Tuesday, April 10, 2012

On the Right Track with Numbers!

Ever since Christmas, I've been watching my 5 year old twins play their new Leap Pad tablets. They LOVE them! They come in handy in the car on long trips, or when a little down time is needed. We definitely monitor the amount of screen time that our kids have (and really, mine would rather dig in the dirt than sit in front of the TV most of the time anyway!). 

However, when they do play their Leap Pad tablets, I can't help but notice how drawn they are to the math apps on there (K-2 level apps). More than that, the concepts they are working on are strikingly amazing for typical 5 year olds. They start basic, but every level they reach, opens the door for more challenges. Specifically, my daughter LOVES the cooking/baking game. Today, I heard the game say "slice the bread into three thirds".....Fractions?! Really. I thought I was going to have to help out....but NOPE! She did it on her own lickety split! 

Another game that they adore is a number sense game----there are different scenes (space, etc.) in which random numbers are floating and they have to pull them down and put them in order smallest to largest. When they first got this game nearly five months ago, that concept was REALLY hard for them. Now, they totally get it and are quite quick with it. Amazing! 

Don't worry---I'm getting to the point here. 

Anywhoooooo----the point of this is not to dote about my cute little loves, but rather how quickly they acquired the skills (as most kids do) with a TECHY device! Technology sells---and kids buy into educational concepts through fun, flashy technology. Oh, how I wish I was about to give away a Leap Frog Tablet---but alas, I'm not. 

I wish, I wish, I wish I could click my heels together three times and have such devices for the students in my classroom. Since I don't, I had to think of an activity that I could change up the levels (differentiate) for my students, while still building number sense. There are many activities to do this (and store bought ones are expensive)----so for now, here's what I've come up with.

This activity can be used in a variety of ways, and would fit in well with your little ones who love trains, or within a transportation unit, or just because! Take a look....

This is not a good picture, but you can get the idea of how to print the pages and laminate them end to end form engine to caboose.

Using a visual timer (ie: sand timer), students will race to beat the clock to arrange the numbers in a variety of ways:

By 1's... (or 5's, or 10's)... 

By 2's/Evens or Odds...

Or by ordering random numbers smallest to largest. 

You will get numbers 1-100 with this game---so it's completely flexible for you to give your students the numbers they need based on readiness/skill!

 Print a few train track mats for a small group or for your math workstation boxes, have pairs of students work together, or use for independent practice. 

Like this game? Please let me know in a comment!
Have a bunch of Leap Pad tablets to donate to my classroom?! I'll take 'em! LOL 

Click HERE for this game! 


  1. Great idea! Simple, but so many ways to use it. thanks!!

  2. Thank you! I love simple. Work smarter, not harder!! :)

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