Sometimes, it can feel like winter is the longest season ever. I definitely change things up a lot over the course of the season to keep my students focused and on task. In order to do this in math, I change up my math centers pretty often. These winter math puzzles have become a staple in my math centers in December or January each year. They’re a great way to practice skills we’ve learned earlier in the year and great for self-checking(yay!). Here are the top 5 ways I use these winter math puzzles in my classroom.
WINTER MATH PUZZLES #1
There’s a color and black and white version included. I like to print the color version out on white paper, laminate them, and use them in a math center in my classroom. Students rotate through centers and complete all 6 puzzle types that are included. Or, if my students are on a lower ability level, they only complete the ones I ask them to. These are perfect for spiral review and math fact practice as well.
WINTER MATH PUZZLES #2
If I don’t feel like putting in as much effort, I’ll print the black and white version out. And, I’ll ask my kids to color the puzzles for morning work and then cut their puzzle out. Each kid puts their puzzle in a bag and then trades with a partner. The partner has to put the puzzle back together.
WINTER MATH PUZZLES #3
This math puzzle idea goes with #2 somewhat. After the kids put together each other’s puzzle, I have them glue it onto construction paper and we hang it up on a bulletin board in the hallway. We always get a lot of “oohs” and “aahs” from passing classes because they definitely look cute outside the door.
WINTER MATH PUZZLES #4
Races and competitions always hook my kids and grab their attention. There are plenty of winter puzzles included. I sometimes give each student a winter puzzle type (ex: I’ll give one kid the trees and another kid the gingerbread men) and have them race against another person. They can’t cheat because they each have a different puzzle and each math puzzle has about the same number of pieces.
WINTER MATH PUZZLES #5
Leave them as a “challenge from Santa.” I tell my students that Santa left the puzzles as a challenge for them to complete and this gets kids VERY motivated to get these done. I always give a small prize at the end as a reward and the students get pumped about helping Santa out.
You can check out all of my Winter Math Puzzles below!
You may also like this blog post: Christmas Math Puzzles