Math Activities for the Beginning of the Year

 The beginning of the year for every subject area is a special time. Math is my favorite subject and there are just SO many ways to teach it (that don’t include the curriculum workbooks, thank goodness!)  I like to expose my students to ALL the different ways we will learn and practice math so there is a familiarity throughout the year.  Here is what we will do in the first few weeks of school.

I have said it before and I will say it again–math games are my favorite!! Whole group, small group, partner games… I love them all! Not only are they a great way to practice math skills, they teach important life lessons on being fair, honesty, good sportsmanship and healthy competition.
You can find the directions for domino war for free here by Sunny Days in Second Grade.

Bingo is one of my ultimate favs! It’s quiet and students are focused so what could be better? I have another math bingo which you can find here.

Seeing students working independently at centers makes my teacher heart happy. It’s everything I imagined teaching would be when I first dreamed of becoming a teacher (way back in 1st grade!).
The top center is called Playing Around with Place Value where students use a clue to write the number on the back of football jerseys. You can find more like this in my Football Centers.

These name collection crayon boxes are a great way to assess your students number sense and understanding of different names for numbers.  They are in my back to school centers.

Do you use interactive notebooks? They are such a great tool for learning! I use these once I feel confident that students are ready to show what they know. I often use them as a quick formative assessment. I also encourage my students to refer back to their notebooks to review past skills and concepts.

These are from Lucky Little Learners
Last but not least, we will use our laptops and iPads to practice math daily. 
Here’s a few ways we do this.
ProdigyMath is a super fun, interactive game. Students LOOOOOVE it. Like almost too much lol. Last year I told my kids that it only works in the computer lab so they weren’t trying to sneak on during other times of the day. You can pick exactly which skills you want your students to work on and it tracks their progress! It provides wonderful data and did I mention students love it? Oh and it’s free!

Symbaloo is a free place to store bookmarks of websites you want your students to be able to access quickly. They only have to learn one link to access anything you want for the whole year! I use this for Listen to Reading as well as math games. I change out the math games depending on what skills we are working on. Here’s an example of what mine looks like right now. I keep all my math games on the left side.

FasttMath is a free program for students to practice math facts. It starts with a pre-assessment so they are practicing exactly what they need to be! My goal is to have my kiddos use this for 15 minutes a day.

Happy teaching!

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