Math Holiday Greeting Card Challenge

Submitted by Michelle Breaux on

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.

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Average: 4.5 (2 votes)


Anil Kapoor Sun, 02/01/2015 - 6:54pm

Leave it to Michele to get her student excited about math before they even arrive on campus. Im going to try and adapt this for biology. What agreat idea!!

Peter Turner Mon, 02/16/2015 - 4:04pm

I love this creative way to introduce students to a new topic! And, you are covering other general education abilities, such as communication. Way to go Michelle!

Teri Graham Thu, 01/14/2016 - 11:02am

Thank you Michelle for being a continual example and encouragement to embrace my creative side and light up my students.  Especially in a topic that is so analytical like mathematics we tend to be so linear and not as creative.  You have encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone and encourage my students to do the same :-)