Welcome to Day 9 in my “12 Days of Christmas” math series! I love creating fun, holiday themed math lessons, worksheets and games, and I hope that today’s activity provides a fun Christmas challenge for your students! Use this set of Christmas equations in a number of different ways depending on the age of your kids. This easy to use Christmas equations worksheet is a great way to get kids thinking outside of the box, using their problem solving strategies and strengthening their algebraic reasoning skills!
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Christmas Equations Worksheet:
This simple page of Christmas equations includes a color and black and white version, plus an answer key for your convenience.
The equations use Christmas pictures to form mathematical equations, and kids have to figure out the value of each picture based on the given equations.
Each set of equations can be solved by first solving the equation with only one picture, and then using substitution to find the remaining picture.
You could introduce this to kids as young as fourth or fifth grade, or you could use them as examples of systems of linear equations with older Algebra students.
With younger kids, I would encourage you to let them struggle with it a bit and test things out before explaining how to solve them.
Encourage them to talk to each other and explain their reasoning or strategy.
Some kids might simply “guess and check,” which would work. But you could use this as an opportunity to discuss why other methods may be preferred (quicker, more straight-forward).
This is also a good opportunity to talk about solving the same problem multiple ways. Once kids have an answer, ask one student to explain how they solved it.
Then ask someone who used a different method to explain their reasoning. Remind them that there is always more than one way to solve a math problem!
How to Use The Christmas Equations:
As I mentioned, you can use this set of challenge problems a number of different ways.
One idea is to put kids in small groups, cut out the problems on the color page and have them solve one problem together as a group.
Then you can discuss them one by one together as a class, or have one person from each group write their solutions on the board.
If you’d prefer to have students work on them individually, you could print the black and white version. Then students can work on it as an enrichment activity, or homework. It would also be a great challenge for early finishers.
Finally, if you have older Algebra students who are gearing up to solve systems of linear equations, this could be an excellent introduction.
When I taught Algebra, I always began our study of systems with pictures such as these.
This allowed me to show students what a system of equations is and what the solution to a system means in a non-threatening way.
Just the mention of the term system of linear equations causes kids to groan and dread the new topic.
But solving something that looks like a puzzle or brain teaser becomes a fun challenge, especially if you add an element of competition. 😉
Then I was able to explain that systems of linear equations are basically the same idea, and suddenly it’s not quite so scary.
So I hope you will find a good use for these Christmas equations challenges this December. And that it will be a fun break from the normal, everyday math routine.
Love these Christmas equation challenges? You may also love these:
And of course, don’t miss the rest of my “12 Days of Christmas” math series! A fun, new Christmas themed math activity everyday for 12 days!