# What Comes Between?

### 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.

So here’s an item that popped up on our state assessment a couple of years ago:

OMGosh, what fits the kiddos had with this one statewide.  Here’s an easy little activity you can do to practice ordering numbers in a format like this.

Click here to grab the work mat shown below.  If you take standard 3 x 5 index cards and cut them in half, they fit perfectly in the mat.  Small sticky notes also work well.

Make cards or sticky notes with six different numbers fairly close in range.  I like to make them going over a hundred or thousand.  Put two of the numbers on the mat and place the other four below the mat.  In the example, I used two different sticky note colors.  If I were putting this in a workstation, I would probably use two different color index cards cut in half.  The task is to decide which number can go in place of the ?, and the strategy is to put the numbers in order, creating a number line.  You can easily adapt this activity for smaller or larger numbers.

1. I love this idea Donna! It will really make my kiddos use higher thinking skills! Thanks so much for sharing!

• My pleasure!! I love that it’s quick and easy. 🙂

2. This exercise is a great idea for an intervention group of mine. Thanks for sharing:)

• You’re welcome, Victoria!

3. I love this…just yesterday I gave a practice STAAR test and saw that 3rd graders had a lot of trouble with this. I am also having a hard time getting them to use strategies (I do small group math intervention). I really appreciate yourwisdom!

• Yes! This translates perfectly to what they should show on their paper, too. Glad it’s useful to you!

4. This activity can be scaled down so easily to numbers between 1 – 120 for our first graders and keep the higher thinking skills part of it. I’m sharing this one with my teacher friends!

5. LOVE this, Donna! A few of my firsties literally NEED to practice this skill this week. I was thinking along similar lines, but hadn’t thought of the boxes with several extra choices. LOVE!

• Thanks so much for the sweet comment, Lisa! 🙂

6. I am so happy to have found this. We have similar questions in 2nd grade. I like that this is easily adaptable to any level. I will simply use numbers up to 100 first. Then, continue the practice on a higher scale up to 1,000. Thanks!!!

• Sounds perfect!!

7. If this activity was a station or center how do you suggest self checking without cheating?