My Number of the Day Routine for the Kindergarten Focus Wall!

In this post, I am excited to explain how I use my Number of the Day (or Number of the Week) Focus Wall set!  I use these set of pocket chart cards to help form a daily routine to help teach children the numbers from zero to twenty in an active way that is engaging and fun for them.  It was designed to be used in a Kindergarten or Transitional Kindergarten (TK) class, but would also work great in a Pre-K or first grade class as well.  The number can be changed daily or weekly, as desired, so it can be the Number of the Day, or the Number of the Week.  So that's just based on teacher preference!

Because the Number of the Week chart is part of my Focus Wall, I review it daily with my students.  Or rather, I TRY to go through it daily, but let's face it:  sometimes things get in the way!  If your school is anything like all of the rest I have taught in, then there may be any number of assemblies, special programs, or an extra long project that your kids may need to attend/complete during the week that may prevent you from getting to that Focus Wall time.  SO, I just do my best and know that I probably won't get to it every single day.  But, if I can review all of the elements on my Focus Wall four times per week, (or even three!) then I know that most of my kids will have learned most of the content.... hopefully!

And by the way, that purple pocket chart came from Amazon, right here.

And now I will outline my routine for the Number of the Day/Week Focus Wall!

Number and Number Word:

This part is simple:  I just say, "What is our number this week?"  And the children call out, "Eight!"  If we have learned the number song from our Number Jumble DVD (or the internet streaming videos) then I would also have them sing that song or just spell the word.  If not, I have them show me eight fingers.

Ten Frame:

Then I say, "Let's look at our ten frame!  We have a full frame on top.  How many would that be?  Let's count!"  Then we count and clap up to five.  Then I say, "Okay, keep counting!"  And then we all say, "Six, seven, eight!"


For the domino, I ask them to subitize first.  "Show me with your fingers how many dots you think are on this side of the domino.  Five, good!  And now show me how many are on the other side?  Three, that's right!  Okay, let's count them all."  Then we count five fingers by touching each of them on our chin, and then count on from five by counting three more fingers on our chin.

Tally Marks:

For the tally marks, we just make big tally marks in the air, saying, "One, two, three, four, FIVE! (drawing the diagonal one on five,) and then count on with "six, seven, eight."

Counting Skills:

For counting skills, I make sure that the children can see a number line in front of them.  (There is one included in the set.)  First we find the target number of the day or week on the number line.  Then I ask them which number comes before or after, making sure that I mix up the order that I ask these questions in often!  Otherwise, the children will just memorize the correct answers.  For example, the first one you ask is the one before, and the second one you ask is always the one after.  I did this, and was surprised when I mixed them up and found that they really did NOT know the concepts of before and after!  :(

Counting on and counting backwards also require the use of a number line, at least at first.  But once the children get used to counting forwards and back from any number, they can certainly do it without the number line. I discovered how IMPORTANT this seemingly simple skill is when I was teaching first and second grade, and found out how many kids could only count backwards from TEN, and how many could only count forward from ONE.  At that point, the teachers are WAY too busy to practice!  Do your kids a favor:  DO THIS DAILY!  Kids can't quickly figure out what eight minus two is if they can't count backwards from eight.

Counting Creature:

The Counting Creature poem is tons of fun!  We either sing or chant the number poem and then clap and jump as we count up to the target number!  The kids LOVE this!  The Counting Creature songs are also on the Number Jumble DVD (or on internet video.)

Number Writing Rhyme:

For this, we sing the number formation songs from the Number Jumble DVD or internet video!  Of course, it works just fine to simply chant it as a poem, too.  I resort to that if I can't recall the tune, LOL!

Note:  If you choose to change the chart daily and do a Number of the Day, then you may want to consider repeating the numbers from one to ten several times until you think your whole class has them all.  For example, when you get to number ten, just circle back to number zero and start over again!  That is what I would do before going on to number 11.  I usually don't introduce the numbers from 11-20 until the majority of my class knows 0-10.

Well, that is about it for my Number of the Day or Week routine!  I hope it is helpful! If you're teaching virtually, I also created a PowerPoint and Google Slides version of this same set! Check out my blog post here for more info on those!

Have fun!
- Heidi :)

P.S. Don't forget all our videos are available to STREAM on UScreen, FREE for the first 30 days! It's an awesome way to bring some EASY, active learning to your students during this time, and they can always cancel right before they are ever charged, like on day 29! Check out the info page on our website for more info!

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