Help kids discover different ways to make the numbers 3 to 10 with these playful, hands-on number decomposition activities. The record sheets are perfect for preschool or kindergarten math centers. Just print a page, grab some manipulatives, and you’re ready to play!
Knowing Where to Start
Before jumping into the activities, I gave Middle Brother (age 5) a quick assessment. I filled a cup with 10 counting beans and then dumped three of the beans into my hand. I showed them to Middle Brother and asked him to quickly tell me how many beans I was holding.
“Three!” he called out immediately.
I placed the beans back in the cup and dumped five beans into my hand. This time, when I showed him the set, he took a long pause and began counting the beans one by one. Since I wanted to know the smallest number he could not instantly recognize, I knew I needed to do a little more testing. Three was too easy and five was too hard so I pulled out four beans from the cup and showed them to him to see how he responded.
“That’s easy – four!” he said.
That was just the information I needed. He had three and four down but needed to start working on five.
I quickly printed the number five sheets and invited him over to join me again.
Middle Brother started with the unifix cube sheets first.
He built a stack of red unifix cubes, colored the picture to match and wrote the corresponding number sentence.
Then he removed one of the red cubes and replaced it with a blue…
Middle Brother continued replacing just one brick at a time, coloring his picture and writing the matching number sentence.
Then we swapped out the cubes for counting beans! He shook his cup and dumped the five beans on the table. Counting the number of reds and whites, he colored his picture and wrote the number sentence.
Then we grabbed the two-colored counters and repeated the same steps again.
Once he had five down, we switched to number six! The activity pack made it so easy to differentiate for his specific needs.