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Kick Start Your School Year with Starters

As we well know, our teaching minutes are precious. Every minute must count! Using starters offers an additional opportunity to get your students thinking mathematically from the first moments of class– the best moments because it’s a chance to “hook” your students right from the start. 

Number of the Day


Starters are critical thinking activities designed to get the students thinking about math and provide opportunities to “sneak” in grade level content and skills in a fun and engaging way. Designed to take no more than 5 minutes of instructional time, starters can include a variety of tasks. In order to get the most out of the time, I have a different starter for each day of the week. Here’s an example of my most recent schedule for starters:

Number Sense Tiling Task
  • Monday– Number of the Day
  • Tuesday– Critical Thinking Task (usually involving the use of number tiles)
  • Wednesday– Today’s Number
  • Thursday– Vocabulary

The above schedule is most recent, but I tend to change this schedule depending on the needs of my students. 

The list of options for starters is endless. Here’s a list of some of my favorites: 

I love to challenge my students to complete these mental math operations faster and faster each time! Having four problems per card gives you four games in one. Find it at my TpT store! For a free, single problem version of this pack, subscribe to this blog (enter your email address under “Join the Routty Club” on the right sidebar). 
Click the pictures below to view a free version of the following resources. 
Back to School Math Starters
You can also find additional starters in the “Critical Thinking” section of my “File Cabinet.” 
Shametria Routt Banks

Shametria Routt Banks

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