Math PK-2

Math PK-2

Select one or more Factors to see the strategies that support your chosen Factor(s). For each strategy, we provide ideas for classroom and product application, videos, and further resources.


Accessible Vocabulary & Syntax

Teachers support language development by using and providing vocabulary and syntax that is appropriately leveled (e.g.

Brief Instruction Steps

Content that is provided in clear, short chunks can support students' Working Memory.

Building Blocks

Building with blocks is ideal for promoting early geometric and Spatial Skills.

Collaborative Problem Solving

As students solve problems in a group, they learn new strategies and practice communicating their mathematical thinking.

Concrete-Representational-Abstract (CRA)

CRA is a sequential instructional approach during which students move from working with concrete materials to creating representational drawings to using abstract symbols.

Creating Visual Representations

Students activate more cognitive processes by exploring and representing their understandings in visual form.

Cumulative Review

Continual use of foundational skills with different problems reinforces a conceptual understanding of math skills.

Daily Arithmetic Fact Practice

10 minutes in each math session devoted to building fluent retrieval of basic arithmetic facts sets the foundation for learning new concepts.

Daily Review

Daily review strengthens previous learning and can lead to fluent recall.

Dim or Natural Lighting

Dim or natural lighting provides a calming environment.

Direct Instruction: Explicit Number Naming Approach

In explicit number naming, the structure of the number name labels the number in Place Value order and clearly states the quantity.

Direct Instruction: Math Language

Knowing the language of math is critical because students must use this language to understand math concepts and determine calculations needed.

Direct Instruction: Patterning

Thinking of and about patterns encourages learners to look for and understand the rules and relationships that are critical components of mathematical reasoning.

Direct Instruction: Problem Structures

Teaching students to recognize common problem structures helps them transfer solution methods from familiar to unfamiliar problems.

Direct Instruction: Problem-solving Strategies

Discussing strategies for solving mathematics problems helps students understand how to organize their mathematical thinking and intentionally tackle problems.

Direct Instruction: Word Problem Language

Knowing the language of word problems is critical because students must use this language to determine the calculation needed.

Discussing Emotions

Teaching students how to label, identify, and manage Emotion helps them learn Self-regulation skills.

Dot Cards

Dot cards build number sense and promote early math skills, particularly Spatial Skills and Non-symbolic Number knowledge.

Encourage Student Self-advocacy

Overtly encouraging all students to seek support and ask questions creates a safe space for risk-taking and skill development.

Free Collaborative Play

Free collaborative play supports learner interests and promotes the development of more complex social interactions.

Gallery Walk

As students walk through stations working in small groups, the social and physical nature of the learning supports deeper understanding.


Adding motions to complement learning activates more cognitive processes for recall and understanding.

Goal Setting

Setting overall goals, as well as smaller goals as steps to reaching them, encourages consistent, achievable progress and helps students feel confident in their skills and abilities.

Growth Mindset Feedback

Attributing results to controllable aspects (strategy and effort) fosters students' beliefs in self.

Guided Inquiry

With this interactive technique, teachers help students use their own language for constructing knowledge by active listening and questioning.

Guided Play

Teaching students through guided play encourages them to take an active role in their learning and supports the development of a broad array of cognitive skills.

Guided Practice

Spending time with new content helps move concepts and ideas into Long-term Memory.

Incorporate Students' Cultural Practices

Learning about students' cultures and connecting them to instructional practices helps all students feel like valued members of the community.

Individual Deliberate Practice

Practicing until achieving several error-free attempts is critical for retention.

Individual Spaces

Having space where students can go supports Self-regulation and [individual deliberate practice][1].

Learning Strategy & Tool "Fair"

To promote acceptance of learning diversity, students explore learning tools and strategies to see how they work and why they and others might use them.

Math Centers

Math centers with math games, manipulatives, and activities support learner interests and promote the development of more complex math skills and social interactions.

Math Games: Numerical & Spatial

Math games use numbers and Spatial Skills, allowing students to practice many math skills in a fun, applied context.

Math Songs

Rhyming, alliteration, and other sound devices reinforce math skills development by activating the mental processes that promote memory.

Math Talks

When students have meaningful conversations about math and use math vocabulary, they develop the thinking, questioning, and explanation skills needed to master mathematical concepts.

Math Trail

A math trail provides students with the opportunity to discover and tackle math concepts outside the classroom and in their communities.

Mindfulness Activities

Short, regular mindfulness activities quiet the brain to allow for improved thinking and Emotion regulation.

Mnemonic Device

Creating patterns for remembering classroom processes, narrative structures, etc.

Mobility & Flexibility

Multiple tables and chairs on wheels allow for setting up the classroom to support the desired learning outcomes of each activity.

