Here are the top five reasons I LOVE color by code activities!
Repeated skill practice
The types of skills I love to practice with color by code activities are math facts, sight words, and decoding. These are all skills that students require repeated practice with. Repeatedly reading these words or solving the equations helps students to develop fluency with these skills.
My students LOVE color by code activities! They especially love ones that they don’t know immediately what the picture is. It sometimes amazes me that my first graders cannot tell what the end picture will be when they see some of the color by code activities I give them (adults tend to see the patterns very quickly).
I also love that my students are so engaged in the picture part that the reading and solving becomes like a second nature, solve by necessity type of task. I want students to be engaged in solving a bigger problem (reading a sentence, revealing a picture, solving a big problem) when they use these skills!
Easy to prep!
Once you have created or purchased this type of task, it is pretty much print and go! It works well in centers, during morning warm up, and is even simple enough to leave for any substitute.
Easy to differentiate
I love creating and using color by code activities that can be differentiated! I have created color by number, color by sum to 10, and color by sum to 20 activities all with the same end picture. This is a great way to differentiate for learners to meet their needs, but in a more subtle way where they are all engaged in the same task!
Here’s an example of a differentiated resource for math! (Click the picture for a link to these sheets in a freebie!)
Fine motor practice
For some reason many tasks which help students to develop fine motor skills are viewed as a “waste of time” to some teachers and administrators. For example, I have heard administrators ask “are they just coloring?” The thing is, as teachers, we know that students still need this practice. It improves their fine motor skills which is key in helping them to develop pencil grip and writing stamina! This type of practice combines academics with fine motor practice!
If you love color by code activities, I’ve created a bunch you can check out (and am working on even more!)