Math in Pictures, Products, and Freebies

Math in my room this year has been interesting. Mostly because I don't actually have a math book. We're going into our seventh week and they've been on backorder since school started. It's really ok though. I like the freedom of not having the book. I do miss it at times because, let's face it,  it's a LOT easier to use the book to drive your instruction than having to search for and prep the most appropriate, relevant, and meaningful activities. But, no one ever promised us this job would be easy, right?

I've been making sure to cover the same skills as the rest of my team, but I have to say, it's been a lot more fun than ever before. Thankfully, I've had my own resources to fall back on. Our text starts out with place value and forms of numbers. I'm HUGE on teaching my kids how to draw "quick pictures" to represent base ten blocks because they're asked to do it so often. You would think that would be an easy task, but nope. We had all kinds of weird ways to draw the base ten blocks! I  swore I took pix, I guess I didn't. We really seemed to be having some difficulty with it, so I created an extra practice page, and we finally got on the right track. Here's the practice sheet if your kids could use some help, too.

Without a book, other visuals became essential so my kids could actually see what I was talking about. Luckily, I had the anchor charts that I made for my Place Value and Base Ten Resources pack, so those helped a ton. 
We had some time for a little hands on fun too since I wasn't rushing through to finish the pages in the book.  We made the Any Way You Slice it Apple project, which you can read more about in this blog post from a few years ago. This year, we glued them onto black paper plates and they made a great bulletin board display for open house.

Here's a little apple I made for the title of that board. You can snag it here, if you like.

Shortly after I hung them up, my fabulous teaching partner/neighbor/friend remembered that I made another version of that activity last year! So she did that one. It's a freebie in my tpt shop, you can grab it here.

We played lots of games, which is the BEST way to practice math facts in my opinion. For this one they had to match up the same number in different forms. There are enough cards in one set that four kids can easily play together. It's part of this pack on tpt.

That pack has a lot of other goodies too, including more anchor charts, math journal topic strips, practice pages, and easy to make "show me folders".

We also worked a bit from this pack, but my kids were already doing a pretty good job with skip counting. We just used the pages with the larger numbers for this. Although these anchor charts in the bright colors are my FAVE, so I had to display them for a while anyway.

I was also able to use my Math Assessment pack instead of the chapter tests. Each standard has three assessments, so I was able to use two for homework and saved one for a formative evaluation before moving on.

Did I mention that I don't have social studies or science books yet either? Yeah, good times. 
Never fear, though. It's made me step up my game a little and I'm actually enjoying it. (I just keep telling myself that over and over...)


  1. Thank you so much for the freebie! My third graders are still struggling with this in our Unit 1 and we're quickly headed to unit 2, so any help given is sooo appreciated. Thanks!

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

  2. Thanks Denise! Your math packs are amazing! I also don't have enough math books and it is much harder to plan but I think the kids get so much more out of the lessons. Your packs have been helping me so much.

  3. I loved the year our math books came late. We did so many hands-on activities that we normally didn't get to in previous years. The kids loved it too and had the best grasp of number sense of any of the past 2ndie groups I'd had. Kinda hated seeing those books come in.

  4. I love these, Denise! I am going to have to use some of these goodies with my babies next week! We need all the help we can get:)


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