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A Christmas Forest of Numbers!

Written by Donna Boucher

Donna has been a teacher, math instructional coach, interventionist, and curriculum coordinator. A frequent speaker at state and national conferences, she shares her love for math with a worldwide audience through her website, Math Coach’s Corner. Donna is also the co-author of Guided Math Workshop.

I’ve got books piling up, but I took some time this weekend to start in on Math Sense: The Look, Sound, and Feel of Effective Instruction.  Don’t you just love the cover?  What’s inside is pretty good, too!  Chapter 2, The Look of the Landscape, caught my eye.  If you’ve read Laney Sammon’s Guided Math, one of her instructional components is a Classroom Environment of Numeracy.  Both these authors are telling us that how a classroom looks is important!  A visitor walking in the room should recognize the classroom as a place where math happens.  Now, Moynihan is quick to point out that looks are everything, but the environment should support the math that going on and there should be evidence of quality math instruction.

In Chapter 2, as part of the section on Work Samples, there is a picture of an activity called Name That Plant.  Each student chose a number to put on their flower and then added leaves showing different ways to represent the number (equations, coins, ten-frames, pictures, models, etc.).  What a cool garden!!  And of course it’s differentiated, because students choose their own numbers.  Well…I thought that a Christmas themed version of Name That Plant would be awesome, so I actually made two versions.  The first is a poster that kiddos could complete on their own.  I’m thinking they would put their number on the star and then use the ornaments and packages to represent and describe (odd/even, etc.) the number in different ways.  I put ten-frames on one of the packages to make it easier for them to show that representation.  This is a lot like my Wanted poster.  It’s designed to print on 11 x 17 (look for ledger on your print settings).  It will also print on letter size paper, but the ornaments and packages might be a little small for younger kiddos.  Another way to use the poster format would be to print it poster size, laminate it, and use it with dry erase markers for a number of the day during the holidays.

I also made a version with all of the parts separate.  For this version, you’d need to print the tree poster size. I thought it would be cool to have them like a giant number line in the hallway!  Again, you’ll put the number on the star.  Hand out the separate parts to the kiddos, let them show different representations and glue them onto the trees.  Click here for the poster version and here for the parts version.

Head over to this post for even more Christmas Number Tree ideas!

Version 1: A poster
Version 2: Separate Parts

 

Version 2: Separate Parts
Ta dah!  This is the separate parts version all done.  A big thanks to Keisha and her class! 🙂

11 Comments

  1. DeeDee

    As a fourth grade Texas teacher, I immediately thought of decimals. Is there any way you could change the presents to a hundredth template so older grades could use this?

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Could you email me at [email protected] and explain what you mean by that? Thanks!

      Reply
  2. Suzanne

    Thanks for the post! I love the ten frames with this project. I posted a link back to your blog from mine.
    guidedmathstudygroup.blogspot.com

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      You’re welcome, Suzanne! Thanks so much for the shout out. 🙂

      Reply
    • Nikki Hartman

      We finished the Christmas Forest of Numbers project today. My students really enjoyed this activity. I also had them pick a problem from an ornament and turn it into a story problem. I typed them out (w/o the answer) so other grade levels can try to solve the problems. I can’t wait to hang them out in the hallway 🙂 Thank you so much for the great idea!

      Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Oh, Nikki, that’s awesome! Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Debbie

    I cannot wait to try this today with my kindergarten class. We have just finished a chapter on composing/decomposing 5!! I do have one question, though. How can I print out the “tree” poster size?

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Choose a paper setting of 11×17 or ‘ledger’. Have fun!

      Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      To print the ‘parts’ version poster size you have to have a plotter printer that prints poster size.

      Reply
  4. Mrs. Yazzie's Classroom News

    Have I ever told you how much I *love!* your ideas??? Well, I do. Thanks so much for helping my kids learn while having fun and making me look good! 🙂 When people compliment my posted projects, I always refer them back to you!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      What a sweet comment! Thanks so much. I love spreading good math. Ha ha. 🙂

      Reply

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