October Math Mats - No cutting or laminating necessary!

I was trying to create some math task cards for the month and I kept thinking about how I was going to have to  laminate and cut all of them before I could use them. Then I thought - well,  maybe I won't cut them apart. Then I took it a step further and and decided to make all of the questions on that card relate in some way... soon after that my Math Task Mats were born!

Each card has four tasks on it and all four tasks focus on the number or numbers in the circle. I also wanted these cards to reflect what I'm currently teaching or have already taught. We're just finishing number sense, place value, forms of number, and basic operations. In looking for centers for October, so many included skills I'm just not ready for them to work on independently yet, like time, money, and measurement. I was also very careful not to include any graphics that might make it questionable for you to use in your classroom, like ghosts or witches. The colors are definitely Halloweeny though, so they bring a touch of holiday fun to your room.

To introduce the activity, I showed the cards on Smartboard and we did a few together.

Then I set them free to explore the cards. I put two cards on each table and they roamed the room and worked on the various tasks while I circulated to assist as necessary. I overheard lots of great math talk and I loved hearing them try to explain the tasks to each other when someone needed a little clarification.
I also made very specific recording sheets, so if they had to write a set of related facts, the spaces were already there for them. Short answers had small boxes, longer answers had bigger spaces. I also included a full answer key. It makes it easier for you of course, but you can also use it to let the kids check their own work because it's in the same format as their recording sheets.

These cards have so many uses - they're great for a write the room type activity, but would be great in a small math group, as morning work, for your fast finishers, or even a formative assessment. You can use them as enrichment or remediation too, depending on the needs and level of your kids. For me, they were a great formative assessment. From this one activity, I was able to see that we totally know forms of numbers, fact families, and place value. Surprisingly, we need some review on tally marks (really??) and questions like "what is the sum of the digits in the circle."

The best part is that I printed them and had them in my kids' hands immediately. You can even skip the laminating and just slip them in a page protector. Honestly you can even leave them naked since the kids won't really be handling them all that much.

I've also completed a first grade version for October and I'm already working on next month's set and also standard specific versions, like money and time. I just fell in love with the concept and ease of implementation. I hope you will too!


  1. Just what I was looking for. I love your products!

  2. This looks great! Thanks so much for sharing. I love your products too.

    Strategies for Success

  3. Denise,

    I bought these and love them! My kids enjoyed them too. It was a challenge for some, but I liked that they had to think. I loved how you incorporated all the important math vocabulary that they need to be familiar with. I am looking forward to the next set. I did my own twist and made a mat to go with are weekly spell in words. My kids loved it!! Thanks so much for the great math unit!



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