I have decided to teach math mini lessons during the next 9 days of school before break. We took a math test today over multiplication and I don't want to get halfway through another chapter and then have to stop to go to holiday break. After consulting our title math teacher, we decided it would be fun to do small activities revolving around the holiday that still teach my state standards. I've come up with holiday themed graphs, probability lessons related to colored ornaments, geometry lessons in which students make christmas pictures out of construction paper shapes, and possibly symmetry with snowmen and snowflakes. This is for third grade...does anyone have any other ideas to add?

You can have them design a winter wonderland but make them use geometric principles. You can have them calculate the amount of food required to upkeep 9 reindeer You can have them design a light display (simple), then have them calculate the number of strings of lights they need. I can't think of anything else that would be appropriate for that age, but if I do, I'll post again.

This may be a bit young, but what about symmetry? My students will be making symmetrical ornaments. I will have my students fold the paper, then cut it out and decorate it so that it is the same on both sides.

Have the students add up purchases from store ads. They could cut out 3 and add them up? Or show ways to spend $100. Your GT students could have to inlcude tax or figure out the 15% off coupons? Estimation jar with X-mas items or candies? Last year online I found a website that had the kids use coordinates to make holiday pictures. If I find it again, I'll send it your way. www.primarygames.com has some neat holiday games that require logical thinking.

They're probably too old for this, but what about holiday/winter-related glyphs? We just did snowman glyphs and my kids loved them! You could have your students graph all of the information. Maybe, since it's so easy, this would be a fun opportunity to work with graphing data on a computer.

And multiplying them. How many turtle doves were given in all? 2 turtle doves times 11 days...Make it really challenging. How many gifts did the receiver get after all 12 days?

we make geome-trees. The kids have to decorate tress with shapes from their pattern block templates. Then they can count up how many of each shape was used. This takes awhile because they trace, cut, and glue on all of their shaps.

I have my kids go shopping. I save all the sale circulars from the Sunday papers from about Thanksgiving onward. Then one of the days just before Christmas break I tell the kids they have a chance to go shopping with pretend $150. They must purchase something for each person in their household, pets are optional, they may not spend more than $25 dollars on themselves, at least $35 dollars must be donated to charity, and every penny must be spent. Then they go through all the circulars and cut out itmes with their prices (can't use percent off ads) and glue them to a piece of construction paper and "gift tag" them. The love the gift tag stickers! It takes them at least an hour of engaged work. We title the papers "If I had $150 I would buy you..." Helpful hint: If you do this, staple each circular like a book so you don't have a million sheets of newsprint strewn around the room.

We are also going to make symetrical menorahs (I have one student who celebrates). I will give them a copy of half of the menorah and they will have to draw the other half. It works out well that many of our activities involve geometry, bc that will be our current unit of study.

Last year I talked about rounding and then gave students my Christmas shopping list for my family. Each item had a price and they had to round it to the nearest ten. You could also tie in the visual of rounding by drawing a number line like hills (with all the 5s at the top) and talk about sledding. If the number is 5 or higher they will slide down the hill into the next valley. If the number is 0-4 they slide backwards into the previous valley...