Thanksgiving is a crazy time of year in my classroom! I feel like we’re all counting down until Thanksgiving (and Christmas!) break. The kids need engaging activities that keep the learning flowing and the excitement at a high level. I’m a big believer in math puzzles so I pull out these Thanksgiving math puzzles! This blog post shares my 5 favorite ways to use these Thanksgiving math puzzles in your classroom.
I love math centers and use them 3-4 times a week in my classroom. I love to put these Thanksgiving math puzzles in one of my centers as a spiral review. The kiddos normally work together in partners and are able to finish several sets while also practicing several skills. I love that they are self-checking. I just print them on colored paper, laminate, cut, and I have puzzles that can be used for years again and again.
Complete the puzzles as a countdown to Thanksgiving break. My kids normally start to talk a LOT about Thanksgiving and their plans the week before Thanksgiving. There are 6 puzzle types included and 72 total puzzles. So, for the 6 days leading up to break, I’ll set out a different puzzle set for them to complete each day. I write all 6 puzzle types on the board to build the anticipation and make them wonder which one they’ll be completing next. They get excited to complete a new set each day and like crossing off each puzzle on the whiteboard.
Turn these puzzles into a scavenger hunt! I sometimes like to hide the puzzle pieces around my classroom. The kids have to search the room and find all of the puzzles pieces. They then put each of the puzzles together. Students enjoy searching for pieces and that “good-feel” feeling of successfully completing a puzzle (or 12!).
A lot of days, I like to start our math block with a quick whole-group math activity. Using these Thanksgiving math puzzles as a short game works perfectly. Here’s how it works. I’ll give each table a different math puzzle and they have to work together to build it as quickly as possible. It gets the kids excited, collaborating, and practicing those skills from earlier in the year.
One year, I used these puzzles the day before Thanksgiving break. I work at a year-round school so that means we sometimes go to school on Wednesday before Thanksgiving on Thursday. A lot of students tend to be absent because they’re traveling. These Thanksgiving math puzzles are pulled out of the drawer and we have an instant math activity for the day!
You can check out all of my Thanksgiving math puzzles below!
You may also like this blog post: Christmas Math Puzzles