Editor's note: This post was originally published on December 23, 2014.
Everyone is ready for a break from school when the winter holidays roll around, especially teachers!! It's such a special time of year for families and friends, but it can also be a time of setbacks for some students. All the hard work towards building routines and establishing communities in the classroom can fall apart with a long break from school. A great way parents can help students not "forget" everything they have learned and create a seamless return in the New Year is to keep the routines going without feeling the pressure to get homework done and to be on a schedule. Below are some helpful hints for keeping the math alive over the holiday season in fun and easy ways.
Create Surveys: Children can create holiday surveys to collect data from family members at dinners and parties. Questions can range from holiday traditions to favorite gifts! Once kids have collected the data, they can create graphs (bar graph, pictograph, line plot) either on paper or online to display the results.
Travel: Many families travel over the holidays. Invite your children to become a part of the travel plans by using MapQuest or other resources to map out the best route to grandma's. They can estimate the time it would take and develop a schedule for the family according to holiday activities.
Holiday Toys: Children can research top holiday gifts from the years their parents or other relatives were kids. For example, find out the number one toy from 1975, how much it cost, and find the difference or price increase over the decades. This is a great way to incorporate many different curricula into one activity. Kids can make a report or poster to show their findings!
Weather: Everyone loves a White Christmas! How many times in the past 10, 20, or 50 years has it snowed on Christmas morning? Children can collect weather data on temperature, precipitation, and/or snowfall levels over the years.
Math Facts: We definitely want to keep children's math facts fluent even over holiday breaks. So play mental math-counting games in the car, math war at restaurants, or have a math family game night so the efficiency and accuracy doesn't slow down.
How do you keep the learning going over your child's winter break? Share your suggestions on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page.