Santa Claus Gives Children a Love for Math, Says Whizz Education Expert

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Former Math Teacher Recommends Five Ways for Parents to Use Santa to Teach their Children Math over the Holiday

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Getting kids excited about learning math is a gift that will last long after the holidays are over and Santa Claus can help, according to Kevin Judd, Vice President of Whizz Education, creator of the award-winning, online math tutor, Math-Whizz. Judd, a former math teacher and Curriculum Director, recommends that parents use Santa’s trip around the world to get their kids learning math at home and loving it. According to Judd, the following five ideas are almost as fun as a visit from Santa himself for elementary school age children:

1) Calculate the Revenue Santa Generates for the U.S. Postal Service
Letters to Santa help him know where to go and what to deliver. The United States Postal Service (USPS) estimates that it receives 1 million letters to Santa every year with 500,000 of those letters coming from New York, NY alone. Parents can work with their children to calculate the estimated $440,000 on stamps that children will spend sending their instructions to Santa.    

2) Map the Distance from their House to the North Pole
Whip out a map and show children where they are in relation to the North Pole. Ask them to guess how many miles Santa will have to travel to reach them. Then, teach them how to measure the distance. How close did they come? You can even take the opportunity to discuss latitude and longitude.

3) Count the Countries that Santa will Visit
Every year the folks at NORAD track Santa during Christmas night. Parents and children can visit the web site and discuss the 24 times zones that Santa will cross. Pondering Santa’s leap across the globe will probably introduce many children to the concept of time zones for the first time. To increase the challenge, parents can help children calculate the time it will be in other countries when Santa is visiting their houses.

4) Count the Calories Santa will Consume in Cookies and Milk
Parents can research their local population and estimate how many children Santa will likely visit in their area. Let’s say Santa visits 5,000 homes and consumes one chocolate chip cookie at each home. If the cookies are an estimated 100 calories each, how many calories will Santa consume? Don’t forget that a half of cup of skim milk at each house is 40 calories. Good thing that Santa moves beyond the speed of light, another lesson to sneak in.

5) Don’t Forget Fun Math Facts about Santa’s Reindeer
When Santa comes, how many hooves on the roof will children hear? How many watts of power does it probably take to burn Rudolph’s nose that lights the way? (assuming that it’s a standard light bulb) You can also explain to kids that reindeer antlers can range up to 39 inches in width to 53 inches in length. As for food, according to the Alberta Reindeer Association, reindeer require 2.1% of their body weight in dry matter and the average reindeer weight is between 250-300 pounds.

About Whizz Education, Inc.
Whizz Education, Inc., creator of the award-winning, online math tutoring program, Math-Whizz, is the leading provider of dynamic online math instruction and instructional resources for grades K-8. Whizz Education’s personalized, interactive and collaborative approach to teaching math is raising math achievement for thousands of students in over 40 countries. By engaging students in entertaining challenges, individualizing the curriculum for each student, and involving teachers and parents in the process, Math-Whizz is changing the math education equation. For more information about Whizz Education, Inc. and the Math-Whizz suite of services, visit http://www.whizz.us.

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Kate Vincent
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