Yes, you read that correctly – math activities from Learning at the Primary Pond! ?
Literacy is my huge love (and what my blog will continue to focus on), but before I became a literacy specialist, I actually loved teaching math, too.
So in this post, I have a video (and transcript, if you prefer to read) that covers 5 of my favorite math activities for K-2!
Watch the video to find out what these 5 activities are!
Transcript if you prefer to read:
“Hey, I’m Alison from Learning At The Primary Pond. I’m a literacy specialist and former classroom teacher. In this video, I’m going to share five math activities that are my favorites right now. Math involves so much practice and repetition and routine, and that’s awesome, but it’s also important to keep it fresh for kids. So I’m going to share five fun activities that can help you do just that.
So if you know me or Learning at the Primary Pond, you know that I really focus on literacy. That is my favorite subject to teach. However, I also, before I became a literacy specialist, was a classroom teacher. I really love teaching math, science, social studies. I love it all. So you will see that sometimes I share resources that combine those.
Today we’re actually going to focus on math. Literacy and math, of course, they go together hand in hand. Especially as students get older, they’re expected to read word problems. Student performance in one area can definitely affect performance or just their feelings about school in general, which affects the other. So it’s all connected.
If you’ve ever seen a student’s struggles in one area affect another subject, let me know in the comments. Just type, yes. I feel like this can be so common where it’s not like they may just have troubles in one area; it may be more than one. So let me know, yes, in the comments, if you have ever noticed that with a student.
Okay, so let’s get into these math activities that can help you keep learning fresh for your students. My current favorite activity, number one, is this number line puzzle setup. I don’t have all the pieces because I can’t hold them in my hands. What you do is you or the kids can cut them apart and you put them on the floor so it can become this bigger interactive thing. It’s not huge, but it’s a decent size. You put it on the floor and then kids use it to assemble numbers, which are on cards.
You could do just counting by ones if you’re working with kindergarten. You can also do skip counting. You can have them count by tens, or you can have them do by twos or by fives. You could even have some kids working on counting by tens and another set of kids working on counting by fives. You can also have a recording sheet where once they actually physically lay these down, but then to extend the activity, they also write the numbers. There are so many options here and it’s really very simple, but kids love these number line puzzles and how interactive and hands on they are.
Activity number two is this type of spin, solve and cover game. It’s a very simple no-prep activity for you, which is always a plus. The kids can use a paper clip. They put a paper clip flat on the page and then they hold a pencil perpendicular and they spin the paper clip around the tip of a pencil to make the spinner. I also have some clear spinner overlays that you can put here.
But however you want to have the kids spin, they spin an equation, they solve it. They can use a whiteboard or a scrap piece of paper if they need help or to draw out models. Once they’ve solved it, then they get to cover the appropriate cookie, in this case, with a counter. So if they spin nine minus four, they solve it, and then they get to cover the number five.
This spinner element keeps it fun, exciting, making it feel like a game. They’re really just solving equations. Again, we’re talking about ways to keep things fresh for our kids. This is just another great way for them to practice, and you can do this with all kinds of skills.
Activity number three is play-based activities. Now I love to have the kids play restaurant. You could do literally anything; a cafe, a bakery. If you give them a list of items with prices like we have here, you can make it open-ended where they are writing their order down, and somebody else has to add it up and tell them how much money it is and they pay with pretend money. You can make it really interactive like that.
You can also do something where you have word problems for older kids. I think this is from our second grade Math Library. They’re actually answering questions about this. If you do something like this, it is still fun to give them a little bit of time to play and act out whatever sort of scenario you have for them. Math can absolutely involve play. I love to involve play whenever I can.
Activity number four is matching puzzles. Now you can do these for so many different skills. You can make it as easy or as challenging as you want. This is really good for kindergarten or maybe early first grade where they’re matching the numeral, the little cubes or little blocks, and then in a ten frame. You would do this with equations, like different ways to make 10 they have to match them. There are just so many options. If you laminate these, then you can reuse them year after year. I actually like to print on card stock and then laminate to make them super sturdy. Again, it feels fun because it’s a puzzle.
Okay, my last favorite that I want to share with you is really just a general category type of activities. I do have one specific example to show you for Valentine’s Day. Again, this is just an example. We’ve got simple equations that they’re working on, and then they’re matching them to the sum on these little heart cards. It’s very simple. We literally just took Valentine’s Day clip art. They’re practicing equations, and then they’re matching them, and you can also have them write on a recording sheet once they’ve solved the equations. Again, it has this hands on element.
Again, math requires so much practice and repetition. Whenever you can incorporate something holiday, or seasonal, you could literally make, or if you’re a member of our Math Library, use the same activity, but put a different holiday or seasonal spin on it and it becomes new and fresh for the kids.
I really enjoyed sharing these five activities with you. Everything that you’ve seen here comes from the Learning at the Primary Pond Math Library. We have it for kindergarten, first and second grade. I got the idea for the Math Library because before I became a literacy specialist, first it was teacher books, making copies from teacher books or searching on Google. I was always looking for math worksheets, math activities, math centers, searching, searching, searching for stuff. I just thought, “What if teachers had a place where they could just go and have so many math activities, organized by skill, for centers, extra practice, differentiation?” So that’s where the Math Library came from.
Everything you saw here comes from either the kindergarten, first grade or second grade Math Library. I will include a link with this video so that you can learn more about it. It is a huge, huge time saver if you think about all that time you spend looking for math stuff.”
Okay, my last favorite that I want to share with you is really just a general category type of activities. I do have one specific example to show you for Valentine’s Day. Again, this is just an example. We’ve got simple equations that they’re working on, and then the
I know how precious your time is as a teacher! Instead of spending hours searching for math resources on Google, Pinterest, or TpT, consider checking out my Math Library! This is available for Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and Second Grade.
With a Math Library membership, you’ll have TONS of activities all in one place and also organized in categories. This allows for easy searching, downloading, and printing! Quick and easy. Learn more here!