Here's a Mystery Cauldron Halloween center activity idea that can be easily differentiated from toddler to elementary school student! It may also be a fun theme to add to your classroom's calming corner if you have one.
This post will first outline the set up, and then list some adaptation suggestions to suit kids from toddler to fifth-grader!
This year I thought it was time to update my favorite Halloween Brain Break collection to share with you. Since my last Halloween Brain Break post, which was about 2 years ago, I've discovered some new and fun ideas to implement in the classroom and home. Some of these brain breaks work well for younger students, others for older, and some both. Either way, if you are looking for some fresh and 'spooky' themed ideas for brain breaks in your classroom this year, keep on reading.
Suddenly, the cat was very concerned!
Use this mystery prompt to see what ideas your students come up with about 'what could have happened?' This particular prompt will make for a great writing center activity during the Halloween season.
Prep: Print and laminate the image below into a card to use as an early finisher task or writing center activity.
Display on the board for a whole class writing activity.
There are plenty of ways you may wish to use this prompt. If you would like some ideas, keep on reading.
Learn more about the math skills and concepts covered in each individual grade mystery through the links below.
• Print pages 4-8 in color or choose gray scale.
• Laminate the printed pages, then cut out the individual cards (six per page).
• Make blank cards out of white/colored paper (Make the size big enough for your students to write a math word problem on). The other option is to use just regular pieces of paper if you don't have the time.
There are 30 cards in this set. Hopefully, that should be enough for at least one card per student. If you have more than 30 students, you’ll need to either make an extra set of cards OR pair students for the activity (one card per pair).
Students pick one card at random and keep their card a secret. On the blank card (or piece of paper) they must create a math word problem that will equal to the answer on the card that they have. For example, “The answer is 9 pumpkins” – They know that the math question they make must equal 9 and be about pumpkins.
Once they finish writing their word problem, they must write their name on the back and either hand back to you, place in a box or get ready to swap with another student.
Give the student made word problems (at random from a box or swapped) to other students. Each student must solve the problem given, and then find the creator of it to see if they answered correctly. Another option is to complete the questions as a class and ‘check in’ with the maker of the word problem to see if it was answered correctly by everyone.
Show them a few examples first!
Modeling how to create a math word problem is recommended before instructing students to do this independently.
Some guided questions could be:
•What must my word problem equal to?
•What math operation will I use?
•Does this equation equal to the number I need?
•What items or characters will be featured in my word problem?
•What will happen to the items or characters in my word problem?
Being Halloween themed, encourage the math word problems to carry on the theme.
Even though the numbers are low, doesn’t mean this is limited to younger students. Challenge higher grades with using division, negative numbers, or create a multi-step word problem.
I hope you and your students enjoy this Halloween Math activity. I plan to make more for future seasonal themes.
You May Also be interested in these fun Educational resources for Halloween...
This is a fun and simple way to get some spooky math thinking in during this Halloween. As in the image below, students will be creating their own Halloween word problems to match the answer given.
This is easy to set up. All I did for the above was:
Keep the top and bottom and just change the middle to a new number and Halloween theme item to keep refreshing the activity.
Here's some more examples below:
This sort of activity works well as part of a daily math morning routine or warm-up, The more students do it, the better word problems you will start to find. I love how creative the kids can get with this, and the best part is that they are thinking mathematically at the same time too!
If it is the first time you are introducing this activity to your class, modeling and guiding a few word problems first would be best. I like to think aloud by asking myself these questions:
I’ll share another way of doing this sort of activity in my next post and include a cool Halloween freebie for you too! Stay tuned!
You may also like these fun Halloween Math Mysteries. . .
A 21st century School Teacher, Mother, and Wife.
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