Filing cabinet of Warm Up Activities

There are so many great class opener activities that I decided I need a place to document them all so that I can make sure I’m am choosing the best tasks for my students.Capture

I wrote an article on ways to use Warm Up Routines in the Winter of 2017

Here is an (editable) copy of my warm up sheet.


  • Sadie Estrella’s Counting Circle because it develops number sense, mental math, and community
  • Mary Bourassa’s Which one Doesn’t Belong? thought-provoking puzzles. There are no answers provided as there are many different, correct ways of choosing which one doesn’t belong.
  • Elizabeth (@cheesemonkeysf) Talking Points because students practicing listening to each other will seep into every lesson, every day. It can be used as a tool to develop their growth mindset and, bring out and clarify misconceptions.
  • Andrew Stadel’s estimation Builds number sense & measurement
  • Fawn Nguyen’s Visual patterns Develop algebraic reasoning skills
  • Find the Flub through the week I photograph good student errors, then choose 1 for students to correct and analyze each week. Similar to my favorite no. I sometimes use errors from Michael Pershan’s mathmistakes.org
  • Balance puzzles Help students to solve & understand algebraic equations
  • Agree or disagree math & Would you Rather? for sparking a debate
  • Daily SET puzzle and how Michael Fenton implements it here
  • Mental Math basic math skills review. No calculators.
  • ACT question of the day
  • Dan Meyer’s Graphing Stories Helps students create graphical representation of real events, described here.
  • Number Talks Build computational fluency using number relationships and the structure of numbers. Fawn set up a site which gives an idea of how these are supposed to go. This article by Sherry Parrish describes it well. I’ve found this worthwhile even with high school students.
    • Also, this! Number Talk Images. I am overwhelmed at the information and content found on this site!
  • Fraction Talks are a new, fun tool for fraction number talks.
  • Dan Meyer’s 101 Questions website is an amazing Notice & Wonder resource. I do it where every student has to come up with a mathematical question for the image or video that randomly comes up that day
  • Robert Kaplinsky’s Open Middle Problems
  • Chris Luzniak’s Table Debate More info from his TMC15 presentation here
  • Dylan Kane’s Match my Graph
  • I can’t wait to try Clothesline Math next semester!

“The Clothesline is the master number sense maker.”

  • Marisa W @viemath does Mindset Moments occasionally. Her Words:

    After watching the video, all I would ask every time is, “What did you think is the message in this Mindset Moment video? What is your one big takeaway?”

  • Area Mazes These would be great for supporting number sense, equations, factors

Do you have a warm up routine or activity that is beneficial to students, but is not on this list? Recommend it here:

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12 thoughts on “Filing cabinet of Warm Up Activities

  1. These warmups are great and I have been referring to your blog on a weekly basis for the past year so I thought it was time to say thanks!

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