Sunday, June 10, 2012

Swat those numbers!

This week I spent a lot of time cleaning out my classroom laptop.  I wanted to make sure the new teacher would be able to make sense of the massive amounts of information, worksheets, photos, and other assorted stuff I have gathered over the years.  I had so much fun going through the pictures, looking at all the great activities I did in previous years that somehow I forgot about this year!  I found myself wishing I had a couple more weeks so I could do them one more time.  Oh well; maybe the new teacher will see them and continue on.

Here is one of my favorite activities: number swatting!

Now it's hard to see in the pictures because it is white, but the students are holding a flyswatter.  I started with a red one, but after all the swatting it broke after 2 days, and this was the only replacement I could find. 

In the top picture, the student is swatting on my large number posters.  I use these for the younger students and at the beginning of the year when we are starting to learn to recognize numerals.  The "All About" posters are pretty old; if I was staying another year I would have remade them, including ten frames.

In this picture, the student is swatting a fly with a numeral written on it's belly.  These are used for the older classes, and later in the year.  The younger students don't have the eye-hand coordination to hit the fly they are aiming for.  This is a four year old and it's the first time we are using the flies, so I only have a few on the wall.  This class could recognize their teens also, so the next time I did the activity I added the teens.  Then I would let the students have the flyswatter every now and then as a choice during free exploration time.

I do not know where I originally found the pattern, I am guessing the pattern came from a Mailbox Magazine somewhere.  I have been frantically looking through my curriculum books and files for the original "fly" to leave for my replacement.  A toddler class came a-visiting a few weeks ago, and one of the little darlings decided to rip the #8 fly off the wall, which ended up tearing it where the staples were.  So the new teacher is missing a fly. :(  Hopefully I will find it soon.

My young students love every opportunity to get some of their physical energies out.  It helps my kinesthetic learners as well as my visual learners.  The All About posters give the students clues to the students struggling with their numeral recognition, since they offer many different ways of figuring out what number the poster is about.  Some of the pictures refer to books we read about the number, there are hands with "that many" fingers, there is a fish tank where they can count the fish, along with other clues.  I also have them color coded for even and odd.  The activity can be whole group, small group, or even partners.  Great for classrooms that do not have a lot of room for games.

Update: my first freebie will be a cute little fly for you to make your own number flies!!  Coming soon for purchase on TpT, is a full set of colored flies in numbers, letters, and word families. Keep watching for the release!!!

Updated update: Products are now available!  Visit my TpT store here for your freebie & for purchase flies!   My Store!


  1. Hi Kathy
    I'm your 3rd follower! I taught prek for 2 years and LOVED it before I was moved back to elementary. You have some great ideas on here!
    The Caffeinated Classroom

  2. Thanks and welcome!! I look forward to sharing ideas with you!

  3. When my son was younger, I was searching for things like this! Thank you.

  4. Hi Sue, nice to meet you!! One thing I love about this activity is it can be used for multiple ages - all you need is a child who likes to be physical. You can adjust what is on the "fly" to whatever you are doing. Can be used with sight words, letters, addition facts (give sum, ask for fact) or even sums. It can be used for foreign language learning too!

  5. Love those All about Number posters. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm now following you.
    Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Kindergarten