Kindergarten Lessons & Activities


The early numeracy assessment continuum helps teachers observe and support students' growth as they participate in purposeful play with hands-on materials, games, and number activities. Authentic scenarios and sample student assessment profiles show how the early numeracy assessment continuum can be used to guide instruction and support in a kindergarten setting. Link to the continuum

Fall Walk

Find out what math your students know by asking the question, "What math can you find in these leaves? after using rich literacy practices while reading the book, Fall Walk by Virginia Brimhall Snow (or another leaf book) and by collecting leaves on a walk. An open-ended question lets our students show what they know in a creative, respectful manner.  They will surprise you!  This soft assessment helps to inform our instruction; building on what individual students know and next steps.


Leaf Ideas

Number Sense

Concrete Number Relationship Mat

Thanks to Devon DePutter for suggesting this one!  On the front, orange side, the chosen number can be represented concretely and on the back, yellow side, concrete, pictorial or symbolic representations can be shown.  These mats can be used to practice the counting principles, number arrangements, quantitities, one-to-one correspondance and representations.  These can be ordered through the printshop or printed off on legal-sized paper.

BC A1,A2,A3,A4,A5

 2-sided mat in English

Student sample

2-sided mat in French


12 Ways to Get to 11 - Represent and describe numbers to 20 in this open ended, partitioning and equation writing lesson, based on the picture book by Eve Merriam.

B.C. PLOs A2, A3 and A4


Student Sheet

Counting Crocodiles - Children are delighted to explore problem solving with the tricky monkey in this book by Judy Sierra.

B.C. PLOs A1 to A4


Five Little Monkeys - Explore ways to make five using this book by Eileen Christelow.



Student Sheet

Smartboard activity

Ladybug Math

We have been having fun with ladybug math activities in some of the kindergarten classes in our district.  A variety of resources found on the internet, especially MATHWIRE has been a source for lesson ideas.  The Ladybug Mat used with black stones as dots, books (Ten Little Ladybugs by M. Gerth), puppets, dominoes, dice and the Magnetic Ladybug we purchased through Spectrum have provided us with opportunities for counting, trusting the count, subtizing and more.  THIS BOOK, "DIX PETITES COCCINELLES" IS ALSO NOW IN OUR SCHOOL LIBRARIES IN FRENCH!

B.C. PLO A1 to A4

How to use the Magnetic Ladybug

Ladybug Mats

Ladybug Fly Home! Game 

Ladybug maze in english and french




Part Part Whole Thinking

Here is a clear explanation about Part Part Whole Thinking and its importance.  A child who can partition a number is one who is well positioned to understand place value.

The description and activities come from TeachMath.  The Part Part Whole cards are made in our print shop if you would like to order a set printed on bright manilla tag.  See the number operations section below for cards that relate to the story problem activities.

B.C. PLO A2, A3 and A4


Part Part Whole Exploration

Cards 4 to 9


Part Part Whole Game - Peek-a-Boo Pennies

Thanks Andrea for sharing this game with me.  Andrea's grade one students really enjoyed this game and with adaptations it should work for kindergarten.  You could use dice or number cards. It can easily be extended to include nickels and dimes for skip counting totals.

B.C. PLO:  A2 and A3


Peek a Boo Pennies

Snowman Math - I modeled these games and activities based on my work with Ladybug Math.  I used the book, The Biggest, Best Snowman by Margery Cuyler as a launch to some of the subitizing, counting and partitioning activities I did with Airport's kindergarten class. 


Snowman Mat

Race to Build the Snowman Game

See full size image

Number (Operations)

Story Problem Lesson Series

The following four lessons (see below) involve a careful building of skills:  dealing with problems with the final result unknown, the amount that has changed unknown and finally the starting quantity unknown.  We found it best to introduce them in this order:  Ten Flashing Fireflies, 20 Hungry Piggies and then Just Enough Carrots.  The final lesson, Cucumber Soup combines the problem types presented in the previous three.

Each lesson took one hour to introduce and provided up to a week's worth of work to reinforce the concepts.  The stories provide lots of opportunities to be acted out and really reinforce counting skills.  We feel that repeating the stories and the activities and having a few weeks and possibly months between stories would be beneficial.  If at all possible, these work well in team teaching situations so that the diversity of students can more comfortably be addressed.

Let us know how they go for you!


Video of lessons...

Ten Flashing Fireflies - Result Unknown lesson

Centipede's 100 Shoes - same type of story problem lesson as 20 Hungry Piggies - Change Unknown lesson

Sold! - same type of story problem lesson as Just Enough Carrots - Start Unknown lesson


Thanks Kevin Reimer for videoing and editing.  Thanks also to Kathy Sirrs and her amazing 2/3 class for allow us to video you!

