A Peek Inside: Give a Mouse a Number

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.

Woo hoo!!  For my newest unit I really delved into the 1st grade NBT standards, and I’m so pleased with the results.  In addition to a Scoot game, two Capture 4 games, three partner spinner games, and seven printables, I’m really excited about the set of cards I developed for working with two digit numbers.  There are cards that show the multiples of ten and the single digits–both with ten-frame representation.  Students create a two digit number by placing the single digit card over the multiple of ten (shown below).  I made them large for whole class routines, but they’re also good for small group instruction.

Here are some ideas for using the cards:

  • Distribute the tens cards to students and have them put themselves in order.
  • Distribute both the tens and ones cards to students.  Call out a 2-digit number.  The two students with the cards to make that number come up and combine their cards to show the number to the class.  After several numbers have been made, have the students order themselves from least to greatest or greatest to least.
  • Call out a clue (“three tens and four ones”) and have the students with the cards come to the front.
  • Call out an equation with a missing number (“35 + 40 = ‘what’?”).  Have students build it using the +, =, and  (be sure you have multiple copies of the single digits).  Then have the students with the cards to solve it (75) come up and replace the unknown.  Be sure to change the unknown and the equal sign around ( + 30 = 65, 26 +  = 56, 63 = 23 + , etc.)

Here’s a peek at the rest of the unit.






  1. jbales

    I am always amazed at the creativity in your units! What a fun, engaging way for the students to learn and practice math skills. Thank you so much. I put it on my wish list.

    • Donna Boucher

      Thanks so much, Julie! I’m glad I got this one finished before heading back to school. 🙂


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