Pattern Block Triangles

This beautiful lesson combines student creative work, counting and addition practice, combining geometric shapes, and a slow build from easier to more challenging work.

Fill the Stairs

Fill the Stairs requires the thoughtful placement of two-digit numbers in order from least to greatest, before all the numbers are known. Overall, it is a fun and compelling game that holds up after repeated playing.

Story Problem – A Trip to the Bakery

This set of story problems resists easy answers, but can be cracked if students build models or draw pictures of the situation. For students who finish early, have them create their own “Trip to the Bakery” story problem.

Dots and Boxes

This classic game is great for strategy, mathematical thinking, and basic counting and addition.


Magic Triangles

Topics: Addition, Subtraction, Logic Materials: Pencil and paper Recommended Grades: 1, 2, 3 Common Core: K.OA.A.2, K.OA.A.4, 1.OA.A.2, 1.OA.B.3, 1.OA.B.4, 1.OA.C.5,1.OA.C.6, 1.OA.D.8, 2.OA.B.2, MP1. Magic Triangles are a simple addition/missing addend problem that creates opportunities for higher level thinking. Kids must place the numbers 1 through 6 on the outside of a triangle to make the numbers on each side sum to …

The Hundred Chart Game

Topics: addition, subtraction, strategy Materials: Two types of tokens (gems & pawns), hundreds chart Recommended Grades: 1, 2, 3 Common Core: 1.NBT.C.4, 1.NBT.C.5, 1.NBT.C.6, C2.NBT.B.5 Add and subtract 10s and 1s to pick up the tokens on the hundreds chart. Why We Love The Hundred Chart Game This game delivers tons of addition and subtraction practice in a way kids love. …

Flower Petal Puzzles

Topics: addition, subtraction, logic Materials: Worksheets, pencil and scratch paper Recommended Grades: 1, 2, 3 Common Core: 1.OA.A.2, 1.OA.C.6, 1.OA.D.8, 2.OA.B.2, MP1, MP7 Put each number in a “petal” so each line of three numbers in a row has the same sum. Why We Love Flower Petal Puzzles This is a simple but thought-provoking puzzle. It’s a great way to …

Dots and Boxes

  Topics: Logic, Counting, Shape Recognition, Strategy Materials: Dot Paper, pencils or crayons Recommended Grades: K-2 Common Core:K.CC.B.5, K.CC.C.6, K.G.B.5, 1.G.A.1, MP1 A game of squares and strategy that is easy to learn and hard to master. Why We Love Dots and Boxes This is a classic you may remember from childhood. The game is like a more sophisticated tic-tac-toe: fun and …

Sum – Memory

  Topics: Addition Materials: Cards Recommended grades: K, 1, 2, 3 Common Core: K.OA.A.2, K.OA.A.4, K.OA.A.5, 1.OA.C.6, 2.OA.B.2 Sum-Memory is Memory with a twist: instead of trying to capture identical pairs, players are trying to find pairs that add up to 5, 10, or another target number. Why we love Sum-Memory Sum-Memory is all the fun of memory, but with the …

Target Number

  Math Concepts: Arithmetic, equivalencies Equipment: pencil & paper Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Common Core: Variable, but especially OA, i.e., 1.OA.C.5, 2.OA.B.2, 3.OA.C.7 Time: 5 – 15 minutes You know the answer. What’s the question? Why We Love Target Number This is a quick check-in that adjusts to the abilities of each student, allows for creativity and arithmetic practice together, and …