Christmas Math Carnival

You guys!  It's the most wonderful time of the year when I get to wish for snow and drink hot cocoa that has a candy cane as a stirrer.  YES!  Please don't hate me for being a winter-obsessive.  I love the snow - skiing, coats, boots, scarves, and NO WEEDS GROWING IN MY GARDEN!  Y'all.  Do you even know big my gardening/yard work struggle is?  Ask my neighbors.  They'll tell ya. 

PS, I just purchased Photoshop Elements.  The bottom picture is a free program, the top is Photoshop.  It's a JUMBO learning curve, but I'm liking it so far!  Any tips and tricks, send them my way!


My old teaching friend and I came up with the idea to host a math carnival during December as a way to review some key math concepts before the long break.  We picked out 4 topics that students had struggled to master so that we could reteach and review them, but we wanted to do it in a fun way! 

We set up 4 different stations in each of our rooms and mixed our kids and split them into 8 groups.  (By the way, they thought this was AWESOME to do math with the "other" 6th graders.  Ha!)  I also enlisted some parent volunteers to help out, though it's totally possible to do without them (though if you CAN get them in your room, DO IT!  It's so great to build great parent-teacher relationships). 

At each station, students earned a sticker on their carnival "ticket" for participating.  At the end, they could cash it in for a math homework pass.  This, my friends, is like winning a Golden Ticket into Willy Wonka's factory in our class because homework passes do NOT come easily.

This year, I'm replacing a station that I've used in the past.  My class really struggles with making simple mistakes with their math facts & remembering Order of Operations.  #pleasetellmeyourkidsdotoo  They know the ins and outs of the algorithm, and they can tell you why it works.  But they just go too gosh darn fast, and they mess up in one little place, and I worry about equations after the break because little mistakes like that just make or break a formula.  Ya know?  So, I'm throwing in this tasty booth.

What you need:
Hershey Kisses
Hershey Minatures
(you really can use whatever you'd like, I just like these)

Those cute little Avery circle labels.  I didn't have them when I came up with this, but next year if I'm feeling like I want a cute booth, I will use those!

Put a number on each Hershey Kiss.  For differentiation, some groups can have fractions while others have simpler numbers.  I'd stick with 0-14 and use each number several times.  Maybe like two times with 8-14 and three times with 0-7.  This is a very careful set-up....can you tell?  On your Minatures, put a label or Post-it note on the bottom with a number.  These are the target answers.  Students take 5 kisses and 1 miniature to create their problem.  It plays just like Krypto, so if you've never played that, check out this video below...thanks random nice man for saving me time! :)

Here's a free PDF of the recording sheet for your kiddos!  I usually only give them 15-20 minutes at the station, so they generally get through 4-5 problems in that time.  It's a blast for them!

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