I recently wrote about a fun and simple way to increase number sense and help kids think creatively about numbers. The “Build a Turkey” Number Sense lesson was so popular that I made a similar activity for Christmas! I was so excited to create this activity, I went a little overboard purchasing Christmas clipart. So if you like this, be sure to check back throughout December for more Christmas learning activities and printables! This Christmas Tree Number Sense activity is open-ended and can easily be adapted for any age, and I’ve come up with even more ways to use it than the turkey, so I hope you enjoy it!
To Use the Christmas Tree Number Sense Activity:
First, print out the Christmas tree and decorations pages.
Included in the download is a color and black and white version.
I printed the color set and laminated it so that we could use dry erase markers and use it again and again, but you could also let kids color and decorate even more with the black and white version.
Once you’ve printed everything out, cut out the tree, ornaments and/or lights, and give a set to each student.
Then, assign numbers depending on the age and ability of your kids. You can have kids count off or draw numbers from a hat, or just assign randomly.
Students then write their target number on the star at the top of their tree. They can then write other representations of that number on the ornaments.
Examples of Number Representations:
- Tally marks
- Expanded form
- Roman numerals
The only wrong answer is one that is not equal to the number on the star, so encourage kids to think outside the box!
Other Ideas for the Christmas Tree Number Sense Activity:
Also included in the tree decorations are 3 strings of lights. You could use these the same way, but I found them to be a little small to write expressions or tally marks on.
So instead, you can use them to write out number sentences!
One way to do that is to start at the top of the tree and write one long number sentence using addition/subtraction/multiplication/division and end with the last light as the answer, which should be the number on their star.
(Just be sure to review order of operations for older kids and let them practice using parenthesis correctly).
Another idea is to make each row of lights a separate number sentence that is equal to the number on the star. Then students can write 3 different expressions to equal their number.
I hope you enjoy this festive math activity, and are able to use it however works best for your students!
And if you have any other creative ideas for how to decorate the tree, share in the comments! 🙂