### Jingle Math Uses Christmas Themes to Teach Problem Solving

### Word Problems in Math

Problems solving is a math challenge that really push the envelope for most students with disabilities. It requires that they:

- Read and process the word problem
- Choose the operation.
- Create a math equation to do the math and
- Create an answer that labels the answer.

We often focus so much on learning and memorizing the math facts that we don't give students enough practice in using math to solve problems. In special education we need to start early and identify the steps needed to problem solve.

Pairing problem solving with a favorite Holiday is a good way to engage special education students. Like the free printable Christmas dot to dots, these activities support Math in a way that harnesses your students' excitement about the holiday.

**Common Core State Standards:** The CCSS introduce word problems and problem solving in First Grade:

Common Core State Standard OA.1: Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.

### Steps for Jingle Math to Build Problem Solving Skills

- Identify the information needed: specifically,"How many?"
- Identify what the problem is asking for to find the operation. This should involve building word lists for operations, such as "How many more?" (subtraction) and "How many in all?"
- Write a "Math Sentence" to describe the way we will answer the question in the word problem.
- Solve the problem.
- Label the answer properly: what was the problem asking for? How many pigs? How much water? How many more more gypsies?
- Problem checking: Did we answer the question? Does our answer make sense? Is it labeled in a way so we know it is answered?

### The Printables and Some Word Problems

This article contains free printables that you can run on card stock and mount with magnets. I also include student pages that they can color and cut out and make up math word problems of their own they can model with partners at their tables in partner pairs, or in small groups. Each page will feature one of the four printables: and some model problems. Feel free to use mine, but please be creative and make up some of your own.

These problems will focus on addition and subtraction. These are designed to be used in grades one through three with typical children and children with specific learning disabilities with support, but would work with older students with significant developmental and intellectual delays.

### Christmas Elves for Jingle Math

In order to help students learn to solve word problems, we start with narratives and visuals that will help your students choose an operation, write a math sentence and solve the problem. By pairing problem solving with themes for Christmas raises your students' enthusiasm for doing math.

### Procedure

- Run the free printable Elves on cardstock, or run them on plain paper, and mount them on cardstock when they are ready to laminate.
- Color, cut and laminate the elves.
- Add a piece of magnet tape on the back and move them to your white board.
- Group the elves and use one of the math narratives.
- Model problem solving for the first couple.
- Have students write the math sentence for your math narratives on a white board or a piece of paper.
- Have your students "report back" with their math sentences and solution. Did they label their answer?

### Math Narratives for Christmas Elves

- Sammy and Buddy Elf invited three friends to a sleep-over at the North Pole. How many Elves spent the nite in all? (add)
- Six elves were working late at night in Santa's workshop. An Abominable Snowman came and frightened three away. How many were left? (subtract)
- Three elves were busy painting a doll house. They were afraid that it wouldn't be ready for Christmas Eve. Santa sent four more elves to help them paint. How many elves were painting the doll house altogether? (add.)
- Seven elves volunteered to help Santa deliver presents. There was only room for four elves. How many elves were left behind?

### Christmas Presents for Jingle Math

What's Christmas without presents under the tree? These little gift boxes can be used as counters to do some "Jingle Math" narratives.

### Procedure

- Run the free printable Christmas Presents on cardstock, or run them on plain paper and mount them on cardstock when they are ready to laminate.
- Color, cut and laminate the presents.
- Add a piece of magnet tape on the back and move them to your white board.
- Group the presents and use one of the math narratives.
- Model problem solving for the first couple.
- Have students write the math sentence for your math narratives on a white board or a piece of paper.
- Have your students "report back" with their math sentences and solution. Did they label their answer?

### Narratives for Math Gifts

- There were eight Christmas Presents under the Christmas tree. The Grinch came and stole three. How many gifts were left? (subtract)
- Grandma put three presents under the tree. Uncle Harry put two presents under the tree. How many presents were under the tree all together? (add)
- Santa had seven gifts left in his sack. He left 2 for Julianna. How many gifts were still in the sack? (subtract.)
- Andy had 2 presents under the tree. His sister Janet had three presents. How many presents were under the tree? (add)

### Candy Cane Printable for Jingle Math

### Procedure for Candy Cane Jingle Math

- Color, cut and laminate the candy canes.
- Add a piece of magnet tape on the back and move them to your white board.
- Group the candy canes and use one of the math narratives.
- Model problem solving for the first couple of problems.
- Have students write the math sentence for your math narratives on a white board or a piece of paper.
- Have your students "report back" with their math sentences and solution. Did they label their answer?

### Math Narratives for the Candy Cane:

- Santa left four candy canes in John's stocking, and three in Julie's stocking. How many did he leave at their house altogether? (add)
- There were six candy canes on the tree. Andy's dog Rolfie likes to eat candy canes. He ate three. How many are left on the tree? (subtract)
- Marty gave three candy canes to Bobby and two candy canes to Annie. How many candy canes did he give altogether?
- There were six candy canes in Mrs. Browns coffee cup. When she came back, two were gone. How many were left? (subtract)

### Christmas Stockings for Jingle Math

### Procedure for Christmas Stocking Jingle Math

- Run the free printable Christmas Stockings on cardstock, or run them on plain paper, and mount them on cardstock when they are ready to laminate.
- Color, cut and laminate the stockings.
- Add a piece of magnet tape on the back and move them to your white board.
- Group the stockings and use one of the math narratives.
- Model problem solving for the first couple.
- Have students write the math sentence for your math narratives on a white board or a piece of paper.

### Math Narratives for Christmas Stockings

- There were three Santa Christmas stockings and two Christmas tree stockings at the little store. How many Christmas stockings altogether? (add)
- Santa had seven stockings in his sled. Three of them blew out over Great Lakes. How many were left? (subtract)
- The three Olson children stayed at their two cousins', Maggie and Jennifer Jensens', house for Christmas. How many children's stockings hung that Christmas at the Jensens' house? (add)