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Crunching the Numbers: A Collection of Math Activities for Primary Grades

These 10 resources include great math centers, games, and activities that are the perfect addition to any teacher’s toolkit.

By Lani Aquino

Sometimes a go-to bookmark is just what a teacher needs to enhance activities and practices in any content. When it comes to math practice, having a variety of ideas can offer students some fresh ways to sharpen their basic skills while engaging in centers, games, and other activities. These 10 resources are a perfect starting point for discovering fun and educational ways to explore mathematical concepts.

DIY Fun from The First Grade Parade- What do bowling pins, fly swatters, and chip & dip trays all have in common? They can be transformed into engaging math activities! A variety of hands-on practice for individuals or teams can be found in this collection. Dollar Store finds become math game fun with these activities that focus on subitizing, one-to-one correspondence, skip counting, addition/subtraction, and more!

Free K-5 Printables from NoodleNook.net- A great variety of skills with numerous differentiation possibilities can be found in this collection of centers. Whether the focus is money, geometry, numeracy, telling time, or many other concepts, there are a host of ideas for using these printables with students and a variety of ways to adapt them to make them beneficial for students functioning at diverse levels.

Addition Ideas from Susan Jones Teaching- The center ideas shared in this post hold the important component of having students prove their understanding. The freebie center shared has the budding mathematicians use connecting cubes to build and solve for given addition sentences. There are lots of fun ideas for first grade on Susan’s site.

K5 Math Centers- While entire curriculums are available at a price, there are also quite a few freebies to be found on the K5 Math Centers website. The Number, Geometry, and Measurement/Data pages offer a free sample activity at each grade level. A perfect way to sample ideas for the classroom before making any big purchases.

Ideas for Using 120 Charts from Crazy for First Grade- Centers and activities for number sense are the focus of this post. There are ideas for using blank charts, cutting up charts, coloring charts, etc. Each activity gives students a chance to reinforce skills and broaden their understanding when it comes to numbers. Many activities are easily replicated with a chart and just a few additional manipulatives. By using plastic sleeves, the chart durability and reuse options are endless.

Yearlong Math Centers from Frogs, Fairies, and Lesson Plans- The 5 math centers shared here are perfect additions to the curriculum because they offer adaptable components that allow them to increase in difficulty and keep students engaged all year long. Once students learn the basics of how to complete each center activity, these become perfect go-to options that will give students an opportunity to practice and build skills throughout the year.

Popsicle Stick Math by Thinglink- Popsicle sticks and a Sharipe or two are all it takes to create this station. The difficulty of the problems could really make this an option for any grade level. Sticks could be created for solely addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division, but sticks could also be devised that incorporate all operations. This could be a center activity or enough sets could have it be a whole class option. Students in older grade levels could even practice their skills by becoming the creators for students in younger grades.

Cheap Centers from The Teaching Texan- The three center ideas shared in this post are engaging and cheap ways to get students excited about math and language. Some more Dollar Store finds are transformed into fun ways for kids to work with numbers and letters. Check out the rest of the site for a variety of other games and fun activities for additional subjects.

Free Math Games from The Measured Mom- These games focus on skills for 3rd grade and above, but many could be adapted for a younger grades. Giving students a chance to work with Legos, matchbox cars, aliens, cards, etc. while building their mathematical understandings is always a win. These games would be a great addition for enlivening math time in the classroom.

Free Center Ideas from Blog Hoppin’- These 1st grade centers are easy to create and even easier on the budget. There are some great ideas for working with telling time, place value, addition, and subtraction. By gathering some connecting cubes and downloading some printables, the fun with math is ready to begin.

Centers, games, and activities for math time don’t have to be elaborate in the making. Sometimes the ability to quickly pull out a few go-to ideas can be a lifesaver. Any or all of these math collections offer a variety of resources that will allow teachers to make the most of learning time for young mathematicians.

If you enjoyed the thoughts and ideas shared here, check out the trainings and tools (for teachers and for families) that we offer.





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