You’re scrambling to get math stations ready for the week ahead, there are so many pieces to cut and prep for these centers you were planning and you’re absolutely “teacher exhausted.” Suddenly you remember those color by number activities you recently picked up from your favorite blogger and you cross “One more math station” off your list! No prep required, just scoot down to the copier and get right to it.
Sometimes worksheets get a bad name. Administrators or colleagues might wonder if it’s just busy work… but you and I know that we can make almost any activity meaningful for learning and color by number activities are no different! You can read more about how I use color by code activities in my classroom here!
Here are 5 reasons I love using color by number activities in my classroom!
1.Repeated skill practice
The types of skills I love to practice with color by number activities are math facts, sight words, and even phonics. 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. Color by number activities require them to do this sort of practice again and again as they work to complete the picture.
Isn’t it awesome when your students cheer, or you hear “yessss” under their breath when you introduce a center or independent practice? My students especially love color by number activities where they don’t exactly see the whole picture at first. It feels like magic as they work through the math facts, words, etc and the pictures come to life.
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 (isn’t automaticity and fluency what we are often looking for with these type of tasks?).
3. Color By Number Activities are No 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.
4. 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!
5. 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!