4 AHHHmazing Tips for Teaching Math on Halloween
Halloween is a day full of extra energy and excitement. To keep your sanity, plan to channel that energy to a structured activity that will hold their interest and avoid white space in the class period. White space invites chaos. Read on for 4 tips for teaching math to secondary students on Halloween.
1. Acknowledge the special day.
Most Halloween parties and in-school celebrations have gone by the wayside in middle and high school, but that sure doesn't mean students aren't thinking about trick-or-treating, Halloween parties, costumes, and more! Be sure to acknowledge the day with a Halloween-themed activity, some basic decor or even some little treats. It may actually be harder for students to focus if you don't acknowledge the day in some way because they will be thinking about after school activities. If you can plan a Halloween-themed math activity, you will be modeling for students the appropriate way to celebrate the holiday in your class.
2. Anticipate and direct their energy.
Who knows what kind of energy students will bring from other classes or, perhaps even worse, from lunch or recess. Know that the day may seem like a full moon mixed with a Friday afternoon combined with a fly circulating the room. Bottom line: The energy will likely be way outside of the norm. Anticipate this and be sure to direct students' energy to the task you would like them to focus on. I like to use a Halloween-themed math activity so that students are engaged in our current learning standards while enjoying a little Halloween twist. Avoid down time. A structured lesson will be more important than usual here. Keep students moving through the curriculum and before you know it, you'll be sending them on their way to their next class.
3. Award rad prizes.
Middle and high school students still love Halloween prizes. During a non-Halloween-themed BINGO review, I awarded these Halloween prizes. (Disclosure: This is an affiliate link. As an Amazon Associate, we may receive a commission from Amazon at no additional cost to you.)
My 9th and 10th graders went nuts for slap bracelets, temporary tattoos, and Halloween stampers. About $20 in prizes was all it took to keep students motivated, focused, and working hard on their math review activity.
4. Advance student learning.
Halloween, or even the Friday before Halloween, can feel like a hopelessly lost day. It doesn't have to be! If you acknowledge the day, channel students' energy, and prepare some prizes or treats, you can still advance student learning using a mathematically-meaningful Halloween-themed practice activity. My favorite way to do so is to engage students in Halloween-Themed Partner Stations. Perfect as a review or practice activity, students travel to 8 stations in pairs, solve problems, and unscramble letters to determine the secret Halloween code word.
I hope these tips help you and your students enjoy a spooktacular Halloween math class! Be sure to subscribe below for more resources, ideas, and insider information!
Join the Free to Discover community!
When you subscribe, you'll access our FREE monthly newsletter for secondary math students!