Holidays at my high school signal the end of the semester and we are all preparing for the final exam. However, review does not have to be boring. We can also squeeze in some time for my favorite topic: trivia.
One of the tricks to surviving the holiday (any holiday) in the classroom is to be prepared, have a lot of options and keep the kids engaged on something. I always keep a few online activities available as well as seasonal activities for students to complete. Mix it up and vary your routine.
Vary Routine for Holidays
I use printed warm-ups for most of the year. After Thanksgiving, I began using Google Forms for my daily Warm -Ups. After all, they are self-grading and since we are reviewing for the final exam, it gives me good information about what we need to re-teach. Students were used to the old routine, now they had to do something different. If we use a routine (any routine, for any area of our lives) is starts to lose it’s impact after a while.
Use Holiday Themed Activities
I also use some holiday themed resources as part of my review. And for early finishers, I do not give them extra work to do, I give them some choices that are fun. I was one of those early finishers who always got extra work to do because I was fast. It was like punishment.
Also remember that you need to take care of yourself as well. I know my school asks for a lot of donations of money, items (clothes, food) as well as time and it begins to be too much. Set limits and stick to them. This year I made a goal for school donations and while it is hard to say no, it is much more stressful to face those post-holiday credit card statements.
My Algebra colleagues are using this riddle to review for the test they still have to give next week. I do love riddles. Kids say they are corny but they always laugh and I enjoy seeing students laughing while doing math (for the right reasons).
And with 3 different worksheets, you can use them for different days or put students in groups of three and give each one a separate riddle.
Even though I am teaching Geometry this year, I cannot emphasize reviewing equations enough. Students just do not remember the steps and I have to review them on a regular basis. Our Geometry tests are all about using algebra to find angle measures.
Non-Holiday Specific Review
I am always aware that there are students in my classroom who do not celebrate Christmas. So while I do use Christmas resources in my class, I can alternate with some seasonal ideas so everyone feels included.
3 Different worksheets. Use 1 in class, use 1 for homework and keep the third for that absent student. (Students can’t just give them the answer to the riddle).
If you are working on inequalities, here is a great little review for students.
Free Holiday Idea for Review
If you need a last minute review, or just want to practice some skills, here is a twisted type of review game with will have the students competing. Download it free using the link below.
More Free Holiday Ideas
If you are done with math (I can’t believe I said that), then I may have a couple more ideas for you. I use trivia in my class for early finishers and the last 10 minutes of class after we have finished reviewing. You do not have to do this individually. I display the boom cards for the whole class and we see who is the trivia master. Resources are free at Teachers Pay Teachers, just use the link below.
Word Searches are always fun this time of year. And if you just need to review solving equations (it really is a critical skill in high school through all the levels of math) then try this fun Christmas themed game.
I hope some of these resources will make your classroom a little less stressful this holiday season. Kids get crazy, the stress levels rise and we sometimes forget the peace that this season brings to us. May your holidays bring you everything you wish.