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How to Make Back to School Math Activities Successful

Back to school math activities

Are you looking for some easy activities to use in your back to school math centers with your 2nd graders? Partner games, math centers, whole group games, fluency practice, worksheets and more… we’ve got you covered!

When it comes to back to school time, I like to keep concepts very simple. We practice first grade mastery skills such as adding and subtracting under twenty, and basic place value concepts.

Almost all students should have a very strong grasp of these concepts already, so I do one day of quick review on how to add and subtract using a number line, then I start introducing these centers.

Traditional Math Centers/Games

Most traditional math centers have to do with matching or sorting. I teach students how to play the game very quickly on the carpet, then allow them to work in groups to play the games a few times.

back to school math activities | 2nd grade math centers

We talk about how for every game we always start by reading the directions. Then we find the headers (if necessary) and then we start sorting or matching.

I keep it super simple with these addition and subtraction to twenty games. You can get a Google Slides math activity on the form below or grab the bundle!

BUMP Buddy Game

back to school math activities | 2nd grade fun partner game for math facts to 20

Another game I LOVE to play is BUMP. It is SO easy and fun. Students will be begging to play it and it is a great way to practice fluency.

Students simply roll 2 dice and either add or subtract the numbers. They then cover their spot and it is the next players turn. The next player will cover the space of the number they roll. If player two rolls a number and player one has a piece there, player two bumps player one off and takes the spot. If player one rolls the same number two times in a row, then they get to put a second piece on the spot making it a “king” and they cannot be bumped. When a player runs out of pieces without being bumped, they win the game!

You can try games for every month.

Fluency to Twenty Worksheets

Fact fluency is ESSENTIAL in second grade. Since students already should know how to add to twenty, we start with this fluency pack every day until we learn to add to 100. Once students learn to add to 100, we practice that skill daily. Once students have mastered that, we work on adding fluently to 1000.

back to school math activities | 2nd grade print and digital fluency worksheets

I allow students to work either digitally or on paper.

I think doing both is important so students know HOW to answer questions on the computer, however, typically students are more efficient on paper.

I love these resources because it is easy to differentiate while also have my students work on the same activity on the exact same worksheet.

For example, everyone is on August Day 3, but some students can be working on fluency to 10, some to 20, some to 100 and some to 1000.

Task Cards

I love letting my kiddos work with task cards. There are so many digital and printable options.

If you need to learn more about digital options, learn all about BOOM cards.

back to school math activities | 2nd grade math task cards 2 digit addition

These BOOM cards to 20 are some of my favorite back to school math set. BOOM Cards are great because they are self-correcting and ever changing. This means after the teacher assigns the activity, there is very little maintenance to keeping them going.

I Have, Who Has

In addition to all of the other fun back to school math activities, learning to add to 20 has never been more fun than through this I Have, Who Has class game.

You can build classroom community and practice math facts at the same time with this fun game.

Math Skills for the YEAR

Finally, it is important to know where you are going throughout the year. After you have mapped out your year plan, consider what materials you will need.

back to school math activities | 2nd grade math worksheets for the year

If you are looking for a roadmap on what to teach including lesson plans, warm ups, turn and talks and daily worksheets, check out my Let’s Do Math YEAR LONG Bundle.

Final Thoughts

Get your centers going strong with these fun back to school math activities!

Check out my blog post on setting up your elementary math classroom for more tips and tricks for setting up for success.

Let me know what questions you have in the comments. Happy Back to School!

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

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