Primary Tile Questions

Number sense is on display in Primary Tile Questions as students seek a wide variety of ways to add numbers and display their thinking.  You may find the connection between area and the value of the shapes to be intriguing.  You’ll also find 3 PowerPoint lessons which you can download along with 3 PDFs which will be very useful.  The previous post – Tiled Area Questions – focused on adding fractions.  In this post, whole numbers are on display.  Enjoy Primary Tile Questions!  Watch the video and download the lessons and the resources.


Download PowerPoint Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 and Lesson 3 here.

Download PDF Set 1 and PDF Set 2 and PDF Set 3 here.

You may also want to visit the previous post – Tiled Area Questions – to a similar concept that focuses on fractions.

***NEW*** The latest post in the series is ready:  3 Powerful Tile Strategies (and 40 New Downloadable Pages)

You may also enjoy:

Splat!  This post includes 50 (fifty!) animated number sense lessons for K-12 teachers.
The Power of Color
5 × 9 is More Than 45
Experiencing Subitizing
The Maze Hundreds Chart
The Animated Multiplication Table

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  1. Steve,
    Thanks for sharing your resources! I can’t imagine the hours involved in creating them. I’ve been sharing Primary Math Tiles with my elementary teachers. I noticed some students actually drew the grid lines on the pdf’s I gave them (e.g., partitioned the blue square into 4 smaller squares) and then found different ways to group the numbers to find the total. What do you think of this?

    1. Thanks, Ramona. Yes, quite a few hours, but I love sharing resources! I think that partitioning into smaller squares is a great strategy. However, I wouldn’t want to see a student use that strategy repeatedly and exclusively. It may be that it’s a good sense-making strategy that will open up some others. As I read on in your comment, I was really pleased to hear that the students are already looking for ways to combine the smaller squares usefully. I think that decomposing and recomposing in a different way (or in many different ways) is a really good way to develop number sense. You may ask them to decompose and compose without making each of the into smaller squares and see where they take it. Sometimes the students will also mentally move the squares around the page – visualizing more useful configurations. This can be a powerful strategy, and some times it is easiest for students to initially attempt with the small squares. What a great question!

  2. Steve, thank-you so much for sharing your resources. I am using this tomorrow as my intro to a spatial reasoning lesson for grades 2-3. It’s perfect! I also appreciate your instructional videos which are short, concise and full of information. Can’t wait to pay it forward! Ann

    1. My pleasure, Ann! I really appreciate your taking the time to comment. I hope it goes really well tomorrow.

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