Education Technology

Busy Hands

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

Students will make their own finger signs for the numbers from zero to ten. Students will relate each finger sign to its numeral and then explore number sentences using the calculator.

Before the Activity

  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 81 - 91 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the page to the class.

    Follow the activity procedures:
    Activity A:

  • Read Count on Your Fingers African Style


  • Activity B:
  • Put two numbers together to make a different number
  • Explore different ways of making the number five using the paper hand mat and the calculator


  • Activity C:
  • Display a number with the fingers of one hand
  • Guess the missing addend needed to make the number five
  • Use the paper hand mat to make other addition combinations and number sentences


  • Activity D:
  • Hold up 5 fingers, hide some fingers
  • Determine the fingers left
  • Use paper hand mats and the calculator to write subtraction number sentences


  • Activity E:
  • Use paper hand mats to make subtraction combinations
  • Write a missing subtrahend
  • Use the calculator to show the missing number sentences


  • Activity F:
  • Explore ways of making numbers greater than five using fingers, paper hand mats, and the calculator


  • Activity G:
  • Select number name cards to create an addition or subtraction number sentence with a missing number
  • Use the calculator to guess the missing number


  • Activity H:
  • Use connecting cubes to create a train (number sentence)
  • Use the calculator to find two addition facts and two subtraction facts for the train
  • Complete the Fact Family activity sheet
  • After the Activity

  • Review student results
  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary