How Do We Write Numbers? - Writing 1, 2, & 3 Review

1 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


Students will be able to name, count and write numbers 1, 2, and 3.

Big Idea

In this lesson, students practice writing the numbers 1, 2, and 3 in shaving cream while practicing their number writing rhymes.

Problem of the Day

5 minutes

I start the lesson with a problem of the day to help students review skills and concepts from prior lessons and develop their ability to problem solve.  I call the students up to the carpet. The students find their spots while saying this chant with me.

Criss cross, applesauce, hands in your lap, eyes on the teacher, you've got to show me that.

I project the Problem of the Day on the SMART Board and say to students, "This is our Problem of the Day for today.  Look at the picture.  This says 'Count the trees.  Count the rocks.  Which group has more?'"  I say, "This problem has three parts.  What is the first thing it asks us to do?"  Count the trees.  I have a student come up, count the trees and write the number on the line.  "Listen to the direction again.  'Count the trees.  Count the rocks.  Which group has more?'  What do we need to do next?"  Count the rocks.  I have a student come up, count the rocks and write the number on the line.  "Listen to the direction again.  'Count the trees.  Count the rocks.  Which group has more?'  What do we need to do next?"  Tell which group has more.  I have a student tell which group has more and explain how they know.

I tell students, "Today we will continue to learn about numbers.  We are going to practice writing the numbers 1, 2 and 3."

Presentation of Lesson

25 minutes

For this lesson, I start with students at their seats.  I draw 1 dot on a white board and ask students to count the dot with me.  I then write the number 1 on the board.  I tell students, "This is a number 1."  I continue with numbers 2 and 3.  I tell students that today we will be practicing writing the numbers 1, 2, and 3 on our tables with shaving cream.  I review our rules for shaving cream.  

1. The shaving cream must remain on the table at all times.
2. No pounding to make the shaving cream splash.
3. Only touch your own shaving cream.
4.  When your shaving cream disappears, you are done. 

I put a very small dab of shaving cream in front of each student.  This activity is only meant to last about 5 minutes, so I give only a small amount so that it will disappear quickly.  I tell the students not to touch it until everyone has some.  When all students have some shaving cream, I call out a number for the students to write.  As we write it, we repeat our number chants.  See example here.

1- Straight line down and then you're done. That's the way to make a one.
2- Around and back on a railroad track. TWO! TWO!
3- Around a tree and around a tree, that's the way to make a three.

I continue until the students' shaving cream starts to disappear.  I have the students rub their hands over their tables until all of the shaving cream is gone.  I tell students that we will also be practicing the numbers 1, 2 and 3 on a Writing Numbers 1, 2, and 3 Review worksheet.  I show students the paper and say, "You are going to be working on this paper on your own after we go over the directions.  You need to get out your pencil and put your name on your paper.  When your name is on your paper hold your pencil in the air, that will let me know that you are ready to start."  I like to have students hold up their pencils or put their hands on their heads when they are finished with a task.  It makes it easy for me to see who is ready and also keeps the students from writing all over their papers while they wait for other students to finish.  

I hand each student a paper for them to take back to their seats and while the students are writing their names, I turn on the projector and document camera and display the worksheet on the SMART Board.  When all students have their pencils up, I say, "The directions on this paper say ‘Trace and write the numbers.'  The directions for the bottom of the paper are the same as your paper yesterday.  They say, 'Count the objects.  Write the number.'  You may work on the worksheet on your own."  When the students are finished, they put their papers into the paper tray in the front of the classroom and get their center.


20 minutes

Since the students finish their papers at different times, I circulate through the room to make sure that students are completing their papers, putting it in the tray and getting their centers.  This week's centers are:

Sorting Fruits and Flowers  (
Sorting by Size and Counting with Bears (Download mat from  I cut off the smallest bear since the bears I have are only two sizes.)
Thumb Print Counting
Number Tracing ( 
SMART Board- Online Game Critter Junction (

I quickly circulate to make sure students are engaged and do not have any questions about how to complete the centers.   I pull three groups during centers.  I pull the first group for 10 minutes and the other two groups for 5 minutes each.  The first group is comprised of the students who were having trouble identifying numbers 1,2, and 3 and matching the numbers to objects.  I have a basic idea of who I want in each group based on my beginning of the year assessment on numbers and counting, but I also take into account how the students did in the whole group lesson.  I pull the students back to my small group table to do a reteach activity using flash cards and manipulatives (for this lesson I used counters).  I show the flash cards and have students practice identifying the numbers.  I then give each student a pile of manipulatives (1-3) and have them pick the number card that matches their group.  Today I use number cards that have a tactile number on them that the students can trace with their finger to practice the number formation.  The next two groups do a follow up activity that reviews identifying numbers, counting objects.  I use the flash cards and manipulatives with these groups as well.  I start by showing the students flash cards again and having them practice identifying the numbers.  I do this much quicker for these groups.  I then give each student a pile of manipulatives (1-3) and have them write the number on a white board.  Prior to clean up, I check in with each table to see how the centers are going.  I turn on Tidy Up by Dr. Jean.  Students clean up and return to their seats.


5 minutes

I close this lesson by inviting students back up to the carpet.  I turn on the SMART Board and let one of the students who did well writing 1, 2, and 3 come up and show us how to write a 1, 2 and 3.  As they write, I have the other students say the number rhymes with me.  I mention positive things that I noticed during centers.  I also include something that needs to be better next time.  I review what we did during our whole group lesson.  "Today we learned how to write the numbers 1, 2, and 3. How do we remember how to write a 1?    A straight line down is lots of fun, thats because it's number one.  "A 2?"   Around and back on a railroad track. TWO! TWO!  "A 3?" Around a tree and around a tree, that's the way to make a three.  "Let's count to 3 together."  1, 2, 3  "Tomorrow, we are going to learn about the numbers 4 and 5.”