Can you believe the holiday season is upon us already? It feels like just yesterday we were starting the school year and welcoming our new students. I love this time of year and channeling the magic of the season into my math lessons. If you’re looking for some fun and engaging Christmas math centers to use with your students all December long, read on for a sneak peek at my Christmas math centers for 2nd grade. Plus, I’ve got some FESTIVE freebies to share with you, too!
Benefits of Using Holiday Math Centers
As winter break approaches, teachers often find themselves juggling the excitement of the upcoming holiday season with the need to keep students focused, on task, and learning up until the last bell of the semester.
There’s so many parties, events, and schedule changes going on at this time of year, and it can be tough to keep students engaged in their learning when they’re looking forward to the next big thing. That’s why I love using Christmas math centers, because with their fun holiday themes and engaging activities, students look at them as another special holiday activity. Check out a few of the benefits of using holiday math centers before winter break.
One of the main benefits of using holiday math centers is the opportunity to spiral review previously learned skills. This is especially important before winter break, as we want to do everything we can to help them retain that knowledge and come back confident in their skills in the new year. This consistent review helps students solidify their mathematical knowledge, ensuring a strong foundation to build upon as they learn new skills.
Keeps Students Engaged
Christmas math centers bring a whole new element of excitement and variety into the classroom. Who doesn’t love the fun themes and interactive nature of math centers?! By keeping students actively engaged, it can help prevent the pre-holiday restlessness that we all know too well. With so many different activities, every student’s learning style will be met, making math more accessible and enjoyable for all.
Can Fit Into Your Busy Schedule
The weeks leading up to winter break can be pure chaos. Having holiday math centers that you can easily integrate into your busy schedule is a lifesaver for teachers. They can be fit into various time constraints, whether you have 30 minutes before a class party or 15 minutes after a school assembly. They can be used for a quick review or as your main form of instruction depending on how hectic your schedule is.
Teaches Independence and Problem-Solving
Holiday math centers encourage students to take ownership of their learning, which is huge this time of year as students work to become more independent. They allow students to work on problem-solving skills that benefit them in math and beyond. This sets the stage for students to head into winter break feeling confident in their skills and ability to solve problems.
Informal Way to Assess Students Before the New Year
With the end of the semester and the new year approaching, this is a natural checkpoint for assessing our students’ progress on skills. With math centers, you can informally assess students on their progress in a low-pressure way. This helps teachers understand how students tackle problems and how they’re doing on key concepts. This knowledge is key for planning future instruction after winter break.
What’s Inside The Christmas Math Centers Resource?
The Christmas Math Centers resource for 2nd grade is full of 11 engaging activities in holiday and December themes that are sure to keep your students on task and excited about their learning all month long. Read on for a sneak peek at each of the December math activities included.
To play Snowman Addition, students will get a partner and a game board and take turns rolling two dice and adding the numbers together. They’ll cover the sum on their game board. The player with the most numbers covered at the end of the game wins!
Santa’s Sack Subtraction
For Santa’s Sack Subtraction, students will roll the die and move that many spaces on their game board. They must solve the subtraction problem and find the difference on Santa’s sack. They’ll cover it with their game piece and continue until all of Santa’s sack is covered.
Decorating the Tree
Decorating the Tree is a fun holiday math center for kids to practice number sense. They’ll mix up the cards and flip the top card, looking at the number in expanded form. Then, they’ll write the number in standard form next to the matching number on their recording sheet before deciding if the number is even or odd on the Christmas tree sorting mat.
Reindeer Dash is an engaging way to practice number order. Students choose 5 number cards and write them in order on their recording sheet. There are numbers ranging from 100 to 1,200.
To play Snowball Fight, students will turn over a number card and place it in a box on their place value mat. They can’t move the card after they lay it down! Then, they’ll draw another card and do the same thing until all the boxes are filled. Finally, they’ll write the number they created on their recording sheet. The player with the highest number built wins the round and gets a point. The first person to reach 10 points wins the game!
Unwrapping Coins is a fun money center for December! Students will spin the spinner and collect the coin they land on before adding it to their coin mat. They’ll trade their coins for a larger coin if possible. Play continues until they reach $1.00.
Jingle Bell Time
To play Jingle Bell Time, students will roll the die and look at that column on the game board. They’ll draw hands on the clock to show the time. They keep rolling until all of the clocks have been solved.
Santa’s Sleigh is a holiday math game for practicing addition. Students will spin two spinners and add the numbers together to solve for the sum. They’ll write the answer in the box on their answer sheet. If the sum is even, they’ll color it red. If it’s odd, they’ll color it blue.
Choo Choo Subtraction
This Choo Choo Subtraction center is inspired by the Polar Express! Students will mix up the puzzle pieces and spread them out. They’ll choose an addition problem and solve before finding the puzzle piece with the matching sum. They keep going until they’ve solved all the puzzles.
To play Dancing Gingerbread, students draw a card from the pile and look at the math fact. They’ll clip the missing addend using a clothespin. Play continues until all of the cards have been solved and clipped.
Comparing Silly Elves
The last Christmas math center is Comparing Silly Elves. Students will draw the top card and decide if it is true or false before putting it on the correct sorting mat. They’ll write a number sentence under the true or false box on their answer sheet.
Free December Math Activities
Are you looking for some FREE December math activities to use all month long (and even into January?!).
Fill out the form below to get 5 festive math freebies sent to your inbox over the next 5 days. There are both holiday and winter themed activities, so you can use them all winter long!
You’ll get activities like Drop and Graph, Geometry 5 in a Row, and more!
Shop December Math Activities!
These December Math Activities will help you bring the magic of the season into your math lessons all month long, while keeping the learning going until winter break!
If you are looking for a 1st grade version or digital Christmas math center activities, check out the resources below in my website store or on TPT!
Let me know which of these holiday math centers your students love most!