Saturday, August 23, 2014

Back to School Math Ideas (Plus a Free Math Center)

While everyone is heading back to school, I thought I might share a few math activities we've been working on in class.  I really like to use the first three or four weeks to review and lay the ground work for the rest of the year.
We usually spend a lot of time on numeracy by counting, writing, and identify various representations of numbers.
One way we practiced these skills is by using Wikki Stixs.  There are so many ways to use Wikki Stix and the kids love them.  We made number bonds on white boards using Wikki Stix.

We made part part whole mats using white boards, Wikki Stixs, and counters.

We made ten frames using white boards, Wikki Stix, and counters. 
Using Wikki Stix was a great hands on way for students to create these models.

We also used Wikki Stix to practice memorizing the touch numbers.  
We always spend the first weeks of school putting the touch points on the numbers (over and over again), mostly with pencil and paper.  Using Wikki Stix to form all the dots and circles that go on touch numbers is a perfect ways to mix things up a bit.

Beside getting Wikki With It (where is the smiley face button on my keyboard?), we also started our first Calendar Connection Journal.  It is a supplement to our calendar math time.  Students have to work with calendars, counting, number representations, and graphing.  This month we'll work on most of the activities together.  Of course over time students should will become independent with these tasks.

We also used bubble maps to work with numbers 1-10.  Students had to decide which bubbles were ways to show each number.  Representations included addition & subtraction equations, ten frames, touch numbers, pictures, dice, tally marks, and number words.

I bagan introducing our math centers for the month.  I must admit, my goal was to have them up and going by now.  However, my new class, as a whole, is not quite ready.  So, I'll continue to introduce them to the group and know that we'll get started with them eventually.

If you are interested in math centers for the first months of school, check out my Bright Beginnings  {10 Math Centers} and September Smarties {10 Math Centers} packets at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  They are filled with centers that are perfect for this time of the year.

If you would like to try out a center from my Bright Beginnings packet for free.  You can click on the picture below.  Ten Frame Turtles is a basic ten frames matching activity that will help students start memorizing ten frame patterns.

I hope some of these ideas are helpful.  Thanks for stopping by.  Happy Back to School Season!


  1. I love how you used the Wiki sticks! Great idea. I also really like your Bubble Maps for ways to show numbers. Are they part of a product in your TPT store? I'd love to use them with my first graders!!
    Thanks for the freebie math center too!!!

  2. I really like how you used the wiki sticks. I'm pinning!
    Grade ONEderful