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Small Group Math Warm Ups

Working with your students in small groups to practice and hit their differentiated learning standards is super important. However, sometimes getting students situated into their small groups in an orderly and calm manner can be challenging. We all know that unstructured time can lead to a lot of distraction and getting ready for math small groups is no exception. I love using small group math warm ups to get students working independently while they are waiting for their math small group to begin. I am so excited to share with you how I use these math warm ups with my small groups to get my students focused and ready to learn!

Find out how to use small group math warm ups to help students get ready and focused for small group learning time

Set up Students for Independence

Students as young as Kindergarten can absolutely learn to work independently. It all comes from setting clear and reasonable expectations and giving lots of opportunities for practice.

When I introduce the games and activities my students will be using for math warm ups, I make sure to go over the activities with the entire class several times before giving it to them as independent work. Sometimes we do this whole class and sometimes in the small group setting.

This ensures students understand the expectations and will be able to work on the math warm ups independently while I get the rest of the class working on something else.

It’s can also be helpful to have simple instructions printed and laminated near the small group station for students to refer to while working on their math warm ups. Using both images and words will help those emergent readers understand the steps and expectations while they are working independently.

Cover It Up Games

My most favorite small group math warm ups are Cover It Up games! These games not only focus on specific math concepts and skills my students are learning, but they are also super fun. The worksheets in each set can be printed for students to color in their answers, or even used with BINGO daubers. If you are wanting to use them over and over, they are easy to print and laminate and use with tokens that can be placed on the correct choices.

Cover It Up 2D Shapes and 3D Shapes

These sets are great for students to use to review their 2D and 3D shapes. The worksheets are great for differentiation because I can pick and choose what shape I want a specific student to focus on for their math warm ups that day.

2D shape identification math warm up mat

Shapes in the Cover It Up 2D set include:

  • Circle
  • Square
  • Rectangle
  • Triangle
  • Rhombus
  • DiamondTrapezoid
  • Oval
  • Hexagon
  • Octagon

Shapes in the Cover It Up 3D set include:

  • Sphere
  • Cone
  • Cube
  • Cylinder
  • Pyramid
  • Rectangular prism
  • Triangular prism

With two options to choose from in each set, students can practice identifying the simple shapes or identifying the shapes using real-world objects.

I love these Cover It Up Games as much as my students do. Just before starting our math small group activities, I can do a super quick informal assessment of the skill students are practicing before we start our small group work. This helps me to know which students might need a little more practice with specific skills.

Cover It Up Number Recognition

number identification math warm ups with cover it games

Number recognition is so important for our youngest learners. When they start learning their numbers, this is the time to give them lots of opportunities to practice identifying these numbers.

The Cover It Up Numbers sets help students to identify numbers 1 through 10 and 11 through 20. Each page gives students an example of the target number at the top of the page.

They can color in the corresponding numbers on the sheet, use BINGO daubers, or if they are laminated, use tokens or small objects to identify the target number.

Cover It Up Subitizing Numbers 0-10

Subitizing is a really important skill for Kindergarteners. Subitizing helps students identify numbers not only in standard form but also in visual representations. It really helps students recognize numbers quickly without counting.

The Cover It Up Subitizing Numbers 0-10 set includes images of objects using the focus number, numbers in standard form, and visual representations of the target number with fingers, dice, and cubes.

Since the goal of subitizing is fluent number recognition, sometimes we play this game with a time limit. That extra challenge really helps to get students to focus on what they see without counting. For students that are struggling with one to one correspondence, these mats can also be used for counting practice.

Cover It Up Color Recognition

Color recognition is fun and engaging with the Cover It Up Color Recognition set, and are always fun for students to complete.

The worksheets can be printed in color for students to use with tokens or printed in black and white for students to color using the focus color. Either way, these sheets really help students recognize and identify colors they are focusing on.

The colors in the Cover It Up Color Recognition set include:

  • Orange
  • Pink
  • Yellow
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Gray
  • Green
  • Purple
  • Red
  • White

These color recognition sheets also help students work on their fine motor skills when they are asked to color in the images with the focus color.

Warm Ups for the Win!

Math Warm ups are the perfect way to get your students ready to learn during their math small groups. They are also great to use for early finisher activities, centers and extra practice to send home with students. They are a fun and engaging way for students to review important skills throughout the school year. You can see all of the Cover it Up Games in my store on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Save This for Later!

Be sure to pin this to your favorite math board so you’ll be prepped and ready to begin using math warm ups with your small groups!

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Hi, I’m Julie!

If you are looking for hands-on, engaging kindergarten activities, you came to the right place!

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