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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Warm up sheet 2014-2015

I started with this warm up sheet from Jessica @algebrainiac1

After a semester I modified it a little.

At Twitter Math Camp 2014, I finally got to attend Sadie’s session on Counting Circles and I learned talking points from the Group work working group session lead by Elizabeth.

I may make some changes in order to adapt to my classes as the year progresses, but these are the most important topics for my students as they start the school year. At the start of each class, I will use the appropriate resource.

  • Monday: Counting Circle because it develops number sense, mental math, and community
  •  Tuesday: 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.
  • Wednesday: estimation Builds number sense & measurement
  • Thursday: Visual patterns Develop algebraic reasoning skills
  • Friday: Number talk Build computational fluency using number relationships and the structure of numbers

New Geometry warm up routines!

I really enjoyed the warm up routines done by Jessica (@algebrainiac1), and I used them for about six months. I have done some thinking about what students need more practice with and I decided, at least for the next 6 weeks to change up the routines.

I created a new warm up sheet to go with it, although it is not a beautiful as Jessica’s, it’ll do for now.

It includes:

  • Monday- graphing stories
  • Tuesday –patterns
  • Wednesday – math talks –  I’m debating about the number line on the number talk day. I’m currently thinking that I will leave it in since my plan is to have students put numbers in order on a number line (scientific notation, irrational numbers, fractions, etc).
  • Thursday – mental math
  • Friday – where I can throw in what they need that week.

I’m pretty sad that there are not enough days in the week to include:

What do you think?

Update 2/23: I found this little gem, which could come in handy in the future.

Update 3/06: I hope to convert this resource from the Shell center into warm ups over the summer