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5 Ways to Have Fun With Math Name Tags

boy wearing addition math tags with ten frames

As you know, I am always trying to think of fun and interactive ways to teach math. I wrote a blog post a while ago about ways to make reviewing multiplication fun and one of the ideas was to buy “Hello My Name Is” name tag stickers and write equations on them.  Then students would have to call each other by the product name.  As that idea developed, in my mind, I thought about how it could work for a large number of skills……. And Math Name Tags were born!

There are so many ways that you can use math name tags but I am going to focus on my Top 5:

1.   Introduce Yourself During Morning Meeting

Morning meeting is a time for greeting each other. For a new twist, you can give your kids a Math Name Tag and have them introduce themselves to their classmates. For example “Good Morning 27, my name is 51.”Once your kids are given their tags, they must wear it and it becomes their name during that time. They can even wear it for the rest of the day. I have found that kids will put extra effort into learning their new “names” and the names of their friends.

2. Play Line Up, Round Up and Match Up Games

As I began to fine tune my idea, I thought about having two main types of name tags. One type has a clear visual model to support conceptual understanding and the other type has the standard name or some variation of it. You know I LOVE visual math models!

Depending on the skill that you are teaching or reviewing, these games are a win for kids because these activities get them moving. There is a wide range of activities to choose from. You can have students line up in a specific order, sort themselves into groups or find their matching partners. All of these game descriptions are included in each Math Name Tag set and are specific to the math concept being taught or reviewed.

base ten math name tags on lanyards

3.  Review the Number of the Day

Select a Number of the Day and use the Ten Frame or  Base Ten Math Name Tags to do activities like composing and decomposing the chosen number. You can also find one more, one less, ten more and ten less.

4. Use for Lesson Warm Up or Wrap Up

Whip out Math Name Tags to do a quick opening hook or lesson closure.  Pre-select the tags you want to use and have a small number of students perform a shorter version of Name Tag Match Up. It’s a quick and easy way to introduce or review targeted math skills.

5. Play Red Rover During Recess 

Let the kids burn off steam and review math at the same time. Does anyone remember Red Rover? I may be showing my age here! You have two teams line up opposite each other. The first team agrees to call on one student. They all chant “Red Rover, Red Rover send (name) right over!” And the student whose name is called runs over to try and break the chain of linked hands. You have probably guessed by now that you would not use the student’s real name, you use his or her math name.

ten frame math name tags on lanyards

Again, there are so many different ways that you can use Math Name Tags. You can use them to play games during recess, teach a concept during your math block, greet each other during morning meeting or for a quick review during closing circle. I offer a lot of activity suggestions in this resource, but be creative!

If you can think of any other ways to use them with your students, please share in the comments section below.


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