There’s always something fascinating about studying the ocean, learning about all of the animals, experimenting with the different properties of water, and need I say more than SHARKS!! These ocean math activities will help to keep your students engaged while also sneaking in a few skills along the way.
Graphing is a concept that students typically learn quickly and can be used in a variety of ways. We usually spend the beginning of the year using graphing to talk about things students love or to learn about each other. We graph our birthdays, favorite ice cream or animal. Later in the year, we graph about our favorite books from a unit or author study (Dr. Seuss for March is Reading Month, for example) and graph our favorite ocean animal when we have our Beach Day celebration. It’s an excellent opportunity to make learning about math FUN!
Mrs. Giraffe’s class has a great post about how she uses graphing in the classroom, along with LOTS of different types of graphs you can use throughout the year to practice this math skill in addition to ocean math activities.
Depending on the grade level, you can use these pattern block mats for center work (pre-K and kindergarten) or as work for early finishers (1st and 2nd). These are great to encourage additional discussion comparing pattern blocks, which one has more, less, etc. You can extend the activity to have students use the same pattern blocks to create a different shape of their own, talk about their shape with a partner, draw it and then write about it. This not only practices math, vocabulary, and language skills, but encourages creativity and critical thinking skills in a way that engages students.
You will need pattern blocks for this activity and some sort of spinner. Don’t have one? A pencil and a paper clip work just fine! And this activity from Fun Learning for Kids is FREE.
Want a fun way for your students to practice their addition and subtraction math fluency? Make it into a game. I found a teacher who had made word cards years ago and created a game played like Kaboom. My students loved it so much I came up with the idea to do the same thing with math fact fluency cards. These are simply flash cards that have a few rules on how to play the game.
Students can play individually or with a partner to play these games:
- War – each play flips over a card. Solve the addition or subtraction problem. Whoever has the larger number wins (or smaller number, to change things up!)
- Kaboom or Bang!
How to Play:
- Spread the cards out into a pile.
- Choose a card from the pile
- Read the card. If you can read the card, keep it. If you can’t, put the card back. (While playing with a partner or group, I suggest having them help the student read the word if they missed it so they can learn it for next time). 🙂
- Special Cards
- Shark! – Put all of your cards back into the pile
- Minnow – Draw another card
- Lose a turn – If playing with a partner or group, you lose a turn
- Skip – If playing with a partner or group, you skip the person who has a turn after you
Pick and choose which pages you want to do, print, laminate and the cards are ready for your students to play for years to come! You can time students for several minutes to see how many problems they can do, and use to inform instruction. Or they can complete it as a math center or during morning work.
You can read all about how to get this game and other teaching resources for free here.
To practice the same skill with other themes, students can play these games throughout the year:
- Unicorn Magic!
- Math Fluency Game Bundle #1 with 9 MATH FLUENCY GAMES your students can play throughout the year
Ocean Math Activities
If you’re interested in additional ocean math activities, they are available in my Ocean Math & Literacy Bundle.
This resource also includes pages to practice these math and literacy skills:
- ABC Order
- Syllable Sort
- Past, present, and future tense verbs
- Noun and verb sort
- Noun, verb, and adjective cut and paste sort
- Main idea and details writing template
- Story Elements page – characters, setting, problem, solution
- Mixed single digit addition to 20 and subtraction from 1 0 (2 pages)
- 2-digit addition with regrouping (2 pages)
- Adding 3 2-digit numbers with regrouping (2 pages)
- Adding 4 2-digit numbers
- Double digit subtraction with regrouping (2 pages)
- Fact families (2 pages)
- Array word problems
Read the book Clark the Shark and write a retelling of the story. Or, use the template “If I could be an ocean animal…” for a fun creative writing activity.