Make Every Second Count

Here are some math routines that can be used as you are waiting for students to arrive, during transition times when
you need a quick filler, or just as a warm-up to get students ready to learn.

Saying Number Word Sequences (Rote counting) – This may include counting by 1’s, skip counting, counting by
fractional amounts or decimals. (Don’t forget counting by 10’s off the decade – 4, 14, 24, 34…)

  • Practice forward and backward counting – choose the range and direction depending on student needs
  • Practice Number Word After and/or Number Word Before
  • Alternate counting – the teacher and student(s) take turns saying 1,2, or 3 numbers in a forward or backward sequence.

Subitizing (the ability to group and quantify sets).  Depending on the needs and abilities of your students, you can quickly show (flash) :

  • Regular and irregular dot patterns
  • 5-frames
  • 10-frames
  • 20-frames
  • You can also describe the 5-, 10-, 20-frames.  For example, “I’m looking at a 10 frame that has 5 dots on top and 3 dots on the bottom.  How many dots altogether?  How many empty spaces are there?”

Number of the Day
There are several “Number of the Day” worksheets available on the internet but this activity can be adapted to fit the needs of your students and the amount of time you have available.  Pick and number (or have students select a card from a deck of numeral cards) and ask one or more of the following questions.

  • What is the number before?
  • What is the number after?
  • What number is one more?
  • What number is one less?
  • What number is ten more?
  • What number is ten less?
  • What is the next even number?
  • What is the next odd number?
  • What is the double?
  • What is two more?
  • What is two less?
  • What is 100 more?

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