Sunday, February 4, 2018
Confession time: Incorporating themed centers is not one of my strengths. I tend to stick to what works. That doesn't mean that I use the same centers over and over. I have a center organization system that works and a sufficient amount of activities, they're just not always themed. My themed centers for the year can fit into one plastic bin.

Why does this bother me? Well, this year my team has tried to stick to a weekly theme. And you know what? The kids LOVE themes. We try to immerse the students in it entirely across subject areas. A few weeks ago our theme was penguins. We read penguin books, learned about the life cycle of a penguin, and even made our greeting for Morning Meeting: Waddle Like a Penguin.

Knowing that incorporating a theme into as many aspects of our day as possible helps keep my students engaged and excited about learning, has made me realize that I need more themed activities for our centers.

Valentine's Day is coming up and I've been working hard to add themed activities to our learning fun. From Valentine's Day STEM (written for The Kindergarten Connection) to a Cards Writing Center, and now Counting Centers for Math! The following 3 activities are ideal for students to practice identifying, representing, and writing numbers 1-20.

Valentine Cooking Clip Cards
I absolutely love clip cards because it allows students to work on an academic skill while practicing their fine motor skills too! But I also love them because when I accidentally misplace my clothespins (oops!), my students can use dry erase markers to circle the answers and that helps them practice their writing grips. Win, win! 

I love including recording sheets whenever possible. They're especially helpful to have on hand for early finishers. The recording sheet for the Cookie Clip Cards allows students to practice reading and representing numbers in ten frames. 

Valentine Delivery Counting
This center is one of my favorites because students get to "deliver" valentines. The center includes number cards for 1-20 and valentine envelope cards to get "delivered"/counted out to each number card.

The included recording sheet for this Valentine Delivery Counting Center extends student learning by allowing them to count a given set of valentines and record the number. Teen numbers in particular can be tricky for young children to learn, so I love that this focuses on the number formation aspect of numbers 1-20.

(A Chocolate of) Counting Puzzles
Chocolate and counting? Yes, please! My kids love puzzles and the chocolate theme makes these even more enticing. Fair warning: you may be in the mood for chocolate after seeing Creating4 the Classroom's ADORABLE chocolate boxes.

Just because number formation can be challenging, the recording sheet for these Chocolate Counting Centers also has students practice counting and recording numbers 1-20.

If you're like me and want to include more themed activities in your center rotations, grab any of these single resources using the links under the pictures or check out all 3 in the bundle here:

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