Using Math Stretches for a Daily Warm-Up

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.

If you are a Laney Sammons fan, then you probably already know about Math Stretches. Part of Laney’s Guided Math framework is Morning Math Warm-Ups. Sammons explains that just like athletes warm up before a strenuous workout, mathematicians need to have a warm-up to get their brains focused on math. Here’s how she describes the Warm-Up:

This daily appetizer prepares the palate for the “Your Choice” entrees below with Math Stretches, Calendar Board activities, problems of the day, math-related classroom responsibilities, data work, incredible equations, reviews of skills to be maintained, and previews of skills to come.

This post contains affiliate links, which simply means that when you use my link and purchase a product, I receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you, and I only link to books and products that I personally use and recommend.

To support the framework and provide quality stretches for teachers, Sammons published the books you see pictured above. There are versions for K-2, 3-5, and 6-8, and they are a terrific resource! Each book contains detailed descriptions of about 30 Math Stretches and includes a Teacher Resource CD.

Like many teachers, I like to tweak things just a bit, so the stretches you see pictured below are my versions. I wanted to show my teachers how easily the stretches can be differentiated for different grade levels. For example, I created versions of the How Many More to 100? stretch for 20 and 50.

I also wanted to make the stretches manageable for my teachers. All these files print on 11 x 17 paper, so they can post them on the wall for kiddos to access and they are big enough for the kids to write on. They can be easily adjusted (they are Word documents), so the teachers can use them over and over, but change them up. For the Number of the Day and You Write the Story stretches, I suggest using sticky notes so the kiddos can write their response to the stretch at their desk and then post it on the class chart.

Click here to download the files!!

30 Comments

  1. Sandi

    Thank you! This is a wonderful resource!
    Literacy Minute

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      My pleasure!! Glad you find it useful. 🙂

      Reply
    • Sonja Virden

      I am going on my second year as a non-traditional (whatever that means) teacher and these worksheets are going to come in handy for anytime during the day. This year I am teaching first grade. I am so pumped!

      Reply
  2. Amy B

    Donna,
    These are GREAT! I have been doing math stretches in my room this year and was looking for some other ideas. Thanks!!! So wish you were in my building…
    Amy Burton

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      I’m in your “virtual” building, Amy. Ha ha. 🙂

      Reply
    • Amy B

      ha! yes you are!!!!!

      Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      You’re so welcome! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Anonymous

    I love your worksheets, but I couldn’t get them to print.
    Thanks, for sharing.
    Betty

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Huh, sorry to hear that!! What problem did you have? Did you download them or just try to print them out of Google Docs?

      Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      My pleasure!!

      Reply
  4. MrsRanta

    Donna,
    Thanks for introducing Math Stretches to me. I have been doing my own version of Calendar Math and don’t want the kids to get bored with it. I will add in some math stretched to keep them on their toes!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      You’re welcome! I’m always looking for great ways to improve daily warm-ups. I think they’re such an important component of math instruction!

      Reply
  5. Teacher and Life Long Learner

    THANK YOU! I love your posts!! You are always so helpful and keep up all your followers up to date on the best math practices!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Thanks so much for your sweet comment! I love blogging–it keeps me looking for new and creative ways to improve math instruction. We never stop learning, right?

      Reply
  6. Michele

    I started math stretches this year and my students love them! Thank you for the new ideas. I will incorporate them when we are ready to change ours up 🙂

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      You’re welcome, Michele! Glad it fits right in with what you’re doing. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Lisa

    Thanks! I’m going even and odd this week. I tried to download and print the pages, but they lost their formatting and don’t fit on the sheet. Part of each page is cut off.

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Lisa, I think if you download it and then open it in Word it should be okay. Give that a try. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Diana

    These are fantastic!!! I can see me putting them on my Promethean Board and having students complete it during morning work time. Then we would go over their responses during math time!
    Thanks!

    Reply
  9. Laney Sammons

    I am so glad you find Math Stretches to be worthwhile! Thank you for sharing them with your readers.
    Laney Sammons

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Laney, what an honor! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to thank you personally for your books. Guided Math changed the way many teachers think about math instruction, causing a powerful paradigm shift. While many books about math workshop and small group instruction have followed, yours was really the game changer. Thank you!

      Reply
  10. Tammy Sapp

    WOW! What a powerful tool! I’m adding this to my calendar routine next week and I will be looking up the books you referenced above. Thank You!!!

    Reply
  11. Diana

    These sheets are amazing. I want more! Do you sell these in a book for my 2nd graders? This is a really wonderful resource. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Laney Sammons, author of Guided Math, also published Math Stretches books for K-2, 3-5, and 6-8. They are terrific resources!

      Reply
  12. Terri B.

    Just wanted to let you know that this GREAT resource is still circulating on Pinterest–gotta love Pinterest! Although I follow your blog, I know you have a lot in posts from before I “found” you still for me to discover. I’ve told friends/colleagues about your blog. For entirely selfish reasons, I hope you aren’t retiring any time soon. 😉 Your enthusiasm for teaching math is contagious through your writing.

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Thank you so much for the kind words! No retirement in my near future. 🙂

      Reply
  13. Diane Herman

    It is now April 2020 and this resource is still being used 🙂 Thanks x

    Reply

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