Christmas in July

I've been inspired by Scaffolded Math and Science's Christmas in July post to get into the holiday spirit myself. I live in Florida, so sometimes Christmas feels like July anyway. This year we wore shorts and ate ribs at a friend's house on Christmas Day - July in Christmas, Christmas in July.

At the beginning of December this year, I got an email reminding us about the annual door decorating contest. At first I brushed it off - I had to finish my unit on Systems of Equations before the holiday break, and there was no wiggle room for art projects. Then I started feeling like a Grinch and scoured Pinterest for something I felt like I could pull off. No way could I compete with the art teachers who would have hand-painted murals on their doors, but I wanted to come up with something festive, fun, and cheap and that would not have me losing valuable instructional time. I found this and thought it looked within my realm of art ability. Festive - check, it's a Christmas tree; Fun - sure; Cheap - absolutely, the copy room has plenty of green paper. But I still wanted to make sure I was not stuck making and hanging all those rings.

So I made the rings into Systems of Equations problems! The students each had four problems to solve - two using substitution and two with elimination.

After they solve a problem, they find their solution and flip it over to find their next problem.

Their last problem links to someone else's, creating a long chain. Then the chains make the branches of the Christmas tree!

I think the door decoration turned out great, and my favorite part was that it was completely done by the students. They would get excited to link theirs to the tree and watch the tree grow as more people finished. Plus I won a prize - Most Mathy Door!

My Christmas in July gift to you is that you can pick it up for $1 through Tuesday  - when door decorating season comes around, you will be glad you have it! Check out more Christmas in July deals by searching #ChristmasMATHinJuly

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