Halloween Math Centers with a Freebie!

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It is hard to believe we are over halfway done with the month of October.  In October, things always start to pick up pace because our first graders are finally in routine.  October also means that the kids are counting down the days to one of their favorite holidays-Halloween!

I love the excitement I see in my little friends’ faces when they see we are doing a center with pumpkins, bats or even spiders!  We continue to work on the concepts and skills that need to be taught or that need reinforcement but we bring a little extra “pizzaz” in by  captivating student interest in something they simply can’t get enough of (Halloween!)

Here are a few of the common core standards I was hitting during centers this week:

CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.C.6 Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. 
CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.B.3 Apply properties of operations as strategies to add and subtract.2Examples: If 8 + 3 = 11 is known, then 3 + 8 = 11 is also known. (Commutative property of addition.) To add 2 + 6 + 4, the second two numbers can be added to make a ten, so 2 + 6 + 4 = 2 + 10 = 12. (Associative property of addition.
CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.A.1 Count to 120, starting at any number less than 120. In this range, read and write numerals and represent a number of objects with a written numeral.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

1. Counting, Counting and more Counting.
If I asked my students to count to 100, the majority of them are able to. However, if I start on a random number (i.e. 53) it is much more difficult for them to get to 100 (let alone 120.)  With common core, starting at 1 and counting to 120 isn’t enough-we much continue to dig deeper…it is not about memorizing numbers from 1-100 but instead knowing and understanding number patterns so you can count starting on any number (and in first grade go to 120.)

This center was fun for the kids as they got to search  for numbers and put them on the pocket chart.  I like this center because kids are not starting at one but instead figuring out where numbers go based on the numbers they already have in place.  It got my students thinking and communicating about numbers, number patterns, and number sequence.

Students got their number cards from 1-120 and were off!

It was interesting to see the different strategies used with partners to get to 120.  Some students first put their tens in place (i.e. 10, 20, 30… and went from there going both forwards and backwards.)  Others started at a ten and finished the line (i.e. found 56 and then went all the way to 60.) Then picked up a new number and continued in that way.  Many strategies were used (and discussed) to complete this task.  

2. 2 and 3 addend addition match
As I introduced this center, I made sure to let students know spiders are not typically allowed in the classroom but these spiders are ok because they were happy, smiling spiders (not creepy, crawling ALIVE ones!) Students are working on using the associative property to add more than one addend together.  In this center, students worked together to help the spiders find their webs (their sums.)

3. Boo!  Who? 
This is a fun project my students really enjoyed!  We first read a couple of books where the author’s gave us “clues” to figure out different kinds of animals or things.  After gaining a better understanding of what a clue is students wrote their own clues…

We passed around these goofy glasses and each student took a picture with them on.

Then, students wrote clues about themselves to help others figure out who they were.
Finally, we created a bulletin board (I used my door) so students could guess who each child in our class is based upon their clues.

They had lots of fun doing it and LOVE checking and reading each other’s clues.  They are still doing it each time they pass the door–there are times were I have to push them along because otherwise they would read the speech bubbles for entirely way too long!

4. Mystery Picture (Freebie)
We are working on reading, writing and representing numbers to 120.  Students used markers and colored to find their “mystery picture” amongst all of their numbers.  One of my students who was about halfway done (most of his paper was orange) he said, “Mrs. Zanchelli I know what it is…a ghost!”  I couldn’t help but to laugh-it most certainly was not an orange ghost but instead a jack-o-lantern (he eventually figure it out!)   To grab your copy of this freebie click here of on the picture below.

5. Halloween Math Websites
Technology, technology, technology!  There are many fun, engaging, and challenging games for students to play that helps reinforce specific skills.  Students have been enjoying these games on the SmartBoard as well as on their laptops.

This website allows students to practice: addition, subtraction, multiplication or division.   
These number patterns are a challenge as they are not the typical number patterns kids ordinarily see and/or count by.
To see the Halloween activities above and many more activities all aligned to the common core standards please click here or on the picture below.  

Thank you to Doodle Bugs {First Grade Rocks!} and Teaching Blog Addict for hosting each week.  I am off to explore many more blogs and ideas through both of these linkies!


Happy Saturday!

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3 thoughts on “Halloween Math Centers with a Freebie!”

  1. Oh, I so wish I would have had this a little sooner! We have PT conferences this week so I won't get it made by then. It's going to be a busy week! Thanks so much for the freebie-I grabbed it earlier but will use it this week. I love all of your technology games! Where do you find them all because I need some for ten frames here soon. Need to check your Draggo too to see if you have added anymore there! Thanks so much for sharing! Jackie jmcamanam@w-sioux.k12.ia.us


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