How To Adapt Holiday Project Based Learning with Community Service

Categories: Math | Winter
Project Based Learning (PBL) is something new to our homeschool. Sure, we do a ton of projects, but not the ones that focus on several skills at once and off current study topics. MagiCore’s creativity with technology has drawn me in, and after success with her Build a Zoo and Haunted Train Escape Room activities, I couldn’t wait to show you guys her Shop ‘Til You Drop resource.

Resource Adaption

I’ve made simple and quick changes throughout for our needs. Notice I covered the grade level here. This is super easy to do in the Google Slides document within the resource.  We don’t follow common core, so these levels do not line up at all with our base curriculum. Since Bub is in 6th grade I don’t want something like a grade level to knock down his confidence. Your kiddos do not have to complete all the challenges for it to be a success. You choose based on what you want to get out of it.

Did I mention how versatile this is? Check out these three provided levels!

If the color feels like sensory overload or you just want to save on ink, there is also a black and white option.
If you have a nonwriter, or just want to make it a project entirely with technology, you can do that. It works on all devices. We write, use a laptop, and our TV on a mantel mount with a touch screen frame. This allows him to work while standing.

Resource Adaption

We haven’t started percentages yet, so I deleted Challenges 3 and 4 from Google Slides and split this up over 7 days. You can do it much quicker, but I didn’t want to overwhelm Bub and I wanted as much repetition as possible.

Day 1:

This is a great opportunity for your child to name the people in their life.

Resource Adaption

You can see I changed it to five people because the “Track your total” page only has five spaces. I will show you this on day 3.  This works on “who” questions and he was eager to add some fav cartoon characters of his at the end!

Then, I ask him who he wants to shop for first.

Resource Adaption

Since this is our next step, I moved the three “Tracking Sheets” in Google Slides to appear after the list of names. If you’ve never done this, it’s super easy. Left click, hold it down and drag it to the new location.

I love the repetition and recall with his chosen people’s names. We did one sheet, so two people each day.
Budget is a newer vocabulary word for Bub. I ask him next what budget he wants to set, but I also have pre-made index cards for him to choose from incase this task is too difficult.

Let’s go shopping!


Multiple Skill Levels to Choose Gifts

  • Drag and drop pre-made circles to select your shopping items.
  • Circle them on the sheet.
  • Have them point and you circle.

So many ways to adapt to your child!

We work as a team; he selects the items by dragging and dropping the circles on the screen and I circle each item he chooses in the book.
Once he is done shopping for the first person, he goes to the “Tracking Sheet” and clicks the, hide filmstrip arrow on the bottom left corner so the price tags are more visible. You can even zoom out if your screen is big enough.
Another opportunity for recall here or he can double check my circled items in the book which is a great chance for visual tracking and research. Also note that the categories of items are sorted by color.
He will then total it up using a calculator with help from this anchor chart.

After this, I ask him who he wants to shop for next and we repeat the process.

Day 2:

I ask him who he wants to shop for third then fourth and we repeat the process.

Day 3:

We repeat the process for the fifth person. This gives us three days of fabulous repetition and once we get to the “Tracking your Total” page he has yet another opportunity to recall or research all the people on his shopping list and the amount spent.

This is the page with only five spaces for the people they are shopping for, and why I covered up that sixth spot for day one.

These yes and no questions are awesome! For Bubba, the way the questions are worded is new to him, so this really gives opportunity for generalization.

Day 4:

Challenge Activity #1

Differentiate with these two ways your kiddos can do this activity. The printed version is a bit harder with multiple categories per page, or Google Slides has one category per page, which by the way, you can print from Google Slides, completely adaptable!

What I love about this challenge is, your child has to know what each product is called, which provides spelling and word knowledge practice as well as two categories that may be new to them, technology and accessories.

Since Bubba cannot distinguish the difference betweeen real and fake coins, I brought out real change and fake bills for him to show with money.

Day 5:

Challenge Activity #2

Have your kids ever seen a check? I can honestly say until this project, Bubba has not.

Resource Adaption

I made some more changes to adapt for a middle schooler. I keep a real check out for a visual, so when it comes to the “Bank Ledger”, I want the check number location to be more realistic. Because of this, I added check numbers in the top right corner.

Since there are five checks, there is a ton of repetition.

Day 6:

Bank Ledger: Track Your Purchases

I made this its own day because the concept is difficult for Bub. In a math workbook the problems are directly next to or on top of each other. Something like a ledger has you solving numbers from different columns.

Day 7:

Community Service

Adopting kids with special needs for Christmas is something my family has done for a while. Every year I involve Bub more and more. This year he is shopping using this simple spreadsheet.

Doing this after the Holiday Shopping PBL allows him to generalize the skills learned in a meaningful and functional way. He populates the gift list, searches the product on both sites, writes down both prices, and circles which one is least expensive and adds it to the cart. Once the gifts arrive, he will have more handwriting practice labeling the boxes and seeing the project through by coming with me for drop off.

“& together they created a school they loved” author unknown


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *