dollar section at Target in October, do it! I promise you’ll find some goodies that’ll last a long time.