Model Growth Mindset

When teachers share their goals and the paths they take to achieve them, they demonstrate that learning involves effort, mistakes, and reflecting.

Model Positive Connections to Math

Teachers sharing math-to-self, math-to-math, and math-to-world connections models this schema building.

Movement Breaks

Brain breaks that include movement allow learners to refresh their thinking and focus on learning new information.

Multimodal Instructions

Instructions in multiple formats allow students to activate different cognitive skills to understand and remember the steps they are to take in their math work.

Multiple Display Boards/Screens

Multiple display spaces help develop oral language skills as well as Social Awareness & Relationship Skills by allowing groups to share information easily as they work.

Multiple Representations: Graphic Organizer

Visualizing how ideas fit together helps students construct meaning and strengthen recall.

Multiple Representations: Manipulatives

Providing physical representations of numbers and math concepts helps activate mental processes.

Multiple Representations: Number Line

Easy access to seeing the relationships between numbers promotes number sense as students see these connections repeatedly.

Multiple Representations: Pictures & Visuals

Visuals help students understand what a number represents as well as recognize relationships between numbers.

Multiple Representations: Visual Representations

Visual representations help students understand what a number represents as well as recognize relationships between numbers.

Multiple Writing Surfaces

Multiple writing surfaces promote collaboration by allowing groups to share information easily as they work.

Music & Dance

Connecting information to music and dance moves enhances memory by drawing on auditory processes and the cognitive benefits of physical activity.

Non-intensive HNE Intervention Program

A parent evening meeting about how to support numeracy at home with one follow-up meeting with each family has shown strong results for students' math development.

Physical Activity & Recess

Research shows physical activity improves focus and creativity.

Predictability: Environment & Structure

Maintaining consistent classroom routines and schedules ensures that students are able to trust and predict what will happen next.


Pretending allows students to step back from a problem or task and think about it from multiple angles.

Prioritize Family Engagement

Students are more likely to come to school when families feel like a valued part of the community.

Prompt Cards

Cards with strategies for managing emotions help students remember how to act when faced with strong feelings.

Quiet Classroom/Pockets of Quiet

Decreasing extra audio input provides a focused learning environment.

Real-world Math

When teachers connect math to the real world, students can see how relevant and applicable math is in their daily lives.

Reciprocal Teaching: PALS

Students deepen their understanding and gain confidence in their learning when they explain to and receive feedback from others.

Reflect on Learning

Providing space and time for students to reflect is critical for moving what they have learned into Long-term Memory.

Response Devices

Response devices boost engagement by encouraging all students to answer every question.

Rich Resources: Audio & Braille

Math games and manipulatives for vision differences support math development for learners with visual needs.

Rich Resources: Children's Literature

Children's literature can be a welcoming way to help students learn math vocabulary and concepts.

Rich Resources: Diversity

Multicultural resources, such as posters with different types of people and word problems based in different settings, allow all students to see themselves in their math work.

SEL Programs & Workshops

Many programs exist that offer lesson plans for focused sessions on understanding and managing emotions.

Sensory Stimulation

Incorporating multiple senses with strategies like chewing gum, using a vibrating pen, and sitting on a ball chair supports focus and Attention.

Sound Level

Providing ways for students to adjust sound level supports individual auditory needs.

Sound-blocking Devices

Using earplugs or headphones can increase focus and comfort.

Student Choice

Providing students a voice in their learning is critical for making learning meaningful.


Providing ways for students to meet their individual temperature needs supports focus and Self-regulation.

Text-to-speech Software

Transforming written text into audio activates different parts of the brain to support learning.


Students develop their skills by listening to and speaking with others in informal ways.


When students explain their thinking process aloud, they recognize the strategies they use and solidify their procedural understanding.

Three-phase Lesson Format

Three-phase lesson format is a problem-solving structure to promote meaningful math learning by activating prior knowledge, letting students explore mathematical thinking, and promoting a math community of learners.

Timed Practice

Timed practice drills help students achieve automaticity, a critical aspect of Estimation and mental calculations.


Timers help students learn to self-pace and transition.

Tossing Activity

Tossing a ball, beanbag, or other small object activates physical focus in support of mental focus.

Uncluttered Environment

Spaces that are structured, organized, and clean provide increased room for collaboration and active learning.

Untimed Tests

Untimed tests provide students the opportunity to flexibly and productively work with numbers, further developing their problem-solving abilities.

Verbal Repetition

Having students verbally repeat information such as instructions ensures they have heard and supports remembering.


Providing visuals to introduce, support, or review instruction activates more cognitive processes to support learning.

Visual Reading Aids

Visual supports, like text magnification, colored overlays, and guided reading strip, help students focus and properly track as they read.

Word Walls

A word wall helps build the mathematical vocabulary and Language Skills that are necessary for problem solving.