Friday, October 7, 2016

Writing Those Pesky Numerals!

So many of our students enter our kindergarten program with no previous school experience.  Writing numerals can be very difficult for their little fingers so we spend one day each week working on a numeral at our math stations for 10 weeks.  Here’s what we do.
Whole Group
We use Math Their Way’s method for teaching numeral writing with purple and green strokes.  Here’s a sample of 4: 
Purple is always written first and then the green line is written.  We made these large posters for 0 - 9 and use them in whole group to show how to write the numeral. The children practice with air-writing and then writing on each other’s backs.  
The first time we set up these stations, we go over each one carefully making sure the children know how to form the numerals, use the materials, and what to do when they are finished. After that, we do not have to take the time to go over the directions for each one. These are quick stations that take only about 5 minutes each and it's fun listening to them say, "Purple-green" as they work!  
1. White Boards
This is one of their favorites!  The children write the numeral across their boards with dry erase markers.  Erasers can be pieces of erasers, old socks, gloves or t-shirts, cheap washcloths, small pieces of felt, or purchased erasers for small white boards.
                                2. Salt Trays
Salt is a relatively cheap material to use and is easy to color, if desired.  You can put the salt in a plastic baggie, add a few drops of food coloring, seal the bag, and mix well. Old baking trays with a small edge are perfect and can be found at yard sales or donated by parents.  It only takes about a cup of salt to cover the bottom - don’t put too much in!  After the children write the numerals, they slide the tray back and forth on the table to make the numerals disappear to start again!  Make sure they understand not to lift the trays or salt will be all over the place!

                                   3. Windows
These “window” boards are from Math Their Way and use the “purple-green” sample above each space for the students to write in.  They use a piece of copy paper or newsprint to write as many lines of the numeral as they can.  These can be made at home or you can purchase them here at Math Their Way.
                              4. Play Dough Mats

Another favorite!  We purchased ready-made mats but you can also create your own with clipart.  The students make a snake from the play dough and place it on the numeral.  From these two photos you can see the difference in the ability levels of our children!  Need a free recipe for homemade play dough that lasts for months?  Click here!

5. Number Writing Cards

These number writing cards are also from Math Their Way and can be written on with Vis-á-Vis pens or dry erase markers.  We put them in vinyl sheet protectors and have used the same set over and over for years.  Click here if you are interested in purchasing them from Math Their Way - maybe your PTA will buy them for you!
Have fun with these numeral writing stations!

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is one of our favorite books for October.  Recently we added a new One-and-Done project, My Wild Thing, to our store based on this book.  Every student can create his/her own wild thing! 
In the past if you have purchased our Growing Bundle of all our One-and-Done projects, be sure to go to My Purchases in your account to get the updated version that includes My Wild Thing.  

You can get all 14 One-and-Done projects for 20% off if you were to purchase them separately.  And every time we add a new project, you get to download it for free!

Happy Teaching!


  1. I am looking for your purple green large numeral cards. Could you please post them in your tpt store? Thanks!

  2. Thanks for your comment. We don't have them in our store because of a copyright issue with Math Their Way, though they don't sell them. We used 1" pieces of purple and green crayons without the paper to draw the numbers on a 9" x 12" white paper. We followed the design of the Windows cards that we had from that company. Hope that helps!