Students in MAT156/157 preparing to be elementary school teachers sometimes struggle to think of ways to make learning math creative and fun. I use the Math Holiday Greeting Card Challenge during the first week to give them some ideas. For this challenge, teams of 4 are given the name and date of math holiday (list of holidays attached) and access to scissors, construction paper, markers, etc. They have 30 minutes to develop a line of greeting cards related to their math holiday & create 4 prototype cards. At the end of 30 minutes, each team gives a 1-minute sales pitch for their greeting card line.
We then discuss as a class and share ideas for how to use what they’ve learned with future students (including celebrating the math holidays with their class!)
Students don’t always connect the date with the name of the math holiday, so I mention it if they don’t address it in their 1-minute pitch. In the future, I need to find a way to make sure each group makes the connection so they can use it in developing their greeting card line.
I'd like to use a version of this in MAT141 as well.