One of my all-time favorite activities when I taught Algebra, was the Frosty Relay. My kiddos love the competition, math, and creativity all rolled into one big activity.
The Winter Freebie Frosty Relay was such a huge hit, that I now have 4 of them in my TpT store!
1) Frosty Relay: Writing the Equation of a line given various information (Algebra 1)
2) Frosty Relay: Fraction and Decimal operations (4-6)
3) Frosty Relay: Whole number and Decimal operations (3-5)
And the original Holiday Freebie:
This past week in my resource classes, I decided to use the whole number and decimal operations relay for all 4 classes- 5th,6th,7th, and 8th grade. Surprisingly (or, actually, maybe not!) the 5th graders did the best with both the competition and the activity My 6th,7th, and 8th graders definitely need a review of multiplication and division computations without a calculator! I’ll be coming up with something this weekend to review both!
For this activity, I usually set up groups of four. Each student is assigned a problem number (1, 2, 3, and 4). At the front of the room, set up a sheet of large construction paper, poster board, or something tangible they can draw on easily. I usually allow my students to create fun names for their team and I write the name at the top of each paper.
Also, you will want to make enough copies so that each student has one. Cut the paper in half so that you have each round separate. I usually lay them out on a table in order so that students can easily grab the next round once they are ready.
Explain to them how the relay works.
1. Each group starts on the first “round” (there are 9 total).
2. Each group member must answer their assigned problem (example person 1 answers problem 1, person 2 answers problem 2, and so on.)
3. After each member has answered their problem, the students should follow the directions at the bottom (i.e. who should bring the paper to the teacher to get it checked AND who should draw their part of the snow man). I typically have a picture of a “completed” snowman on the board. I tell the students they do not have to make a traditional “frosty” and to have fun with their designs!
4. After one round has been completed and the snow man piece has been drawn, the team moves to the next round. It is very possible for each team to be on a different round. If a team misses a problem, hand back the papers and make them find their mistake. Often times, they find it very quickly. They may ask their group to help if necessary.
5. There are 2 winners – 1) the team that completes the relay the fastest and 2) the team that creates the most “artsy” snowman as voted on by the class. The second award is crucial… it keeps all teams in the relay until the end – even if they aren’t fast!
Here are some of the snowmen that were produced!
I still haven’t decided which one is the “artsy-est” yet… I’m leaning towards “Moo-moo swag” and “jolly-ranchers and banana smoothies” but will confer with my colleagues on Monday. (That keeps the voting more impartial!) When I was in a classroom with 30 kiddos, I had them vote by ballot the ones they thought were the most creative. I learned earlier this year that ballot voting with 10 kiddos who are highly emotional when they lose is a bad idea!
I truly love this activity and will be making others like it in the near future! I have quite a few emails asking me to make one for upcoming holidays! If you have any suggestions as to the content that you would like to see on the future relays, or if you want the frosty relay with a different content, please let me know and I will work with you to make the relay specific to your classroom!