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I don’t know about you, but Kindergarten is getting more and more advanced as the years go on. Years ago, it was the teacher’s goal just to teach the basics: letters, numbers and shapes. Now, we are teaching financial literacy, story plot and decomposing and composing numbers. These number mats are some of my favorite activities to do when teaching number sense and composing numbers. And this one is perfect for your Valentine’s Day themed centers!

Number Mats?

Math is all about hands on, visual learning. We are getting away from memorization to teaching our learners true number sense. We can’t assume they understand the true value of a number unless we show it to them visually. And these mats are perfect for that. You’ll find me at my local Dollar Tree or the Dollar Spot in search for fun, themed items for my thematic math mats. They are easy to store, and make this activity highly effective. You can find hearts like this at Dollar Tree or if you want to stay in your PJ’s, head on over to Amazon to grab the same item!

Small Groups and Centers

With any center activity, I always start out with the activity at my small group table. This gives me a chance to watch what my learners are doing, how they are composing numbers and I can jump in when I need to. Once I feel like they have a good feel for it, I’ll place it in my math centers for extra practice with a partner.

Hands On Learning

To prep this activity, just print from the link below, and laminate! Start with composing numbers to five mats and move up to the tens mats when ready. Place plastic hearts (two colors work best) in a cup for easy access.

Grab a dry erase marker and model all the different ways you can compose the number 5. Using two colors helps big time with those visual learners!

Not only are they composing numbers, but they are introduced early to the formation of an addition problem.

As a quick assessment, they use the number mat to show different ways of making five and ten using two colors.

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progress monitoring in the early elementary classroom for math, literacy and reading

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