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## Crackers About Maths Teacher Hack- Part 2

Now that Autumn term is done or nearly for most in the UK, I just wanted to mention Christmas crackers, read all the way to the end!

I wouldn’t have thought, all those years ago as a child, when first pulling crackers with my family at the Christmas table that I would be putting some of their contents to excellent use as a Maths teacher. Often their contents is as quickly discarded as the ‘left over crackers’ and yet many of them have use in the classroom. So encourage your friends and family to save those crackers contents for you and here’s how I put some of the most common contents to good use…

The Screwdriver and pencils

Yes these are both keepers, absolutely perfect for construction lessons. The screwdriver is perfect for fixing and tightening the legs on a pair of compasses (put one in each classroom set of compasses)! Constant issue when completing constructions with pupils, they need to ensure not only that they have a sharp pencil that is kissing the point of the compass but also that the legs of the compass are tight.

The Tape Measure
Lots of uses for the tape measure such as estimating and measuring objects within or outside the classroom. One of my favourite uses is for pupil loci, as described in our post Teaching Loci.

The Plastic Jumping Frog–  Data collection activities with the following question to investigate; “How far will the frog jump?”.

The Magic Calculator
Sometimes called the mystery calculation. I’ve collected over 16 of these over the years and can now use in algebra lessons! At first I just put them in my end of term puzzle box.Check out our post here for more on a class puzzle box. Your best ever investment; A puzzle box
Check out Maths Ed Idea’s blog here explaining the binary process behind some of these calculators.

I am always looking for a good bad joke tell to my students or to include in my worksheet resources such as my collect a joke resource like this Christmas themed Collect a Joke worksheet which pupils need to be able to find the nth term of linear sequences and as a result collect the punchline to the joke; “Why isn’t every man in a red suit with a beard Father Christmas”? Check this resource out here Christmas Maths Sequences Collect a Joke Worksheet Activity.

The jokes within the Christmas crackers, although not often with a mathematical edge (these are my favourite kind of jokes), they are most often family friendly jokes that can be used in the classroom. Check out my previous post Joking around in Maths? Collect a Joke! in which I describe these resources and their uses in more detail.

The Playing Cards
So many uses from tricks such as these described in our post Magic Maths or the classic probability “higher of lower”, too many to list but grab those cards and keep them.

Thank you for reading this far! Here is a little Christmas Cracker for you, follow this link below for a free download of our most popular revision foldable usually £3…this link will be free just today, that is until midnight tonight Friday the 18th so download and save (checkout of free resources doesn’t require bank details)!

Christmas Flash Freebie: Describing_Transformations_Foldable

Merry Christmas from all @NumberLoving

## Christmas Christmaths Collection 2014

The week ahead is the last week for many schools before the Christmas holidays and so we have collected some of our favourite Christmaths activities. We would also like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year which brings new and exciting developments for NumberLoving, watch this space!

Christmas Mysteries

Laura has created two mysteries called “how many elves” and “white Christmas”. Mysteries is a thinking skills activities in which pupils use the clue cards, organising the information, making calculations where necessary in order to answer the questions posed. These can be downloaded here .

How many elves?
In this task students must use knowledge of number, percentages and time to work out how many elves Santa needs to hire to make all the Christmas gifts on time!

White Christmas
In this task students have to use the clues to work out where in the UK is most likely to have a white Christmas this year.  All data is accurate. Students could then plot the places on a map to see if they notice any patterns in the probabilities they have calculated.

The Christmas Pirate Game

This game has been adapted from Mr Paul Collins original Pirate Game to give it a Christmas edge. The Christmas version of the game can be downloaded from TES here. Mr Collins blog of Christmas & maths activities is definitely worth checking out here.

Christmas Maths Relay Race

Chris Smith’s relay races include a Christmas themed relay race and can be downloaded from the TES here. For more details on how to run a relay race check out our post on using relays for revision here.

Graphing

Challenge your pupils to use graphing software to create a Christmas tree like this one on Desmos here.

Looking for more ideas?

Also check out our previous posts “Christmaths Collection” and “Christmaths Collection Part 2” for more ideas of Christmas themed maths activities.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Tweet us @numberloving and check out our free and premium resources in our  NumberLoving Store.

## Christmaths Collection

Oh Christmas tree oh Christmas tree how lovely are your branches?

Simple put, we just don’t do movies in maths lessons, not even if it is the last day of term before Christmas. We continue to teach, of course with a Christmas theme, we are not complete Scrooges! Here is a collection of Christmaths activities I have used and found successful!

This year we are using the Christmas themed functional skills projects for year 7, 8 and 9 developed by Lynn Groove High School teachers. Originally  from www.functionalmathematics.co.uk but their site is no longer running dhoskins has shared their adaption of the resources on the TES.
Year 7  The Cost of Christmas Applying skills of time and money to make predictions.
Year 8 Christmas Presents To work out a budget, surface area and distances.
Year 9 Christmas Elves Using probability to make predictions.

Christmas Tessellations

These create excellent instant display work, be sure to challenge the pupils to come up with their own.

This library of ready to print and cut tessellation templates is a useful starting point.

Challenge pupils to cut only equilateral triangles into their own online snowflake.

New update: This site generates random Christmas jigsaw of tessellating pieces

Christmas Coordinate Cards

A Christmas_card_coordinates and Christmas_card_ideas both taken from primary resources site.

Snowflakes

Fold your own origami snowflake using a paper hexagon of side 10 cm, watch the video below. Be warned this is not for the feint hearted.

Wow thank you @tj007 for the pointer on making your own 3D snowflake .

Another great activity is challenging the students to make a real snowflake (one with 6 lines of symmetry) be ready for a messy classroom but lots of learning!

Snowball Dodechedrons

Ask pupils to construct some 3D dodechedrons to make piles of snow around the school Christmas tree. Template available here.

Christmas Worksheets It could be said to not be the most exciting however great for form time, Christ-Maths, John Taylor’s downloadable worksheets

Santa’s Christmas Journey Bearings

This resource contributed by alutwyche on the TES resource site, great journey using bearings, check out his other resources too great imagination to engage pupils.

Mathwire.com has an astounding collection of winter maths activities. There is something here for everyone from primary school to secondary school. I particularly like the 12 days of Christmas, finding the total cost of the presents.

Colleen Young’s latest post Christmas is coming in her blog Mathematics, Learning and Web 2.0 has some great Christmas ideas. I love the nRich advent calendar, a puzzle a day!

Ho ho ho Merry Christmas, hope you find something that engages your pupils into the Christmas/Winter Spirit!

Happy Holidays all Number Loving readers! Get in touch @numberloving