Coloring in the
Every kid loves to color, right? No matter how old they are, coloring can be a fun and mindless activity to relieve stress! How can we make this happen in the math classroom though??
Enter: Color BY Number practice
Color by number practice can DEFINITELY be used in a math classroom! All you need are a few problems and a picture to color and voila! You can make your own color by number pages!
First thing you want to do is get a set of problems. You can take one of your boring worksheets and pick problems from there, use Kuta, search the interwebs or use problems from a textbook! (Note – if you are creating resources to sell on TPT, make sure that wherever you get problems from allows them to be used for commercial use). I think 10-12 problems is the perfect amount for color by number activities, but this number can be changed depending on the difficulty of each of the problems. After you have your problems, open your favorite document editing software. I like to use PowerPoint to create resources because I can move one thing without messing up the whole document. Shoutout to Lindsey Bowden for teaching me all the awesome reasons I should be using PowerPoint over word! If you want to check out her tips and tricks, head over to her blog by clicking here! (not an affiliate, just love her and all the tips/tricks she shares!)
Once you have your preferred program open, type your problems in a table. If you want students to use this sheet to share their work, make sure you leave enough space for that. If not, you can always have them show work on a separate paper. I will choose to do this if leaving enough work space makes the document go over 2 pages in total length. Once formatted in a table, my problems look like this:
Next, add in some directions. These directions need two parts, one specific to how you want them to solve the problem and then one part to tell them how to use their answer to color the picture. These are the directions I like to use:
Directions: Solve the odd numbers using long division and the even numbers using synthetic division (the math part- changes depending on what topic it is and how I want students to solve the problems). Then find your answer in the box on the back and color the numbered spaces using the indicated color (the how to color part-doesn’t change).
Now that the problems and directions are done, we need to set up the picture and the answers to show how to color in the picture. I’ve chosen my picture to be hearts because Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! I have purchased templates from Krista Wallden’s Creative Clips TeachersPayTeachers Store and I use those. You can visit her store and see her templates HERE. You can get 6 templates for $5 and reuse them for many different skills across your classes. (not an affiliate, just love her work!) You can also use any blackline clipart picture you have and add your own lines on top! Use the line tool in PowerPoint to separate the pieces and then put textboxes with numbers on top. I like to keep a key off to the left side of the page to help me remember what color goes with which number. Remember – anything off the page in PowerPoint does not print so you can hide all sorts of goodies off to the side! Here’s what my set up picture with numbers looks like:
We need answers! I like to put the answers up at the top of the page with the coloring page. Create a table for all of the answers to go in. Then type in all the answers in a RANDOM order! (You don’t want to make it too easy on them!) When you type in your answers, make sure you type in the color of the problem it’s the answer to. So if x+1 is the answer to number one, I have number one as purple so when I type it into the table I’ll have x+1 and purple in the same box. This will let students know that they should be coloring every space that has a “1” in it purple! If you have extra spaces, make sure to add distractors that are close to the right answer or using common mistakes students make! When you’re done, you now have a color by number page!
ProTip: You might want to add an answer key as one of the pages of your worksheet in the file so you have it done and ready to use for the next year without having to re-do the whole thing over! Work smarter, not harder!
Give me the freebie!
Like the activity we went through in this post? Click HERE for your free download of Polynomial Long & Synthetic Division Color by Number activity.
Don’t have time to make these activities for yourself? That’s okay! Check out the ones I have made on my TeachersPayTeachers Store by clicking HERE. If you don’t see a topic you like or want, feel free to email me email@example.com and if I make the activity on that topic I’ll send it to you for free!
Got any other tips or tricks for making color by number activities? Leave them in the comments below or email me!