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.

Tricky Teens

Those teen numbers are always so tricky! Today we took a closer look at them. First students watched a music video:

I asked students to make the number 10 with their fingers. Easy. Then I asked them to make the number 11. Looks of confusion…..one student said, “But I don’t have 11 fingers!” I asked how they could solve that problem? After lots of chatter, a student excitedly said, “How about I use ten fingers and my friend uses one finger!” Aha!


I quickly paired students up and had them choose a teen number card. Their activity was to make the number on the card using their ten fingers and how ever many of their partners fingers as were needed. Then we switched roles. Though this lesson is about recognizing teen numbers, it quickly morphed into an introduction to place value!

We then built teen numbers using unifix cubes, transferring the knowledge that each teen number has one group of ten and some ones….TRICKY!! But physically building the numbers is always super helpful.



We finished the lesson with a quick Math Journal activity that compiled all the skills introduced into one worksheet.