Here’s a bundle of back-to-school activities to help you start your year teaching 3rd grade. For the first few weeks, I always focus on routines and expectations. This helps set the rhythm for the year.
While students practice the procedures of moving through math centers, I need something that’s engaging, but not too challenging. My goal is to focus on stamina while working independently or to work cooperatively with a partner. However, I don’t just want busy work. Good content is important as students ease back in to the routine of school.
These activities are perfect for incoming third graders. Activities are Common Core aligned and start by reviewing second grade skills.
Each resource has two different levels practicing the same skill. Look for • and •• to quickly differentiate for your students and keep everyone engaged!
Print and hand out quickly with black and white versions, or print in color and create a reusable center with a sheet protector. You will quickly establish your classroom routines and build stamina as students play games, solve puzzles, and create artwork with interesting, colorful, just-right challenges to engage students of all levels.
Let’s take a closer look at what you will enjoy in this bundle.
- Addition Riddle
- Subtraction Missing Digits
- Equal Groups Puzzle
- Addition Game
- Even & Odd Banners
- Number Forms
- Skip Counting
- Subtraction Game
Addition Facts Riddle
Dust off those math facts with this fun activity! Students will solve 20 addition facts, then match answers with letters to solve a fun Back-to-School riddle.
The lower and higher level look the same and solve the same riddle, but look for • and •• following the title. If you’re training your students how to rotate through math centers, you have two leveled sets of the same activity to differentiate for your students!
Missing Digit Subtraction
This is one of my favorite activities because it isn’t just plain old subtraction. The subtraction problems are already there, but some of the numbers are missing. Students cut out number tiles 0-9 and place them on their sheet to make all the subtraction problems true.
This is great if you’re introducing how to work with a partner, share materials, and practice using math talk to explain your reasoning for placing a tile in a certain location.
For the lower level, each number can be placed independently. For the higher level, students will need more critical thinking and use an elimination strategy to solve some of the problems which seem to have multiple solutions at first.
The color versions can be laminated or put in a sheet protector to make a reusable center, or have students cut and paste, then color the black and white version.
Equal Groups Puzzle
A fun puzzle is always a great first day activity! Students practice finding the total of equal groups in pictures and words. Then, they cut and paste the answers to solve the picture puzzle.
If you choose the black and white version, students can also color in the picture, which will make a nice display for your first bulletin board, or cover to students’ math notebooks for the year.
Addition Game – Lemonade War
Games! Need I say more?
Remember playing Connect Four when you were a kid, or um…last week, just for fun? Well, now it’s a lemonade stand trying to connect 4 lemons in order to make lemonade. Students roll two dice (3 for the higher level) and add the numbers together. They find the sum and circle or color it in.
Students love the strategy involved in choosing which number to circle or color. They’re having fun, practicing math facts, and even building the teamwork skills you’ve just introduced that will be part of your regular routines this year. Win! Win! Win! (Even if they lose the game!)
Even & Odd – Banner Coloring Activity
This is for those of you who don’t have pinterest-perfect-cutesy-everything-matches classrooms. No worries! We’ve got you covered!
First students practice finding odd and even numbers and color independently, with a partner, or in small groups. Then, they’ll cut out the letters and rearrange them to spell out a character trait.
Then, like a caterpillar to a butterfly, a beautiful banner emerges ready to be displayed in your room. There are 6 character traits in all: stamina, respect, kindness, honesty, patience, and courage.
With a total of 44 letters to color, you can divide them among your students in so many ways, or have each student create his/her own banner to display or take home.
After the banners are complete, students complete an exit ticket explaining their character trait, how they will use it in class this year, and what they’ve learned about odd and even numbers.
This worksheet is a quick, simple go-to for a math warm-up, your early finishers, a homework sheet, or that awkward 10-15 minutes between recess and music. You could also copy double-sided with the next activity for a review center as you set up math rotations in your classroom.
Students match numerals to words to expanded notation. Then they fill in a chart for the three number forms.
Again, there are two levels and answer sheets for you correct or for students to take responsibility and correct their own work, saving you time and giving them timely feedback.
Students love mazes! These mazes help students practice skip counting (2-5 lower level and 6-9 higher level). This is a great way to bridge repeated addition to the concepts of multiplication.
When students finish this worksheet, it’s the perfect time to practice math talks where students share the patterns they found, and discuss why they think they patterns are there. Can they quickly and easily figure out the next 5 numbers in the sequence?
Subtraction Game – Bookworm Battle
Like Lemonade War, Bookworm Battle is a variation on Connect Four. This time, students will spin a paperclip (or spinner overlay if you have those in your math kits). Then, they subtract and find the difference on the game board. Four books in a row wins!
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- Monthly themed games, puzzles, riddles, coloring, and more!
- 2 levels for differentiation
- BW & Color
- Answer Keys