Coming back from winter break every year is tough!! The kids are still excited about break and I like to do something fun that will ease us back into learning. I pull out my New Year’s Puzzles because I know they are a great way for the kids to get back into the swing of math.
New Years Puzzles on Day 1
When the kids first come in, I give each child a different letter that spells out “Happy New Year”.
I let each student color their New Year’s puzzle piece however they’d like to color it. Then, I take it home and laminate everyone’s New Year’s Puzzles that evening.
New Years Puzzles on Day 2
The next day, I have my class cut out the puzzle pieces that they colored and each child puts their puzzle in a bag. They exchange bags with someone else and everyone puts their puzzle together. We have done this with addition facts, subtraction facts, multiplication facts, and division facts. I have also differentiated and given different groups in my class different puzzles to put together.
After everyone has put their New Year’s Puzzle together, they have to figure out what it says. I let the kids manipulate the puzzles in different orders to try and figure out what it spells out. After some think time and hints are given, they always figure out that it says “Happy New Year 2019 (or whatever year it is!).
It’s a lot of fun and everyone always really enjoys it because they have some ownership over what we’ve made since they got to color and cut the puzzles themselves.