Bears on Wheels by Stan and Jan Berenstain is a fun book to launch writing number equations to represent numbers 2 to 10.

B.C. PLO:  A4

See full size image Diversity Tip:  Illicit and celebrate the variety of strategies that students use to solve the problems in these activities.

Thanks Ms. Black for sharing this lesson with us as part of our Math Partnership project.


Student Sheets for during and post reading of the story.

French student sheets

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister is a favourite of kids and adults alike.  Tracey Croonen used it to develop some story problem lessons similar to Ten Flashing Fireflies.  Thanks for sharing!

B.C. PLO A4 and A5


Warm-up cards

K questions


Ten Flashing Fireflies - Use the context of this book by Philemon Sturges to represent and describe numbers to 10.

B.C. PLOs A4 and A5

Thanks to Tracey for testing this one out with Courtenay Elementary's K's.  This is challenging but worthwhile.  It really reinforces counting principles as well.  We purposefully include addition and subtraction situations so that the kids experience deciding on the action/operation to use.

Ann provided each child with a jar and some small cubes to represent the fireflies.  The children wanted to act out the book during centre time using these materials and following along with the book.

Lisa extended this with a felt board activity, and a template for recording student problems.  Jan had her kids do some journal entries to show their own problems.  Tracey had her K's working on a smartboard.

See full size imageDiversity tip: Prepare copies of the grade 1 cards as well, so that children who are ready to work with bigger numbers have those available as well.


Warm-up images

Firefly Part/part/whole cards

Story Problems for partner work

Jar Template

Sample Journal

Sample Jar

Ten Flashing Fireflies


Playful Farm Partitioning

Why not count and partition farm animals?  These partitioning cards and partitioning mats allow students to use concrete materials, Base 10 frames, numbers and symbols to count and partition.  Two kits containing these materials, a barn, animals and math picture album books can also be ordered from the LRC. 

 Farm Partitioning cards

Farm Partitioning mats

French version


20 Hungry Piggies - The familiar tale of 'This little piggy goes to market' has a fun twist and is a great launch for problem solving with numbers up to 10.

B.C. PLOs A4 and A5

See full size imageDiversity tip: Prepare copies of the grade 1 cards as well, so that children who are ready to work with bigger numbers have those available as well.


Pig Partitioning Cards

Story Problem Think Board

Story Problems

Just Enough Carrots by Stuart Murphy exposes children to comparing quantities.  It provides a fun context to solving story problems.

B.C. PLOs A4 and A5

See full size imageDiversity tip: Prepare copies of the grade 1 cards as well, so that children who are ready to work with bigger numbers have those available as well.


Carrot Partitioning Cards

Story Problem Think Board

Story Problems

Parking Lot Stories

This series of lessons provides an example of how to playfully connect counting, partitioning, adding, subtracting, equality within the context of parking lot number stories.  Suggestions about the gradual release of responsibility and ways to differentiate are also included.  This is also a kit that can be ordered from the LRC (KT513 PLA)

Teacher Info Package

10 frame (concrete, pictorial), 20 and 100 frames

Equality balance board

Part/Part Whole board

Vehicle images


Cucumber Soup by Vickie Leigh Krudwig is a tale featuring the teamwork of bugs moving a cucumber.  Another fun book with lots of story problem possibilities.

B.C. PLOs A9

See full size imageDiversity tip: Prepare copies of the 1 cards as well, so that children who are ready to work with bigger numbers have those available.


Warm-up Concentration Cards

Story Problem Think Board

Story Problems for partner work.

Story Problem Think Board - a useful tool for helping children to work through story problems.

Story Problem Think Board

Smart Board version

Shape and Space (Measurement)

Who Has the Biggest Smile

Explore measurement concepts with this lesson and have your students discover who in their group has the biggest smile.


Thanks to Gail for letting me test this one with her kindies!


Measurement Words

Balancing Act - This clever picture book with few words on the page introduces the idea of comparing two objects based on mass.  It leads in to using the words lighter, heavier and almost the same.  Ideas about using objects in the students' hands to emulate a teeter totter, scientific balances to show similarity and differences and balance cards to show and create number equality stories all stem from the reading of this book.  The 6 pages of balance cards can be printed off or ordered through the print shop.  Cheryl also uses stuffies to model and follow the stories if you'd like to invite her into your classroom for this lesson!

Lesson Plan 

Balance cards


Shape and Space (3D objects and 2D shapes)


This book by Miller and Goodman is a great context for mathematical shape and space concepts, as well as a fantastic connection to number sense, patterns, play-based learning and art!


Lesson Ideas

Block Play

An interesting article in the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper gives ideas for asking 'good' questions when children are working with blocks.

Link to Article

Summarized Tips