Happy fall and thanks for joining me today to talk all things number centers! I wanted to take some time to discuss numbers instruction, hands-on activities to practice numbers, and of course 6 free downloads that you can implement TOMORROW in your classroom.
Teaching Numbers [an introduction]
Teaching numbers to 20 can be a little like a roller coaster! In general, kids are really great about identifying numbers within 5… and can get to 10 with little support. However, it can be those “tricky” teens that really stump them! A lot of times the students that struggle with teen numbers are struggling because of their lack in number sense. That’s why I have embedded number sense and hands on number work into all of my programs! In today’s post, I will be sharing ways to implement activities that focus on number sense! Let’s check out this first easy and SIMPLE number sense activity.
For this hands-on number sense activity you’ll need muffin liners, a muffin pan, pom-poms (or other manipulative), and fine motor tweezers! Students will use on one-to-one counting by matching the correct number of pom-poms. If students are unable to identify the number, you can swap in subitizing dots instead.
Number Activities [continued]
Ten frames, ten frames, ten frames! They are a proven way for students to “get” numbers aka have a solid foundation in number sense. This activity requires just the printed ten frame board, number cards, and fuzzy poms (or manipulative of choice). You can access the free cards and ten frames HERE!
How about a little bean spill? For this activity, students use the number cards and fill the empty water bottle or bowl with the correct number of beans! Easy, cost-effective, and meaningful.
At the beginning of the year, students are doing a lot of exploring with manipulatives so you can pull out the number cards and have students build an object using the matching number! Download the number cards HERE.
Numbers Fine Motor Mats
When it comes to learning numbers, something oftentimes goes hand in hand — fine motor instruction. Not always, but oftentimes students that lack in number knowledge will also need work in the area of fine motor and hand muscle strengthening. If you missed my post on fine motor, you can catch up on that HERE.
At the start of the school year I had several teachers reach out to request very SIMPLE number centers. These would be for students that aren’t ready to match numbers, write numbers, etc. The same students that also need work in fine motor. I set out to create a comprehensive set of INSTANT center mats that would make the words SIMPLE and BASIC a good thing!
This packet of INSTANT Fine Motor Numbers Mats is designed to offer an engaging and FUN way to explore numbers to 20! This packet can be used to supplement your math block, early finishers, fine motor bins, intervention block, or as math centers.
The mats are designed to maximize student engagement and offer a chance for students to practice the number. This packet is a simple print with black and white versions. You can also choose to print the mats on color paper. Select the activity and number(s) you would like to cover. Add the mats to a bin/tray along with the needed manipulatives.
What activities are included in the INSTANT Numbers Fine Motor Packet?
- SET 1: PATTERN BLOCK NUMBER BUILD MATS
- SET 2: FUZZY POM NUMBER BUILD MATS
- SET 3: DOUGH NUMBER BUILD MATS
- SET 4: FINE MOTOR NUMBER BUILD MATS
- SET 5: CRAFT STICK NUMBER BUILD MATS
- SET 6: CUBE NUMBER BUILD MATS
- SET 7: DAB IT NUMBER MATS
- SET 8: TRACING NUMBERMATS
- SET 9: CHIP NUMBER BUILD
- SET 10: DIP AND DOT NUMBER MATS
You can snag this packet of 200+ INSTANT Fine Motor Numbers Mats HERE or by clicking below!
In my shop I have several comprehensive number center bundles! Below I will share a couple of my favorites.
The Number Centers Through the Year offer a way to expose your students to a set of centers throughout the entire year. This allows students to learn the “how” of a center just once. Then, you all you’ll need to do is swap the theme each month to keep students engaged. View this set of centers >> HERE<<
The INSTANT Tubs N Trays Number centers are another awesome option! This is a set of 15 hands-on and engaging centers. You can view this packet >>HERE<<
BONUS! Try out these centers for free by downloading a free sampler with 3 number centers HERE!
Number Activities [free downloads 1-3]
Up first I would like to share a fun, new numbers download. This activity is a large-scale mat! I have included multiple versions within the free download file. I also included smaller versions in case you don’t want to use the large-scale mat. Students will complete numbers magnet matching or practice their letters with dough. This is two sheets combined into one mat.
You can download this free set of numbers large-scale mats HERE.
As students learn numbers to 20, it’s also important that they practice the proper handwriting paths of motion for each. This can be a tough task (even for students WITH number knowledge). I created a set of free download practice sheets. Students will learn the “stoplight” setup for numbers – green for the first stroke, yellow for the next stroke, and red for the final stroke. You can also place these mats into a dry erase sleeve for additional practice. You can download this free set of practice sheets HERE.
When using the stoplight number tracing sheets, you might find yourself wanting a poster size. Use these posters whole-group or small-group. You can download these free instructional posters HERE.
Print the instructional posters 4 to 1 page and place them on a ring. These can be used as quick references at your small-group table.
Alphabet Activities [free downloads 4-6]
Here’s a great option for students to apply their number sense. These quick cut & paste sheets will have students sort a variety of subitizing images. Download the free number sense sorting sheets HERE.
Writing numbers will take repeated practice. Access these freebie number writing tracing sheets. There are opportunities to trace the numbers large-scale and then bring it down to a smaller scale on the lines. Download these free number trace sheets HERE.
After all of that hard work learning their numbers, it’s great to take time to celebrate! Download these free mathematician crowns and certificates HERE. (Scroll to page 106.)
Have an amazing week! Reach out anytime with questions! Tara West – – LITTLEMINDSATWORKLLC@GMAIL.COM