Number Fans Freebie

Hi Friends! I'm happy to be guest blogging over at Kindergarten Lifestyle today. Thanks Jeannie for having me! I know summer is sizzling but it is never to early to be thinking about the upcoming school year.   It seems that Kindergarten teachers have an endless list of things they are responsible for teaching; and one of the first on the list is number sense. When kids leave Kindergarten, they should have a strong, solid sense of number.   Number recognition is a small but important part of number sense. There are many ways to practice this skill with your students, and one good way is to have them use number fans. 
Number fans have been around for quite some time.  You may have seen many variations of this flexible and fun tool. They are simple, easy to make, and serve as a multi-purpose instructional tool. My students always had fun using them. I have created a printable number fan to help you reinforce number recognition with your students. I've also included pictures and ideas of how they might be used. Click here for your free set.  Directions for making number fans:
    Printable Number Fan
  1. Print a set of number cards for each child in your class. Printing them on colored cardstock works well.
  2. Laminate them and cut them out. (More capable students can make their own.)
  3. Punch a hole in the bottom of each card and assemble them in numerical order (place the question mark at the end).
  4. Use a brad or small ring to hold the cards together. 
www.teachthemath.comA few ideas for using your number fans:
  • Have kids display the number as you call it out. 
  • Have kids choose a number, compare with a friend's number, and determine which is larger.
  • Let children display a number that is one larger or one smaller than the one you call.
  • Have them display a number that comes between two numbers that you call.
  • Children can display the question mark card if they are unsure about the number you call.
Number Fan Note: With younger children, use only number cards 0-5. As your students' number sense continues to improve, add numbers 6-9 to the fan.  Use two sets of cards when you begin working with double digit numbers.  Although it's possible to display two digit numbers with just one set, it is best to put two sets together to represent doubles and larger numbers (i.e. you can't display the number 22, 33, etc. without two sets of number cards). 
www.teachthemath.comI hope you and your students will get lots of use out of these number fans! I've enjoyed being with you today. Please feel free to hop over and visit me at my blog Teach The Math. I would love to hear your comments on the number fan or ideas about how you teach number sense in your classroom. Thanks for reading along and keep on teaching the math!
Dr. Penny Messick is an Instructional Specialist with the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI).  She spent 25 years teaching K-2 and is a strong supporter of inquiry based learning.  She spends most of her days providing resources and professional development for elementary teachers across south Alabama.  Penny blogs at  She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


  1. Love your blog! I nominated you for a blog award.

  2. Penny - what a fun way to work on counting and number sense in kinder..... And what kid won't love using the little fans?! This is also a great way to do informal assessment in a whole group format!! Call out the number and show - immediately see whose got it!!

    Printing mine now!

  3. Thanks for the number fan! Can't wait to try it out, so cute!
    Melissa from

  4. Great ideas Penny! I've never heard of or seen a number fan before so it was all new to me!

  5. What a cute way to get numbers in. I bet the kids will love this one! I am printing it out right now for my soon to be kinder daughter :)

    Teaching in Room 6

  6. This is a great idea! I love it as a way to work on missing numbers! Thanks for sharing!

    Cathy I.
    Mrs. I's Class

  7. Saw this all over the pin boards today and I "stuck it" in my school collection immediately! This is a fantastic idea. Thanks so much for sharing :)

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

  8. The number fan looks like a great way to reinforce number recognition and for quick, informal assessments. Thanks for posting about this today!

    ΡΌ Lori
    Teaching With Love and Laughter

  9. Tessa - I've actually never heard of a number fan either.....but makes total sense... Kids like making silly little paper fans anyways so I know they'll like these!

  10. I think these would be perfect in Math Take Home Bags! I think I am pinning this!

  11. Great ideas! Thank you for sharing!

  12. Thanks y'all for all your sweet comments! I hope you will enjoy using them in your classrooms! You have given me some new ideas too! :)


  13. Thanks for sharing these great ideas. My students will surely love these. I would like to use it as one of my teaching tools. Math will never be hard and boring with these kind of activities.