The first days back to school can be overwhelming for both teachers and students. There are so many procedures to go over and as teacher I feel I am talking the whole day. So this year I broke up (yes past tense as we started last week) the day with a mixture of procedures and games and activities. I also had a math center with different games and worksheets for them to go to when I am busy collecting school supplies, health forms, talking to parents, etc. I did have to take the whole week to go over everything, but I was more relaxed and so were my kids.

Here are some fun math games and activities:

1 – To introduce math time to my 2-3rd graders, we sat in a circle and did a version of the clapping game (Quack didly oh my – here is a video), but we counted by ones, then twos, then fives, and tens. This is fun, and low pressure as we count together, while we are counting I do a quick assessment to see how well everyone is following along.

2 – With my 4-5th graders, we do Fizz, Hoot, Buzz, where we count by ones, but use Fizz instead of multiples of 3, Hoot for multiples of 4, and Buzz for multiples of 5. We do a couple of rounds of each, and then try combining them. Here is a helpful video.

3 – I also have different math games available for them to play when I am busy with all the different things I need to do. Here are some fun ones: Mastermind, Checkers/Chess, Connect Four, Chutes and Ladders, Mankala, Battleship, Monopoly, puzzles, etc. I also have a binder of games that I have collected over the years with easy, ready to go math and logic games.

4 – I have math activity sheets and surveys for them to fill out. I have math cootie catchers, Math About Me sheets, and a quick survey on how they feel about math.

Click here for a free set of cootie catchers:

Thanks for reading, and good luck with the first weeks of school!

And for more amazing back to school math ideas, please check out ideas from the always resourceful Elementary Math Maniac!