I can’t believe it’s nearly Christmas again; if you are planning for the last weeks of term I thought it might be useful to highlight the Christmas resources now. I will update this post in the run up to Christmas if I find any other resources and/or recommend particular resources having used them in class.
This year I thought I’d put all the Christmas resources I have come across together in one collection. All links have been checked / updated and new resources added.
We’ll start with Alex Pett’s very beautiful advent calendar complete with history and problems for each day (and turn the sound on!). It is an ActivInspire resource but Alex has also provided a pdf version or use as a Google document.
On the subject of advent calendars Nrich have calendars for both primary and secondary which link to posters of Nrich problems. Note that you can easily search on Nrich for the problem if you want to look at the teachers’ notes and solution. Take problem 1 for example – Special Numbers. Go to the Nrich website and enter special numbers in the search box, the first entry is the required problem.
New for 2013 Nrich have a calendar for secondary (11-18) where you will find an activity with a video behind each door. You can in fact find a whole collection of advent calendars on Nrich and clearly the year doesn’t matter! Note the different themes available – a Sudoku for each day perhaps? Or a tangram? Maybe you want to play a game?
If you want number properties for each day in December then you could of course use WolframAlpha, eg 19 or Tanya Khovanova’s wonderful Number Gossip site. I chose 19 because that’s a happy number! Happy Numbers – this has to be one of my favourite investigations – so much in it – certainly a valuable lesson in recording your results carefully to save you time later!
The Happy Numbers problem explanation I linked to above was from Transum Software who provide the popular Maths Starter of the Day activities. The site has some Christmas Starters and activities, try ChrisMaths for example or the Christmas Numbers activity. (Note that there is a complete index of starters on this very useful site including the topic of the starter. Many of the Shine and Write activities would also make good lesson starters.)
Many resources are available from TES for all subjects including Mathematics. Some personal favourites include Christmas Countdown (which although designed for daily use I have also used as an end of term activity) and Santa’s Reindeer (logic and number properties) both of which I have successfully used in class. This Twelve days of Christmas algebra activity will be perfect for Year 7 (age 11-12) and with Year 10 (AGE 14-15) I have been looking at inequalities so they can describe the Christmas tree here! The same class can also try these Christmas grid puzzles as we need to review simultaneous equations. This Operation Christmas Tree Excel resource makes a rather nice starter and this very well presented PowerPoint advent calendar could easily be adapted for your students; another is available here, complete with work sheets for students and teachers’ notes; clear instructions are given for adapting the calendar for your own classes. I like the look of this Maths Christmas Activities Booklet and will certainly use some of these.
Mark McCourt has a selection on emaths. Seeing the Winter Wonderland activity reminded me of this Christmas tree on the Desmos Graphing Calculator site. Note this is simply a collection of lines and circles, as you can see from the syntax it is very easy to restrict x or y values.
( For more on getting creative with Desmos, see Graph Art on Mathematics for Students).
If you are creating any resources yourself you might want to install some Christmas fonts! (shown here: christmas lights, christmas tree and kingthings christmas)
Why not take a look at this class clip from BBC Learning Zone and think about how much paper is needed to wrap a present?
We could do the annual calculation and work out how many gifts are received over the 12 days of Christmas.Murray Bourne has all the answers and more on squareCircleZ or have a look at this YouTube video.
On the subject of videos, try a video advent calendar from Numberphile!
Click on the graphic below to see just how hard Santa works! (Published: December 2010 by Advertising Agency: Benedict & Helfer, Hungary.)
Talking of dates, perhaps we should turn our attention to 2014, why not suggest your students make 2014 calendars from the nets provided on Teacher Resources on Line? I particularly like the idea of the fold and tuck variety – no glue involved!
Christmas 2013 WolframAlpha count and other information you probably are not too worried about for Christmas Day!
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year. Thank you for reading and for all the various comments. Have a wonderful and well deserved break when we get to the holidays!