10 Great Ways to Practice Numbers

Numbers 0-9
Numbers 0-9
by Denise Krebs is licensed under CC BY-2.0

Learning the numbers can be pretty tedious if you don't spice things up and use a variety of activities with your students.  Here are ten ways I've used to review the numbers, some of which I tried for the first time this year.  Some may be obvious, while others may be new to you.  What ways do you use?  I'm always looking for new activities to try.

  1. Have students read an infographic and say what numbers they see.  A great way to incorporate culture too.  See my post on infographics.
  2. Have students count items out loud in the textbook or around the room.  See my post on how I used this activity with my students.
  3. Have students practice writing North American (or whatever continent/country you live in) and French phone numbers.  You can dictate them, students can dictate them to each other, or students can take turns dictating them to the class.  A basic, yet tried and true activity.
  4. Another fairly basic activity:  Play "Plus haut/Plus bas."  Students (in partners or small groups) take turns writing down a secret number while the other student(s) guess the number.  The student that wrote the number tells them if they need to go "plus haut" or "plus bas."  This can also be played with the whole class, with one student guessing a number written behind them on the board.
  5. Dix:  Students take turns counting to ten.  Each student can say one, two, or three numbers.  The person who lands on ten is out.  You can keep going after ten, and have anyone who lands on a multiple of ten being out.  This activity comes from Valérie Greer and Wendy Mercado, two middle school language teachers who presented some fantastic hands-on activities at the NYSAFLT Summer Institute in August.  Visit their website to learn about more of their activities.
  6. Partner bingo:  Another activity from Valérie and Wendy!  Just like bingo, except students work in partners and have a list given to them of what order to call out numbers (one for partner A, one for partner B, with a different order).  Students take turns reading off their lists, so they get both listening and speaking practice.
  7. Find your match:  I've seen lots of activities floating around Pinterest where you put items that go together (like compound words or verb forms) on plastic Easter eggs (the kind you can open), and the students have to put them back together correctly.  I tried this with numbers, and the students had fun finding their match.  One one half of the egg is the number, and the other half is the number written as a word.
  8. Quizlet:  This is not an activity I spend a lot of time on in class, but I love to show students how much fun it can be to practice numbers at home.  Just telling them, "Go to this site!" isn't as effective as showing them the site.  If I have a couple minutes at the end of class, I open the Quizlet page with the numbers 0-100, and go to the scatter game, and invite students up to play.  Sure, the whole class is not as fully engaged as they are with other activities, but most of them are excited and want to play, which means plenty of them will be compelled to go play it at home.  I encourage them to beat the record!
  9. Number roll:  I first saw this on Pinterest as a word roll.  Give groups of students a 6x6 grid with numbers on it (write ABCDEF across the top, and 123456 down the left side), and give groups two dice, one with numbers 1-6 on it and one with letters A-F on it, and have them pronounce the number that corresponds to the coordinates they rolled.


  10. Sing a song about the numbers!  This video by Alain le Lait was probably intended for a younger audience, but my 7th graders love it because the video is so bizarre!  I make them dance like the worms while they're singing it too.

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