Number Portraits!

As a Common Core math fluency, first grade students are expected to be able to add and subtract within 10 by the end of the school year. To kick off the year, we worked with our students to review their facts within 5. We are now working to ensure that all 1st grade students are able to add and subtract within 10 by Christmas break. We laid out a process and created an assessment protocol (keep an eye out for my new math assessment pack!) Last week, we added our number portraits to our portfolios.
First, we gathered on the carpet to engage in a Visual Thinking Activity. For this lesson, I chose to have students observe Charles Demuth's Figure 5 in Gold in order to introduce the concept of composition and texture. I just love it when our vocabulary crosses curriculum! :) My students are extremely familiar with the Visual Thinking Strategy as we have been using it since the beginning of the year and I really get a kick out of the conversations that it sparks! But, more on that later...
Next, I took an 11x17 sheet of white construction paper and split it into 4 different sections. From there, I attached a cutout of the number 5 and we worked together to determine different ways of representing it. 
The kiddos chose to use:
  • Numerals
  • Ten frames
  • Number bonds
  • Tally marks
  • Pictorial, etc...
Once each representation was created, we used them to build texture within the image.

Next, I assigned each student a number and off they went creating their own textures!
They had so much fun trying to think of new and different ways to represent each digit!
Each student used a crayon for this step.

Next, we used water colors to paint each section and it created a really cool effect.

I will say this, the kids had a great time and we had a surprise visit from the District Superintendent and she had some great things to say!
Photos of the final product!!

As you can probably see, we are still working out a few reversals, but I am SO pleased with how they turned out! :)


  1. Love this activity! Your kiddos looked like they had a lot of fun!

  2. What a fantastic idea! We will definitely have to try these out with our Kinders! Thank you so much for sharing!
    Ashley and Brooklynn

  3. What a great math project! Thanks for sharing!

    Luv My Kinders


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