Easy Number Sense Activities for Counting and Number Recognition

Engaging Number Sense Activities

It's Math Monday with my friend Laura over at Kinder Kraziness and I've got some fun number sense activities for preschool or kindergarten! 
The first thing students need when it comes to math, is number sense. This means they need a TON of counting practice and number identification practice. They have to have one-to-one correspondence too. Some students come in to K able to rote count to 100, but that doesn't mean they have number sense - just that their little brains are good at memorizing! Some kiddos have 1 to 1 correspondence as long as the objects they're counting are in a row, but get confused when faced with a jumble of objects. Some students can't discriminate between a letter and a number. And yet, we have to somehow meet them where they're at and move them along to the next level! How do I do it?

The first thing I do is start with number recognition. And to do this we do Dr. Jean's number song video:

We follow along with this song with dry erase boards and markers. I pause between each number and allow time for the kids to attempt to write it. Sometimes I give the kids unifix cubes so they can make a tower for each number as we go. Sometimes I just have them clap the amount or draw the correct number of shapes (I model it all of course!). At the beginning of the year,  I stop the video at 5,because trying to learn more numbers is just too frustrating. Once most of the class has mastered 0-5, we go on to 6-10.
 This kiddo decided to add hearts to the 5 boxes she drew to represent "five" lol. 

We do a TON of counting activities throughout the year:

 We stamp numbers in play dough and roll the correct number of balls or cut out that number of "cookies".

 We count manipulatives and then write the number in shaving cream.

 We put together number puzzles - this helps with both number recognition and number order.

 We count manipulatives and place them in labeled containers.

 We count and make sets according to a given number.

But of course, counting shouldn't just be a math time or center time activity! We count how many people ordered spaghetti versus hot dogs. We count how many people are left to use the bathroom. At recess we count how many pecans we find, or how many smooth rocks!

Another activity that I love for number sense is Roll & Cover games. These can also be used as addition/subtraction games later in the year. However, at the beginning of the year I simply use the dice with numbers and have the kiddos practice identifying the number as they roll it and then match it to the board.

For kiddos who are practicing one to one correspondence, I use the dice with dots. This is a two step process for them - count the dots, then identify the correct number on the board. This is why I let my kiddos play this as a partner game, so that they have someone who can help them if needed!

Students use either a number dice or a dot dice to practice number recognition to 6 and one to one correspondence. Using dice with dots is also great for subitizing - the ability to perceive how many without actually counting.

Once the kiddos can identify and count to 6, I break out the 2 dice game boards for practice to 12!

Once kiddos are adept at one to one correspondence and are working on recognizing teen numbers, we bring out the 3 dice board!

I created the boards above for the beginning of the school year when I'm reading The Kissing Hand. I love Roll & Cover because I can teach the actual game play rules once and then swap out the boards for each new theme. The kids think they're getting a brand new game, but I don't have to stop to reteach how to play it! You can grab the Raccoon Roll & Cover Sampler pack at my TPT store. Make sure to check out my other Roll & Cover games while you're there! Your students will be thrilled if you give them new game boards throughout the year! I laminate mine for durability and then I can reuse them year after year.

Don't forget to go check out Kinder Kraziness for some more Math Monday fun!


Unknown said...

I love this activity for the beginning of the year. We just started math centers and math workshop in January as a school. I can't wait to use this with my students. Thanks!

Unknown said...

That center with the hearts and little stones is super cute. Thanks for linking up! Makes me want to pull out all of my Dr. Jean again =) It's been awhile.

Kinder Kraziness

Delores Hope said...
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