As Halloween approaches, student focus becomes more difficult. Our kiddos start thinking about costumes, party and candy. Who can compete with that? So instead of competing, grab their focus and engagement with Halloween math activities that your students will love.
Keeping students engaged and working on important math skills doesn’t have to be difficult during Halloween or any holiday. Just join in the holiday fun. While just adding some holiday fun is often enough to make students excited and engaged to learn, as teachers we need more. We need to know that our time with our students is moving them towards the ultimate goal of mastering skills and concepts. These skills based math activities will have your students practicing and reviewing important skills while having fun!
Halloween Logic Activity
Logic puzzles are a fantastic way to get students working on math thinking skills without the activity feeling like a math assignment. In fact, these puzzles feel more like a game and less like work! However, the skills practice that students get with logic puzzles is amazing.
Logic puzzles exercise parts of our brain that don’t often get used. However, these are important brain skills that will benefit our students in school and in life. For example, our students learn to look at facts as a whole picture instead of as stand alone pieces of information. By putting facts together we are able to see the “big picture”. While on a logic puzzle this might be something silly like Halloween costumes, in real life this skill might help our students solve problems in the workplace.
Logic puzzles also help our students develop a more advanced way of thinking. Students are required to use higher level thinking skills, and think systematically to apply the clues.
Basic Operations with a Twist
I don’t think there is any way to get too much practice with basic operations, especially in multiplication and division. As students advance to higher levels of math, they will continue to use basic operations. Having the ability to do these operations quickly and effectively will only help them.
But plain worksheets filled with problems or copying problems for the text book is just … boring! And when our students do something over and over that they deem as boring they begin to develop negative thoughts and attitudes towards it. I don’t want my students to hate math or even think it is boring. I want them to be engaged in developing their skills and if that means making it fun, then sign me up!
For example, this division activity has students matching problems with answers. But, there’s no way to do it without actually doing the math. So students get the important math practice while feeling like they are “getting away” with something. But truth be told, they are still doing the same work they would have done. By making the assignment a little different and holiday themed we can increase their engagement and learning.
One thing that students seem to hate is when they have to “show your work” on math problems. I don’t know why this is always met with groans, but it is. One day I told my students they did not have to show their work as long as they got all the answers right. But if they missed any, then they would have to redo the problem and show their work. You would have thought I gave them a million dollars! But the result was nothing short of amazing. The students slowed down, meticulously worked and double checked their work just so they could turn their assignment in without “showing their work.”
Activities like the division page or this multiplication page are great activities for this approach.
A Seasonal Review
Sometimes it can be difficult to build in time to review previously taught concepts of skills. But we know that keeping concepts and skills fresh helps our students to reach a level of mastery. Many times our students need repeated exposure to concepts before gaining confidence. Unfortunately, our scope and sequence doesn’t always allow for that. But by including seasonal skills based activities in our centers, as morning work, or even homework, we can create important review.
This Halloween math activity focuses on finding factors. While this might be considered a grade level skill for a 3rd or 4th grade classroom, it would be a great review activity for 5th graders. Not only would it review the skill but also the important vocabulary that our students need to know.
This resource is also different than your typical finding factors activity where students write out all the factors for a given number. Here they are required to use their knowledge but apply it in a different way. This slight change in approach makes the activity “fun” in the eyes of the students. But we can rest knowing that they are getting the skills practice and review that they need.
Another Halloween math activity that could be used in this way is this adding money activity. Here students take a list of items, find the associated price tag and add them up to determine the total amount spent. This activity gets students working with money, adding and multiplying numbers with decimals, and adding 2 or more numbers. Some, if not all the skills will be familiar to students. But combining them in this way keeps the activity challenging, even if it is a review.
Halloween Math Activities
I have high standards when it comes to creating my lessons and activities. First and foremost, it must help my students in the learning process and mastering the standards. But a very close second is the desire to make fun and engaging activities. This ranks so high because I have seen over and over again that there is a direct correlation between learning and engagement.
The Halloween math activities in this pack meet both of these important requirements.
Your students will love these 6 Halloween math activities and you will love knowing that they are getting the skills practice they need. All of these no prep activities are perfect to use for a whole class assignment, in math centers, as morning work or homework. These are also a fun way to engage students in small group re-teaching, tutoring or intervention on skills and concepts they are struggling with.
Looking for More Halloween Activities?
- Halloween Reading Activities for Upper Elementary Classrooms
- Halloween Project Based Learning
- Reading Comprehension Passages and Questions – October Close Reading Bundle
Pin this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so that you can come back when you need skills based math activities that your students will love!
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