Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Number of the Week for Upper Grades

As the school years goes on, my third graders are getting deeper into learning about fractions and other higher-level concepts. Year after year, I've watched as their basic number sense begins to slip during this time of the year. For example, I'll ask something like, "Who can tell me if this number is odd or even?" And then my students will look at me as if my horn is showing. Instead of continuing to pull my hair out, this year, I've tried a more direct approach to tackling this issue and it's been really successful so far! 

Number of the Week

I've always thought of "number of the day/week" as being something just for the younger grades. However, it's been a lifesaver this year in my third grade classroom! Every Monday, I give students a mystery number problem to work out. Once they have solved the mystery number problem, they use that number as the number of the week. 

I give them a packet with a page for each day of the week. The pages cycle through math topics that wouldn't necessarily be hit in my regular problem of the day or "Do Now". 

Here are the skills reviewed, broken down by day:

Day 1:
Standard/expanded/word form
1/10/100 - More/less
Draw it with base 10 blocks
Value of each digit
Sum of the digits

Day 2:
Place value chart
Add/subtract groups of 10
Double the number
Multiple patterns 
Number line

Day 3: 
Multiple patterns
Addition/subtraction equations
Greatest/least possible number

Day 4:
Fact families
Trick of the zeros
Next 3 even/odd numbers
Round to nearest 10/100
Multiplying 3 or more factors

Day 5:
Write a word problem
Free space

Now, ask me how often I cycled back to these skills BEFORE I started using the Number of the Week and that's not a questions I'll want to answer! We spend 10-15 minutes on this each day, and I know students are getting that quick practice that they weren't getting before. In order to hold MYSELF accountable for reviewing these skills, I needed the more "formal" structure of the Number of the Week to ensure that it would happen. 

I've seen some great number of the day/week posters on Pinterest that can be posted on the wall for students to record in their journals. (Search for "Number of the Day" on Pinterest and TONS of goodies will appear before your eyes!) Personally, I like for each student to have his or her own packet for the week. This makes it a little easier for me to assess where each student is, not to mention it makes the whole process a little quicker each day. 

I have my "Number of the Week" packet available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Click here to check it out! It's got 24 mystery number pages, along with 5 review pages to be used with any number. 

I'm posting 2 of the mystery number pages here for free for anyone who is interested! 

How do you promote number sense and review basic skills in your classroom?? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

Happy teaching!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This is awesome, Blair! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Found your blog via TpT looking for Number of the Day for upper primary. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this - started it this week with my Year 4/5's. I love the variety each day as well as them having to figure out what the word is!!! AWesome resource, thanks for sharing!!!!


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