Math Pictionary

Written by Donna Boucher

Donna has been a teacher, math instructional coach, interventionist, and curriculum coordinator. A frequent speaker at state and national conferences, she shares her love for math with a worldwide audience through her website, Math Coach’s Corner. Donna is also the co-author of Guided Math Workshop.

Okay, so this is nothing short of a stroke of genius, and I can take NO credit for it!  I was visiting my favorite Kinder class Thursday, and I watched Mrs. Bryan’s amazing mathematicians solve a terrific problem together (see more about that below).  At the end of the lesson, Mrs. Bryan had just a few minutes left before Specials, so she told the kiddos they were going to play a really fun game.  She asked if they had played or knew what Pictionary was.  Most didn’t.  But that’s okay, they knew it was a really fun game, and that’s all that mattered.  Mrs. Bryan had written a bunch of simple addition and subtraction number sentences on index cards, folded them in half, and put them in a bucket.  With excitement reaching a fever pitch (okay, maybe it was just me…), she drew one out and peeked at what was on it.  She told the kiddos she was going to tell a math story and draw it on the white board, and they had to see if they could guess the number sentence that went with the story. You can see from the picture that the story was about two jars with buttons in them. The children easily identified that the number sentence to match the story would be 3 + 2 = 5. What was really cool, is that another student said it could also be 5 = 3 + 2.  If they had more time, I have not doubt they could have come up with a couple more ways to write it, because that’s just how they roll!  Anyway, what a fun, quick, and EASY way to practice addition and subtraction stories!

Math Pictionary

The chart below shows the product of the problem solving session.  It is an absolute joy to see how engaged and motivated these kids are!!  And they come up with such great math!  You can see they represented the problem four different ways–a picture/diagram, a table, tally marks, and a number line.

I just thought this anchor chart was a beautiful way to combine literature and math.  The class created it during an Eric Carle author study.

Have a great weekend!!

Check out these kinder products:
Common Core Spring Kindergarten Activities
Common Core Kindergarten, Numbers from 11-20

6 Comments

  1. Amy B

    Hi Donna! I love all of the ideas in this post!! Your teachers, and you, are so creative!!!! I am going to use them all!!!! Love your blog entries 🙂 Happy Friday!
    Amy Burton

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Hey Amy! I will certainly pass your kind comments on to my colleagues. 🙂
      Have a great weekend!
      Donna

      Reply
  2. jbales

    Hi Donna,
    Thank you so much for sharing all of your great ideas. I went to a common core conference for teaching math to first graders. I shared your name and web site. I have learned so much from you. Thanks!!!
    Julie

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Hi Julie!
      What a sweet comment. I love to hear feedback that indicates I’m on the right track.
      Donna

      Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Absolutely, Jenny! So refreshing, and the kids love it!
      Donna

      Reply

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