Math Thinking Skills Primary: October

Math Thinking Skills can be strengthened when solving problems.
Math Thinking Skills can be strengthened when solving problems.

Some students in the Primary Grades need additional math activities that goes beyond calculation skills.  For those kids we need to nurture a love of math while challenging them to deepen their mathematical understanding and thinking skills.  This month we’ll look at some problem solving involving counting body parts.  (good practice in repeated addition which is…… multiplication). 

Don’t forget to use 1 of your 6 problem solving strategies

  • Draw a picture
  • Guess and Check
  • Use a table or list
  • Find a pattern
  • Logical reasoning
  • Draw a picture Working backwards (try a simpler version first)

Math Thinking Skills: Count Them Up

  1. Abby went to see the animals on a farm in Wappingers Falls. She saw 20 chickens.  How many chicken heads did she see?  How many legs do the chickens have all together?
  2. Teagan went to the Bronx Zoo.  She saw a tree with 9 monkeys.  How many fingers did the monkeys have all together?
  3. Connall has a dog and a cat.  If the dog and cat wore animal shoes, how many shoes would Connall have to buy?   
  4. In Emily’s family there are 3 children and 2 adults.  How many heads do they have all together? How many legs do they have all together? How many fingers do they have all together?  How many eyes do they have all together?
  5. Meghan loves spiders.  She saw 4 spiders in GG’s garage.  How many legs do the spiders have in all? HINT: You must know how many legs spiders have.
  6. Lowyn saw 5 Ladybugs on the peonies in GG’s yard.  When she counted all the legs on the Ladybugs, how many legs did she count?  HINT: You must know how many legs ALL INSECTS HAVE.
  7. The spiders were planning to have a dance party.  It was going to be a big party and they were only going to allow 102 spiders to attend.  IF all the spiders went to the party, how many dance shoes will they have to order?  If the dance shoes only come as a pair, how many pairs of shoes will they have to order for all 102 spiders to have dance shoes?


  1. 20 heads and 40 legs
  2. 90 fingers because each of the 9 monkeys have 10 fingers.
  3. 8 shoes (4 for the dog and 4 for the cat)
  4. 5 heads, 10 legs, 50 fingers, 10 eyes
  5. Spiders have 8 legs.  4 spiders = 8+8+8+8 = 32 legs
  6. Ladybugs are Insects and insects have 6 legs.  6+6+6+6+6= 30 legs
  7. Spiders have 8 legs.  102 spiders = 102+102+102+102+102+102+102+102=816 legs OR 408 pairs of shoes Each spider would get 4 pairs of shoes for their feet. 
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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