I used to find random copies of math worksheets at the copy machine from other teachers and use those for my independent math activities.

I can’t believe I just admitted that to the internet.

Thankfully that didn’t become my permanent solution for providing my students with independent math practice.

What I’m going to share with you today is something that I’ve used in my classroom for many years. It’s proven to be one of the best independent math activities for seatwork during Guided Math or Math Workshop time.


Math Sorts and Matching Independent Math Activities!

This matching activity is from the 2nd grade Two-Digit Addition and Subtraction pack. You can find it in the 2nd Grade bundle here.

When Should I Use these Math Sorts & Matching Independent Math Activities?

First, are you familiar with the guided math framework?

Here’s a quick rundown: In a nutshell, it’s a math rotations framework where students are divided into small groups based on ability (I use pre-assessments before a new unit to determine my small groups) and the teacher provides targeted instruction to each small group. There are three to four different math rotations, where students will spend between 15-20 minutes working through a math activity. Here are the rotations I typically run in my classroom:

  • Independent Work Rotation (Seatwork)
  • Technology Center
  • Math Centers/Games
  • Small Group Instruction (Teacher Table)

So when would you use these math sorts and matching worksheets? Answer: During the Independent Work Rotation.

telling time to the hour and half hour activities
This math sort and matching activity is from the 2nd grade Telling Time pack. You can find it in the 2nd Grade bundle here.

How Do I Prep These Independent Math Sorts & Matching Activities?

If you’re a busy and tired teacher like me, you’re going to love how simple this is. It’s literally as simple as printing the resource, making copies, and placing the stack of printables on a counter, an empty/extra student desk or wherever your students know to grab their Independent Work activities when it’s their turn at the Independent Work rotation.

I always place the stack of printables in the same place every single day so my students know that when it’s their turn at the ‘Independent Work’ rotation, they simply walk over to the shelf, grab the printables, and walk right back to their seat to begin working immediately.

You can place the stack of printables on a shelf or an empty student desk. Whichever spot you choose, just make sure you place your independent math activities in that same spot, every single day.

Why Should I use Math Sorts & Matching Printables during Math Rotations?

Here’s why I love AND use them during my math rotations:

#1: They are seriously super low-prep…they’re actually NO PREP which is awesome! Just PRINT and PLACE IT in the math station!

#2: My students are always engaged because it’s hands-on! There’s just something about working through math problems, following it up with the act of cutting and pasting. Kids truly love it.

#3: I can keep it consistent from week to week and have this be the activity for my Independent Work Station as part of my math rotations! *Consistency is the key to a smooth math block for sure.

#4 They’re aligned to the standards. I can feel confident knowing my students are practicing standards-aligned activities and working towards mastery of the skill each and every day.

I’ve combined skills so students are working on 3 digit subtraction, as well as even/odd and greater than & less than standards. This set can be found here in the 2nd Grade and here in the 3rd Grade Bundles.

Are You Ready to Bring these Simple Routine into Your Classroom?

I have many of these math sorts & matching printables for all standards already on my computer from when I used them in my own classroom, but I’m slowly making them “TpT” ready for you so that you can purchase them in my TpT shop. It’s a lot of work putting these resources in my shop but I’m truly passionate about helping other teachers, so bare with me as I add them all to my shop. In the meantime, you can purchase the Year Long Growing Bundle. This means that I’ll be adding various sets throughout the year but you only pay one small fee, one time. You’ll get a notification whenever I add new sets, and you’ll be able to download those additional sets for free! So grab the growing bundle now while it’s at the lowest price it’ll ever be. *With every new set that I add, the price will increase, so grab it now while the price is low.

Click HERE for the 2nd Grade bundle.

Click HERE for the 3rd Grade bundle.

Why Are These Math Sorts and Matching Independent Math Activities PERFECT for your math block?

You’ll be able to create a consistent routine in your classroom, which will allow your math block to not only run smoothly but it’ll decrease the amount of planning time on your end. Secondly, giving your students the same type of activity during their ‘Independent Work’ rotation each day decreases the amount of off task behavior because students will know EXACTLY what to do during their 15-20 minute rotation. There will simply be no confusion about how to do the assignment (confused students = off task and more behavior problems).

When they hear that doorbell ring or chime (this is the signal that I use to let my students know it’s time rotate to the next station), they’ll know exactly what to do. They’ll walk over to the shelf or empty desk where you’ve placed these stack of printables, they’ll grab it, walk back to their seat, and begin the assignment.

All because you’ve instilled this simple routine into your math block. From your struggling learners to your higher level learners, you’ll notice that they will all have one thing in common. And that thing is confidence.  And that’s because kids THRIVE on routine and consistency, which in turn gives them confidence.

They won’t need you. They won’t have any questions about what’s needed to be done. They’ll just…DO. Giving YOU the freedom and time to focus on the small group of children that are sitting with you at your teacher table.

How does that sound? How does that make you feel?

Because if you’re asking me…it feels freaking amazing! Let’s do this, teacher friend.

Click HERE for the 2nd Grade bundle.

Click HERE for the 3rd Grade bundle.