3 Winter Math Activities + Joy = More Engagement
More Engagement = More Learning
Are you looking for winter math activities, but keep the rigor bar in place for your math students? Here are 3 simple winter math activities to achieve more engagement through increasing joy but maintaining rigor.
Math hunts are simple, yet such a great way to help students see the math that is all around them! This is the perfect winter math activity, or really for any time of year.
Here’s how you play…
- Look around your community, classroom, school, or living room for MATH. It could be a ruler showing fractions, a pattern, an array, or an interesting spiral. Math is all around us. This drives home the point that math is literally everywhere and oh so valuable, while having fun with students and even practicing a bit of math.
- Then, talk about it. Maybe take a picture or sketch it in a special notebook. Create a display in your classroom of student’s findings.
I have my students play a version of the popular morning meeting game scavenger hunt, but “Math Scavenger Hunt”. They love to find items around their house to show in their Zoom screens!
Real Life Mathematicians
Introduce your students to the people who have developed ROCKETS and even a football player mathematician. Get students excited to learn math by showing them what it looks like to make math a career. After all, we are teaching our next doctors, engineers, and innovators… let’s make sure they know what those jobs look like!
It’s not too early to teach Black History. In fact, if you’re waiting until February to teach your Black History books and resources, don’t. I mean, yes when February comes around DEFINITELY teach Black History, but also know that you can (and should!) add diverse resources including biographies of famous Black mathematicians into your classroom materials now.
I use these one page biographies and close reading graphic organizers with my 5th & 6th grade students. However, when teaching 2nd, 3rd, or 4th these biography mini books are perfect!
But you might want to start with a lesson about what is a mathematician?! I share here how I have that conversation!
Math Warm Ups for Winter! (aka Routines)
You can use these at any point in your class, but the point is they are routine. Students know what to expect and you can drive to a specific math concept to discuss and practice. I currently use math routines with my 5th & 6th graders virtually, here is exactly how I do it.
Math Warm Ups are open ended and allow for students to grapple and explore while developing their own mathematical understanding, without direct teaching a procedure.
In 10 minutes you can greatly increase both engagement and understanding. Students feel like they are playing a game while you are strategically building in math concept practice and deepening their understanding.
I use Alike & Different with my students. They learn to compare & contrast, while considering deep mathematical concepts.
Other Ideas and Ways to Bring Joy to your Math Classroom:
5 Math Activities for Winter Season