DIY Number Activity

Here is a fun little DIY project for those of you that teach math!  I created a "How do you say _____ frame" made out of a cheap dollar store 8"x10" frame.


Items to Gather:

  • Inexpensive frame
  • Decorative piece of paper
  • one transparency sheet
  • dry or wet erase marker


Step 1:   Pulled the glass out of the frame (nothing says danger like the chance of broken glass in the classroom) and replace it with a blank transparency sheet.

Step 2:  Make a simple page on a PowerPoint template that says "Ways To Say" and typed a number.  You could also use Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, or a Keynote to do the same thing.  Print it off on any piece of paper you have (colored paper even works great for this if you have some leftover and aren't sure what to do with it.)  If you don't want to have to print a new page each week, you could leave the number portion blank and reuse the same page all year.

Step 3:  Put it all together and set somewhere in your classroom, along with either dry or wet erase markers that will wash off the transparency easily at the end of the week!

Other tips/Suggestions:

Use it during centers, or maybe as morning work (stop there before you take your seat).  Students will have to think of different ways to describe your chosen number.  This activity can be differentiated depending on the grade level expectations of your students.  They might use tallies, expanded form, word form, arrays, or an equation.  The only "rule" is that their answer must be different from anything else already posted on the page.

At the end of the week, grab the frame and discuss some of the answers.  It is low stress for students and the teacher.  Little to no prep time.  And students will love the novelty of being able to write on a picture frame.

Have fun and enjoy seeing the creative answers your students will share with the class!

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