Monday, October 8, 2018


Here's a video where you can watch me demonstrate the math tools:

Ten Frame
Five, ten, and twenty frames are available to download on the internet.

Building Sets
Call out a number and demonstrate how to place the counters in the frame starting on the left. Remind them to always start with the first frame on the left.
*Turn the frame vertically to make sets.
*Can you place the counters in a different way?
*Have children count forwards and backwards on their frames.

Rock and Roll
Children take one or two dice, roll them, and build that amount on their frame.

Show a numeral or dot card. Challenge children to make the set on their frame.

Add and Remove
Have students fill up their frame with counters. Call out a number. Can they remove counters or add counters to build the new number?

Addition and Subtraction
Place counters for the first addend on the top row and the second addend in the bottom row. How many altogether?
*Take away counters for subtraction problems.

Double Frames
Extend to a double ten frame for building numbers to 20.

Giant Ten Frame

Draw a large ten frame on the sidewalk with chalk. Let children stand in the frames to make sets, add, subtract, etc.
*Make a giant ten frame on the floor in your classroom with tape or use a shower curtain liner to make a giant frame.

Highway Numbers and Shapes

Highway shapes and numbers can be downloaded free at Place these in clear sheet protectors, punch holes at the top, and tie on strings so they can be worn around the neck.
*Make your own math signs (+ - = < >) to use with these activities.

Writing Numerals
Children can trace over numerals with toy cars or they can roll play dough and place it on top of the numerals. They can also trace over numerals with a dry erase marker and erase.

Have children get in numerical order according to the number they are wearing.

Wear number vests as you sing “Five Little Monkeys,” “I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a One,” and other songs.

Put up two numbers and have children choose “<” or “>” to go between them.

Addition and Subtraction
Have children make number sentences using the numbers and signs on the vests.
*Move numbers around to demonstrate different fact families.

Number Bonds
Call out a number. Children find a friend to equal that amount.

Tens and Ones
Let children demonstrate expanded notationwith vests.

Word Problems
Use number vests to engage children in solving word problems.

Dot to Dot
Pass out numbers and have children scatter around the room. Give one child a large pointer. That child takes the pointer and goes from “0” through “10” by “connecting the dots.”

Highway Shapes
Do similar activities by putting highway shapes in clear sheet protectors.


Rekenrek comes from the Netherlands and is basically an arithmetic (or calculating) rack. It’s a visual way for children to develop a strong sense of 5 and 10. Children can use the rekenrek to count, add, or decompose numbers. Smaller versions of the rekenrek have two rows of ten beads. Five red beads and five white beads. (Versions for older students have more rows.) You can purchase these or make your own from fun foam or cardboard, pipe cleaners, and pony tail beads. String 10 beads (5 of each color) on the pipe cleaner and attach it to the fun foam.
Hint!  Always move the beads to the right or “start position” to begin. Demonstrate how to move the beads to the left or “action zone.”
“Reset” reminds students to return the beads to the start position.

Counting and Cardinality
Say a number or hold up a numeral card. Children slide beads to show the amount. Touch the beads and count.

Addition and Subtraction
3 + 4 = Show me.
If I had 5 stuffed animals and I got 2 more for my birthday, how many would I have? Can you show me?

Hidden BeadsSlide over some beads and cover up with a sheet of paper. How many are hidden? How can you tell?

Number Bonds
Show me how to make 7. Can you show me another way? Who can make 7 another way?