Sunday, April 28, 2019

Free Math Center Printable: Fish Flip


If there is one thing I know that is important for my kids to get it's subsitizing. Not only does it teach them to think visually and see math visually, but it can be seriously helpful later on in life too. Being able to visualize amounts in your head - say adding up your bill as you shop at the grocery store - can be a big plus.

So that's what we've been focusing on a lot this year with my 5 and 7-year-olds. The teen is a little past that ;)

That's why I have started making some fun math centers like this one. It encourages thinking visually and helps kids match up numerals, number words, ten frames and a number of objects. Plus it's super cute!

I just love these little fish clipart pieces and my kids do too, and this math center can very quickly turn into a game of imaginary play if you'd like as well.

This math center can be used in quite a few different ways. So here are a few ideas to help you use it:


Pre-K To Kindergarten

For this age group, you may want to start off using just the numbers 1-10 and the fish. I would start with numbers 1-10. The goal here is to have them visualize a number with a number of objects. For example, if they get a 3, they will put three fish down. This helps them not only know what the number three means, but to be able to spot a group of three objects without counting.

Obviously, at first, they will need to count. But after a week or two of trying, try putting any number of fish down and having them match it with a number card. You can then begin to add in the ten frames and number words.


When you add in ten frames, it's super important to have your kids realize that the top row has 5 spaces, and the bottom row as well. Once they are able to see how many boxes are full in the top row, they will be better able to add and subtract later on without always having to use their fingers or objects for counting.

I have found ten frames to be a huge help in addition and subtraction for my first grader. Being able to see in their mind's eye that 8 ten frame squares minus 2 means there will be 6 left over, is a lot more effective than having to use counters all the time.



Number words are another important skill you'll want to teach before first grade since they'll likely be doing a lot of problem-solving in math class. Even if they're already learning phonics, they can learn these number words by sight so they will easily recognize them in word problems.

Slowly adding these things into the math center can make it a lot easier for younger kids to handle. After they've mastered the 1-10 sets of cards, you can move onto the 10-20.



First Grade And Beyond
If you feel like this is an area where your child is struggling, you might want to look over my recommendations for pre-k to kindergarten first. It's always good to have a strong grasp on core fundamentals in math before moving onto something else!

For this age group, you can easily make this center into some fun games. Here are some ideas:
  • You can lay out all of the cards and have them match them up and then put in the correct amount of fish.
  • You can lay out all of the ten frame cards, number word cards, or both and call out a number card yourself. The kids can then race to find the matching frames and words, and pick up that many fish.
  • You could also put a certain amount of fish into the fishbowl and have them try to find the matching cards without counting. You could also do this with the ten frames or number words or numerals by themselves.
  • You can use this center for addition and subtraction practice too as an adding/subtracting mat.
If you can think of any more suggestions, just let me know in the comments below. I'd be happy to include them with credit to you!



My hope is that this math center helps you and your family or class, and it brings a bit of fun into your math lessons. I will be coming out with more math and reading freebies in the next few weeks, so please stay tuned! You can get your free download below in my TeachersPayTeachers Store...


Not a TeachersPayTeachers member? Don't worry, it's free and easy to sign up! Just click below.

Download The Free Fish Flip Math Center Here

Want More Freebies? Check out my freebie page here ---> Free Printables Page


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