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Number of the Day

Alignments to Content Standards: 1.NBT.A.1



Large chart paper, markers, math journals, pencils, 100 chart.


Students will count the "Number of the Day" beginning with 1 on the first day of school, and adding one number for each day of school. Each day the class will chorally count up to the last number added to the 100 chart (or a hand drawn chart of numbers) by 1s or 10s. The teacher will then add the next number in the counting sequence to the chart to represent the number of the current day (this way the chart grows by one for each day students are in school).


The teacher then draws a bubble map on chart paper with the number of the day in the middle bubble. The teacher models and guides students in drawing and writing the number in different ways; see the picture below.


IM Commentary

This activity provides a connection between the counting sequence and an experience from students' daily lives. It helps to give the students a sense of how "many" each number is.

This task begins as a whole group activity with the teacher guiding instruction. Writing the number in different forms becomes an independent activity over time; however, the class should go over it together in order to make sure students are correctly completing the task.

Repeatable, daily activities are one of the best ways to instill the counting sequence for children. This task also reinforces many skills related to understanding and representing numbers, such as using tally marks, the word form, expanded form, and place value.

As the year progresses, the teacher can adjust the focus in response to the size of the number. For example, when the year starts and the numbers are in the single digits, this will be a relatively short activity; as the numbers get very large tally marks can be dropped from the activity, in favor of spending additional time on representing tens and ones.

The first grade standard requires students to count to 120. However, if a teacher would like to extend the activity beyond 120 there is no reason to stop once the 120th day of school passes.

Note: Many 100 charts are sold in teacher stores although it may be more difficult to find a chart that goes above 100. The teacher can make their own on a large piece of chart paper by writing each day's number as the day happens, making sure to keep each column straight.