Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The 12 Math Tasks of Christmas...

I have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season:
  • A new daughter
  • A new job where I can prepare middle level educators while still having many chances to get back into the classroom and work with/teach middle school students
  • A group of math professionals scattered around the web that pump out mathematical task after mathematical task for classroom use TASK SPREADSHEET
For this blog, we will focus on the last bullet. Over the next 12 days (school days), I will be linking a task to this post each day, which should take us up to December 23rd. Hopefully this will be a great opportunity to start thinking about implementing these tasks after your holiday break. I also hope that this introduces you to the lovely people out there who have made my students' mathematical experiences that much better. The ties to the holidays are VERY loose :-) I am short on actual holiday related tasks. Happy holidays!

Day One ~ You can feed your leftover fruitcake to this giant squirrel...

Courtesy of @emergentmath and also adapted by @daneehlert

Man Versus Squirrel Blog Post With Student Work

Man Versus Squirrel Student Directions 

Day Two ~ Mmmmm...holiday cookies (use your imagination)

Courtesy of @mathletepearce

Cookie Cutter Task Blog Post With Student Work

Cookie Cutter Task Student Directions

Day Three ~ Instead of serving ham for the holidays, try this big stack of beef...

Courtesy of @robertkaplinsky 

In-N-Out Burger Task Blog Post With Student Work 

In-N-Out Burger Task Student Directions

Day Four ~ It would be nice if I could print money to buy presents for the holidays...

Courtesy of @ddmeyer

Shrinking Dollar Task Blog Post With Student Work 

Shrinking Dollar Task Student Directions   

Day Five ~ Buying presents can be expensive, especially if your budget consists of only pennies in a cube 6 inch cube...

Courtesy of @mikewiernicki 

Penny Cube Task Blog Post With Student Work

Penny Cube Task Student Directions

Day Six ~ The ultimate holiday party game...Giant Jenga!

Courtesy of @daneehlert

Jenga Task Blog Post With Student Work

Jenga Task Student Directions

Day Seven ~ The weather has been so nice in Iowa that I might have to mow in December...

Courtesy of @mathletepearce

Lawn Mowing Task Student Work Example (for whatever reason I didn't keep all the student work for this, but here is one example...good luck reading it :-)

Part One of Student Work

Part Two of Student Work 

Lawn Mowing Task Student Directions

Day Eight ~  Inflatable Holiday Decorations...How Long to Inflate?

Courtesy of @daneehlert

Air Pump Task Blog Post With Student Work

Air Pump Task Student Directions

Day Nine ~  Laying some new tile? I don't know what that has to do with the holidays, but it was a great task...

Courtesy of Santa??? I am not really sure where this came from, but I would like to know.

Tile Floor Task Blog Post With Student Work

Tile Floor Task Student Directions

Day Ten ~ This is going to turn into the 11 tasks of the holiday season...I didn't have time to post today. Sorry for the inconvenience! 

Day Eleven ~ These toothpicks make a festive tree for the holiday season...

Courtesy of @ddmeyer

Toothpick Task Blog Post With Student Work

Toothpick Task Student Directions

 Day Twelve ~ These blocks might be a popular holiday gift...

Courtesy of @fawnpnguyen and @mr_stadel

Hotel Snap Task Blog Post With Student Work

Hotel Snap Directions

I hope this post collection gave you an idea of what students are capable of as well as tasks/task creators to help you plan out the best experience possible for your students. Doing something like these tasks where students get to explore and collaborate makes the entire classroom experience more enjoyable. Middle school students like "doing" and not being led to something, and these tasks provide this type of "doing" experience. Have a wonderful holiday and get your students "doing" after the break!

Here are some other relatable posts if interested:

Tasks and Standardized Testing

How to Implement a Mathematical Task

How to Get Your Students Talking and Writing One

How to Get Your Students Talking and Writing Two

Dr. Clayton M. Edwards
Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction 
University of Northern Iowa
Curriculum Vita
Mathematical Tasks Spreadsheet
1:1 Mathematical Philosophy

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