5280 Math Content Guide

Intro Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grades 7 and 8

Suggestions for Getting Started

  • Click on a prompt to get either (1) an enlarged pdf that you can display or copy, or (2) a page of supporting notes. I am working on writing supporting notes for every prompt, but this will take time. Feel free to request prompts that you would like me move to the top of my list!

  • Notice that Creative Math Prompts do not have directions. You and your students decide what questions to ask. Prompts that have supporting notes will give you some ideas, but don’t be afraid to explore the prompts that don’t have notes yet!

  • Watch for prompts that make connections across topics. They appear in more than one content category.

  • Explore beyond your grade level. Depending on your students and your curriculum, prompts from one or even two grades before or after the grade you teach may sometimes work better than the ones listed here! Also, the prompts are very open-ended, so you may be able to continue using prompts that have already been used by teachers at earlier grade levels!

  • Read about Using Creative Math Prompts.

  • Contact me if you have a new idea for a Creative Math Prompt, especially for the few content areas that lack one. I will give you credit!



Number Line

counting; one more/one less; skip counting; comparing numbers (greater than, less than, equal); adding; subtracting;


pennies, nickels, dimes, dollars; counting; trading; making change


meanings; representations; complements of ten; strategies; number models and stories; addition facts


meanings (take away, comparison); representations; complements of ten; strategies; number models and stories

Addition and Subtraction Connections

representations of addition and subtraction; properties of addition and subtraction; missing addends; fact-families

Algebra and Patterns

visual patterns; counting patterns; even-odd patterns; properties of numbers and operations; equality and equivalent names for numbers; rules


non-standard linear measures; inches; analog and digital clocks; telling time to the quarter-hour

Please share any ideas you may have for this content area!

Place Value

ones, tens, and hundreds; physical and visual models; renaming numbers; tens and ones patterns on number grids; adding and subtracting tens

Attributes and Symmetry

attribute sorting; composing and decomposing geometric figures; making polygons; informal line symmetry

Equal Shares and Fractions

halves and thirds (as names); dependence on size of whole; fractions as relative to a whole; many ways of showing the same fraction

Three-Dimensional Figures

recognizing cubes, cones, and pyramids