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Yearly archive for 2015.

We have several free resources to share with you for the Christmas and winter season. At the end of this post we'll also share our virtual "Christmas Card" with you, our visitors.

First, I thought I'd mention that we're doing an "Advent Calendar" with our son Toby this year, and today's calendar activity was "Do a Christmas themed maze." Of course, I knew right where to go for that; we have quite a selection of Christmas themed mazes, including a folder of Nativity themed mazes.

Want to try out our Nativity Narrative quiz? It'll test your knowledge of the Christmas story. Once you've tried that, you might want to try our Christmas Carols quiz as well.

We also have several new Christmas themed word lists that you can use to create word search puzzles, jumbles, and other activities. You can find these word lists here: Christmas Vocabulary Games. Don't forget that if you can't find exactly the maze , quiz, or vocabulary list you were looking for, Pro Members have the ability to make their own mazes and word search lists!

Some of my Algebra students have been getting in the "Christmas Spirit" with some holiday themed math problems as well. You can find the Christmas themed puzzles and math problems by clicking here: Christmas problems and puzzles.

We've also added a short reference unit with reading comprehension questions and research questions related to the two "Christmas Songs" (the song of Zacharias and Mary's Magnificat) recorded in the Gospel of Luke. You can find that unit here: Christmas Songs from Luke's Gospel.

Also, don't forget that during the winter season, children will have a lot of fun making snowflakes and snowstorms!

Our Virtual Christmas Card

The Virtual Christmas card my wife and I have put together to share with our website community is a video, based on a poem written by Henry van Dyke, music by myself, and a variety of photographs of refugees and refugee camps through the world in recent history.

Intrigued? Here it is: Our Virtual Christmas Card.

We wish you all a very wonderful and blessed holiday season.

Doug and Laura

With a week and a half left until Thanksgiving, it's time to share some of the Thanksgiving themed resources some of our Pro Members have provided this year. Let's start with the mazes!

Thanksgiving Mazes: We have eight new Thanksgiving themed printables mazes on the site, including a turkey, male and female pilgrims, a cornucopia, and more. When you visit a maze page, you will have the option to choose small, medium, and large mazes. Each size maze has the same outward shape, but the larger mazes have more paths inside them, and therefore are more challenging.

If you can't find the maze you want, getting started as a Pro Member is very inexpensive, and this will allow you to create your own mazes!

Thanksgiving Problems: Yes, that's right; we've had a few "Thanksgiving themed" math and science problems added to the site this year. There's a multi-variable algebra problem in which you must determine how many guests came to the Thanksgiving gathering; a physics problem about an escaped Thanksgiving turkey; and a counting principles problem about how many different ways your Thanksgiving feast could be served. There are other problems as well, so be sure to check them all out!

Thanksgiving Word Lists: We have several new Thanksgiving themed word lists on the site. These lists can be used to create printable jumble worksheets, word search puzzles, and our very own CrossSearch puzzles. Also, if you have a Virtual Classroom subscription, you can assign interactive games based on these word lists to your students!

Thanksgiving Quiz: We have just one Thanksgiving themed quiz on the site right now, titled "The First Thanksgiving." This quiz will test your knowledge of the harvest feast enjoyed by the Plymouth colonists and their Native American neighbors in the 1600s. When you're done the quiz, use the share buttons to tell your friends on social media how you did on the quiz!

We hope you enjoy this new content, and can make use of it in your classrooms!

It's been a busy week here at The Problem Site! In addition to the Halloween Themed Mazes we mentioned last week, we've had some busy teachers creating Halloween Themed Word Lists as well!

If you aren't familiar with our word lists, they are perfect for creating printable word search puzzles, printable jumble worksheets, and printable cross search puzzles. Also, with a Pro Member Account, they can be used to create interactive games in a variety of styles.

So if you're looking for fun Halloween activities for your students and/or children, head on over to the word list pages to get your worksheets! If we don't have what you're looking for, you can always create your own content.

In addition to the word lists, we've had three new Reference Units added to the site this week, all in the field of mathematics.

Determinants: Learn what a determinant is, learn how to evaluate them, and learn how Cramer's Rule can help you solve a system of equations.

Matrices: This unit is a good follow-up to the unit on Determinants; here you can learn what a matrix is, and explore the unique operations that apply to matrices.

Factoring Higher Degree Polynomials: This unit will give students some rules for factoring polynomials of degree higher than 2. The last two sections include some great pointers for grouping terms in ways that will facilitate factorization.

As we approach the end of October, if you're looking for some holiday themed activities for your students (or your own children!), we have several Halloween themed mazes in the Printable Mazes section of the site. You can find the Halloween mazes here.

When you select a maze, you can also choose between small, medium and large sizes. The large mazes are the most complex, and the small are best for younger children.

If you don't find exactly the maze you were looking for, you should know that Pro Members can create their own mazes (using our maze-building software), word searches and jumbles from their own vocabulary word lists, and other types of educational content. Getting started as a Pro Member costs a one-time fee of $4.95. Go here to get started.

When school starts in the fall, we suddenly start seeing traffic spikes on all the games that teachers like to have their students play. This year we're seeing a new trend that we appreciate: teachers are sending their students to the Daily versions of games like Entrapment and Secret Word. The daily section lets students do a familiar game, but with a different game board each day, with the added bonus that they're getting the same game board as their classmates, so they can have the fun of competing with each other for the best time or score.

Let's highlight some of the most popular daily games schools are using with their students every day:



Entrapment requires students to rearrange their dots in such a way that each of the computer's dots is exactly half-way between two of the player's dots.

Secret Word

Secret Word requires students to guess the letters in a word, and also determine the correct position of each letter.


Operations Game

The Operations game is brand new on the site this year; it's a shortened version of our long-time favorite One to Ten. In this game, students must rearrange four numbers, combined with arithmetic operations, to create the target number.

Word Funnel

Word Funnel has also become a favorite on the daily page, probably because each game is guaranteed to be no longer than 60 seconds, so you know it's not going to take a lot of time out of the class to complete it! In this game, students must try to fill in missing letters to make words before the timer runs out.

And of course there are plenty more games to explore, both in the daily section of the site and elsewhere, so be sure to try them all until you find the ones that are just right for your students!
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