Ocean Math Centers

We started our ocean math centers earlier this month with nine skills being explored.

Students figure out numbers according to place value, using tens and ones.


Students match up a number with the corresponding number word and tens frame.


Students count tally marks and record the two-digit number.


Students randomly choose four seashells and place them in order from least to greatest. They then record the numbers.


Students choose a crab and identify and write down the two-digit number. They then record the three numbers that come before that number.


In Number Chomp, students each choose a number. They decide which number is greater and place it inside the alligator’s mouth. The smaller number goes on the other side of the alligator. Students record the information.


Students measure the sea life using nonstandard units and record this information.


Students add sea life and write and solve the corresponding number sentence.

They have had so much fun with these centers, while practicing important grade level skills.

Number Stories

The kindergarteners explored number stories today. Building on our math lesson from yesterday that integrated Jan Brett’s story The Mitten,  we had a little fun with a mitten of our own. I had the student sit in a circle on the carpet and began to tell them a story, using a white mitten and some math manipulatives to help illustrate.

“Once there were six bears who were very cold. They found a place to keep warm inside a white mitten. Soon three cats heard a lot of commotion and wanted to see what was happening inside the mitten. The bears were having a party! The cats joined the three bears. How many animals were there all together in the mitten?”

The students right away shouted, “There are nine animals!” I asked them if the words in the number story were telling us to add animals or to take animals away. They agreed that we were adding. I asked the students which words in my story gave them a clue as to whether to add or subtract. They said that the word joined was their clue. Correct!

Next, I gave the students a different scenario….”There were seven bears snuggling in the mitten to stay warm. Suddenly, the big bear coughed and POP! Out flew three bears! How many bears were left?” I again asked the students whether we were adding or subtracting….they recognized that the story I had told was indeed a subtraction story and that the words were left were the clues that told them so.

Time for independent practice! Each student had the opportunity to write and illustrate both an addition and subtraction number story. Look at how they came out!

Aren’t these great?!