One of the most important things to do that first week of school is to preassess student skills. In a few weeks, I’ll meet 20+ kiddos who come with very different skill sets. I’m always on the lookout for ways that I can quickly see what they already know and where instruction should start.
In math, that’s number sense. It’s hard to move forward with adding, subtracting, or much else mathematical without it! So, those first few weeks of school I work on number sense.
Last year, I had the students make “Number Pizzas.” I’ve seen this done in several different ways, but I basically just gave them a paper circle template cut into 5 “slices.” Each child was assigned a different number, and then had to represent that number on each slice a different way of their choice. Some possibilities include:
- Number form
- Word form
- A way to make that number with addition
- A way to make that number with subtraction
- An example of that number seen in everyday life (i.e. 12 in a dozen eggs, 24 box of crayons)
- The number with 10s and 1s
Each person gets a baggie to put their finished pizza pieces in. If students put their initials on the back of their piecs, these can then be mixed up and assembled as puzzles too! Students can work alone or with a partner to see which pizza pieces go together.
This is an activity that is so easy to differentiate, fun for the kids, and a very quick way for me to see their number sense!