Monday, June 13, 2011

Math Work Stations Chapter 4

If you haven’t seen Fran’s post on Chapter 4…you should go there….now. It is fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kindergarten Crayons

This chapter reminded me of the importance of getting students to develop number sense early and often. Those first few pages of a math workbook just aren’t enough.

My school district uses a combination of Scott Foresman Math and Investigations. I love Investigations units. We spend the entire moth of August developing number sense…but this year I plan to spend even more time with it…spiraling it through my instruction daily.

During our math warm up I always do an activity called “Quick Look”  with ten frames. I flash the ten frame( like the one below) for 10-20 seconds then ask “What did you see?”


The purpose is to get them to see groups of objects.

Some may say “I see 5”, and I’ll probe further…”How did you know?” Maybe their response would be.. “I see 3 on one side and 2 on the other and I know that’s 5.”

Someone else may say “I saw three at the top and two at the bottom. Three and two is five.”

Still someone else may say “I saw three on one side and I slid one from the other side..that’s four with one left on the other side and that’s five…four and one is five.” Lots of math talk can happen in the quick five minutes it takes to do this everyday.

Click here to get your copy of my Quick Look Ten Frame cards.


All you have to do print, laminate and cut out.

I also have used white paper plates…all you need are colored sticky dots and your imagination. I’ll arrange some in the center of my paper plates (a different number for each plate). I use them the same way I’d use the ten frame cards


I also demonstrate the basic game of War, More, Compare, or Battle using ten frames…there’s lots of names for this game.

Early in the year I make 4-5 sets of ten frame cards(like a deck of cards). Partner one shuffles the cards and partner two deals them out. Students both turn over their top cards and compare amounts. This is where I’d add the math talk cards.

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I have _____. You have _______. You have more/less. I have more/less.

Later in the year we’ll do an addition version.

 image  image        image image

The students will turn over their top two cards, add the totals together then compare. This year I think I’ll add a Play for More/Less spinner like Debbie suggested in the book.


Then later we’ll do Teen Compare. I created cards with two ten frames on each card. One set is always ten then I vary the number on the second ten frame. They would play like regular Compare or Addition Compare.


Game Cards


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Click on the picture below to download your own set of ten frame cards and teen Cards. Just laminate and cut out. I usually make 5-6 separate sets of these cards to have on hand.  If you print the file once…that’s one set of each type (ten frame and teen frame). Print two times…two complete sets… get the picture.


These ten frame cards get a lot of mileage in my classroom. Sometimes I’ll make each student a mini set to take home so they are able to play some of the games at home.

Another activity I always do at the beginning of the year are number books.

If we are thinking about the number five each student gets five two-color counters and they have to come up with all the combinations of five (five red and zero yellow, three red and two yellow.) We complete the chart(pictured below together first then students have to come up with their own)

If you click on the picture, it will take you to my Shutterfly Site. Once you get to the page, look to the left and scroll down. You’ll see the header that says Building Number Sense. From there you’ll be able to download all my Number Sense Books.


I hope there are some things you can use. Don’t forget to leave a comment about chapter four and if you have a blog link up with Fran.

On another note…..People,  I must confess I have gone Cricut Craaaaaazy! I got a Cricut Expression on eBay for less than half the price of one in the store(Big thanks to Mrs. Jump for the tip!).

And get this… I won a bid for the Cricut Imagine for a steal.


I may never come out of my craft room.

I’ve discovered this blog and I LOVE IT!




  1. You also have a great post. We use Investigations and enVisions. I like Scott Foresman science. How do you like SF math?

    Primary Graffiti

  2. I don't like all. so I just created my own pacing guide and I cover all of my state's objectives and then some. I would much rather have Investigations....more student friendly.

  3. Thanks for all of the great ideas to use with teaching number sense. I love the idea of a number book. I also like all of your ten frames ideas. I never really know what to do with them, altough I undertand how important they are to use.
    My mom just bought a Cricut Expression for us to share. It has been so much fun! Have you heard of the Sure Cuts A Lot 2 software? It allows you to cut fonts and SVGs from your computer instead of buying cartridges. Cricut has sued the makers of the software because once you use it you really don't need their cartridges anymore. We bought it and it works really well. Here's a great website to check out if you're interested.
    Just Add Clipart

  4. You are such a thoughtful teacher to share all of this with us! Thank you for helping our students with your amazing resources!

  5. Wow! This is a fantastic post with such great ideas for number sense. I love how you take it up to first grade and show such great activities.
    I printed them out (okay- my printer is running dry) and I will show this to my first grade teachers.I love how you think and the materials you have created. Thanks!
    PS My daughters gave me a cricut for Mommy's Day!

  6. Thank you so much for your great ideas for number sense. I remember doing something like your number books when I first started teaching first grade many, many years ago and we used Math Their Way. I loved all those activities. You will love your Cricuts! I can't wait to see your posts on how you use it for your classroom.

  7. What a great post!
    This site has a whole lot of different ten frames to print out if you want some more choices.

    from Down Under

  8. I can't wait to see what you post next!! You have inspired me and I too am reading the Math Facts and Math Stations books! I noticed that you have 5 stations planned. Will you have a couple pairs working at one station? Also, how many activities will you try to put at each station? Thank you so much for your wonderful ideas!!

  9. Hey Mrs. Marvin,
    Thanks so much for your kind words. Last year I had five stations and there were 3-4 students working together...I don't see myself having 10-12 stations open at once. But having the 3-4 worked out fine. This year I'll have 3-4 activities in a station. The first one will be a "Have To" and the others will be games I've already taught them.
    You're going to love both those books! So full of ideas.
    Ms. A

  10. I love the quick look cards! These will be perfect to warm up up brains for math, which is what I tel them our calendar time is for.

    Thanks for sharing your creative goodies.

  11. Thanks so much for sharing - you have so many great ideas. I can't wait to use them.

  12. Yay!!! I have been looking for ten frames. I want to add them to my math meeting. Thank you for the copies but more important thank you for the ideas on how to use them.

  13. very much appreciated!!! thank you for the ideas!

  14. I wanted to print your 10-frame dot cards but couldn't. Are they available somewhere else?

  15. Thanks for posting your number books. They fit right in to our facts fluency program for 1st grade. Thanks for sharing!
     Chrissy

    First Grade Found Me

  16. Just found your blog. I love it! Just getting into Debbie Dillar's Math Work Stations, so your stuff from last year is perfect! Thanks for sharing so much of your time to post for the rest of us.

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