Unit Chats

Unit Chats are one of the great openers developed in the last few years. The emphasis is on different units within the image. Students can answer “how many” with respect to the different options of units presented by the picture, and also relate the units to each other to build the framework for a deeper understanding of multiplication, division, and …


2, 4, 6 Puzzle

The 2-4-6 Puzzle teaches an invaluable lesson about inductive reasoning, confirmation bias, and how “wrong” answers lead to deeper knowledge. It can be adapted with different rules for endless play options and difficulties. Also see Josh Golden’s writeup of Eleusis Express for a card game version of the game, perfect to play with standard cards, SET cards, or Tiny Polka …


Cuisenaire Rods for K/1/2

Topics: Addition, subtraction, measurement, skip counting Materials: See specific lessons Recommended Grade: K, 1, 2 Common Core: K.CC.B.4, K.CC.B.5, K.OA.A.1, K.OA.A.2, K.OA.A.3, 1.OA.A.1, 1.OA.A.2, 1.OA.D.7 Overview This series of lessons is meant to introduce Cuisenaire rods in a creative, engaging way, and see how Cuisenaire rods can illuminate and motivate addition, subtraction, and measurement. Why We Love Cuisenaire Rods Cuisenaire rods are …


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 …