teaching resource

Holiday Code Cracker: Middle Years – Whole Class Holiday Game

A whole class, holiday-themed game where students work together to find a secret code.

Our Holiday Code Cracker game is perfect for the holiday season! Students work together on six tasks to reveal a set of numbers. The groups are then presented a final riddle to help them arrange their code in the right order. Students will use math, reading, and logic skills to crack the code!

Put the ‘Buzz!‘ into your class by getting a six-digit lock, or two three-digit locks and a lockable box to hide a reward or message for your students.

This activity works well in a timed rotation or as a race to the finish!

You can print the entire activity pack on letter size, however we recommend printing the stimulus posters on tabloid paper. We have added a separate download that includes only the posters in tabloid size.

Activities include:

• Holiday Hooray Poem
• Christmas Tree Wheel
• Rudolph’s Present Predicament
• Trifle Tower
• Cryptic Chatterbox
• Vacation Treasure Hunt
• Party Light Chaos
• Final Riddle

Curriculum

• CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.B.6

Understand division as an unknown-factor problem. For example, find 32 ÷ 8 by finding the number that makes 32 when multiplied by 8.

• CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.C.7

Fluently multiply and divide within 100, using strategies such as the relationship between multiplication and division (e.g., knowing that 8 × 5 = 40, one knows 40 ÷ 5 = 8) or properties of operations. By the end of Grade 3, know from memory all pr...

• CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.D.8

Solve two-step word problems using the four operations. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including roundi...

• CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.NBT.A.2

Fluently add and subtract within 1000 using strategies and algorithms based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.

• CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.NBT.A.3

Multiply one-digit whole numbers by multiples of 10 in the range 10-90 (e.g., 9 × 80, 5 × 60) using strategies based on place value and properties of operations.

• CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.NBT.B.4

Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.

• CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.NBT.B.5

Multiply a whole number of up to four digits by a one-digit whole number, and multiply two two-digit numbers, using strategies based on place value and the properties of operations. Illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangul...

• CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.NBT.B.6

Find whole-number quotients and remainders with up to four-digit dividends and one-digit divisors, using strategies based on place value, the properties of operations, and/or the relationship between multiplication and division. Illustrate and explai...