Increase Number Sense With a Simple Math Routine

Hopping off with excitement! That’s my little one right now. If you say yes to her or she feels excited in any way, then she hops away like a little rabbit. It is just too cute! And that is exactly how I feel about these simple number sense activities to incorporate into your daily math routine. These two activities are hopped full of so many foundational skills that you will be amazed at how much your little ones can learn in 10 minutes! And the best part, one of them is FREE! Check out our daily math routine that will increase number sense in so many different ways!

Number sense activities for preschoolers include question of the day for counting and graphing, and frame flash for subitizing and ten frames.

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Question of the Day

Classroom Graphing Activity

Our first number sense activity we do on a daily basis is our Question of the Day! The kids absolutely love this routine to start the day! First, they read the question using the picture clues to help. The sets of questions come with “Would you rather…”, “Have you been…”, “Have you seen…”, “Do you like…”, “Are you wearing…”, so they become familiar with the words and sight words very quickly – an added bonus! Then, they find their name card from the list of class names and place it under their answer to the question in the long pocket chart. They feel so proud to display their choice to their classmates. 


Tip: Use this as a way to take attendance. The names not placed in the graph are easily seen and can be marked absent.


Later on during math time, we discuss our Question of the Day. Kids will absolutely love sharing, and, if you provide a sentence stem, they will be working on speaking using complete sentences. Woot! You can call on a few to share with the class, and then have the rest partner share to make sure they are all getting a chance to work on those all-important skills. 


Next up: the math skills! We count how many students chose each selection, pointing to one card at a time. Then, we talk about which choice had more, which choice had less, and if the selections were equal. The cards stacked in the pocket chart make this easy to see visually.


This set includes questions that cover 50 different preschool themes. Plus, there are so many general questions including letters in your name, colors you are wearing, number of letters in your name, and more to add to each week. That means there are over 290 questions to last the entire school year!


Frame Flash

Ten Frame Number Sense Activity

Frame flash includes ten frames with dots filled in for preschoolers to show in their own ten frame using manipulatives to build number sense, subitizing skills, and counting in one easy math activity.

Wowza! That’s all I can say about this one. Frame Flash is such an all-encompassing routine. Once you see how many skills are packed into this number sense activity, you’ll want to jump on board the Frame Flash train, too. 


To set this up, print and laminate a Frame Flash mat for each student. Set up a large zippered bag with their mat, a dry erase marker, and 10 counters. I change the counters out by theme to keep this daily routine exciting and engaging. Also, you may want to consider adding only 2 colors to their bag, so they can show the groups that they see when they subitize.


Then, I flash a ten frame to my kiddos that shows random dots. Depending on the difficulty of the card, I usually show these anywhere from 3-5 seconds. Then, I hide it away. The kiddos get to work, building the same number on their Frame Flash mat in a standard ten-frame fashion, from left to right. Next, they circle the numeral up top, and, if they are ready for number formation, they write the number in the box at the top. 


But here’s where the real learning takes place: our strategy talk! I then ask how students figured out the ten frames so fast (in a super-astonished tone). Some kids may say they just saw 3, which is great – that’s subitizing, or the ability to see numbers 0-5 quickly. But others may say they saw one empty space, and one less than a full ten frame is 9. There may also be the talk of seeing groups, such as, “I saw a group of 3 and a group of 4, so I counted 3 blue bears and 4 green bears on my mat. I got 7.” You see the magic happening here, right? All of this discussion leads to that all-important number sense. See how many skills are covered in this one activity:


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Your daily math routine can truly be this simple. There are so many number sense skills packed into these math activities that your students will get so much out of it! The changing questions and counters will keep your preschoolers excited and engaged, but it will be so easy for you to plan. So sign up for the FREEBIE above, and don’t forget to check out the Question of the Day pack below! 

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