Students really enjoy learning about holidays around the world during the Christmas season. Many students do not realize how many people in the world do not celebrate the Christmas holidays exactly like we do in America. In my classroom, students really enjoy learning about holidays around the world not only in literature, but like completing holidays around the world math activities too!
Sometimes we do a few holidays around the world math activities a day, sometimes we do stations so they can complete all 13 countries in one big “mini room transformation day” and sometimes we do one a day for morning work. Let’s chat about different ways to use holidays around the world math in your classroom!
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Keep scrolling to see how to use Holidays Around the World Math in a variety of ways.
How to Use Holidays Around the World Math Activities in the Classroom
Every Holidays Around the World Math Pack comes with 13 different countries (and 13 different activities to complete!). The math pack is made to be flexible for you so you can choose how students complete their work. The first way I like to use it is in a whole group setting. Right after the bell rings, I’ll have my students pull out their holidays around the world math packet. For 13 days leading up to break, we’ll do one page a day together. It’s a little extra “Christmas magic” for them that really gets them in the holiday spirit.
Independent Work Time
The directions are clear on every page so students could also complete these activities independently. Do you have students arriving throughout a 30 minute arrival period? Do students need some independent work to complete during math centers? What about when everyone’s packed up for the day and waiting for their bus to be called? You could even use these as an informal quick check to see who is understanding each academic skill. These would be the perfect activity to fit in those time slots!
I have also used these before during weekly centers. Students know they need to complete a certain amount of pages in their holidays around the world math packet when they get to that math center with their partner. One reason I like having students complete activities with a peer is they have someone to rely on and learn from. Students can learn a lot from each other! This also cuts down on questions that are directed to me and gives me time to help struggling students. I am able to circle the room and check in with each partner pair to see who’s struggling.
During the pandemic, and we were teaching from home before Christmas break, I used this resource digitally. The students loved the holidays around the world activities made digital because they had interactive pieces to move around the page. Students got to type, drag and drop, move objects around, and explain their thinking in a new way.
The activities are also super easy for teachers to assign because there’s no printing with a digital version. Simply assign in Google Classroom (this resource is on Google Slides) and let students get to work! You can even put students into virtual break-out groups to complete each page together.
Holidays Around the World Math As a Literacy Extension
Did you know that there is a fun fact about each country’s traditions at the bottom of every sheet?? My students love reading the fun fact each day that relates to the country we are studying. I like to call on one student each day to stand up and read the fact out loud to the class. Every child seems to want to raise their hand and do this for us because it feels like “they” get to share the fun fact with their peers.
Here’s an example of a fun fact students may learn:
Fun Fact: In Spain on New Year’s Eve, some people try to eat 12 grapes on each of the 12 strokes of the clock at midnight. It is said that if you eat all the grapes, you will be lucky in the new year!
Answer keys are provided both digitally and in print format. This makes it easy to use in small groups. Sometimes, I may put students into groups to work onto this. I choose a group a leader to make sure the small group stays on task and understands what to do. If we do this for multiple days, I will tell students that I’m watching for who is putting forth their best effort. The hardest working students then get to become the group leader the following day. The leader also gets to read the fun fact at the bottom of each page to their group and the directions. They take questions from their group members and make sure everyone is both included and staying on task.
With a Holidays Around the World Math Passport!
A cool “extra” that comes with the Holidays Around the World Math Pack is a passport students can keep with them while they complete each activity. As they complete each math activity, they get to mark that country off on their passport. I’ll use the passport when we do a mini room transformation and they “travel all over the world”. They get checked off after each country they visit. There are 2 different passports you can use if you’d like students to keep track of which pages they’ve completed in a fun way.
If you don’t want students to keep track of which pages they’ve done, or will only be using certain pages, feel free to not use the passport.
- Option #1: Kids color in each passport place when they finish each challenge.
- Option #2: Students cut out the passport “stickers” and glue them where they belong on their passport each time they finish a challenge (print 2 pages per child—passport and set of stickers (color or B/W)
I hope this gave you some ideas how you can implement holidays around the world math activities in your classroom! I love doing this activity year after year and my students do too!
You may also like to learn about how to a Christmas Room Transformation in your classroom here.
Read about using Christmas Math Games in your classroom during the month of December here.