Cat in the Hat Math

This was one of those projects that I still don't know if I love it or hate it.  I was trying to think of some way to use the Cat in the Hat, hat as a math project.  My students need more practice on numbers 20-30 so I decided to focus on those numbers.  My goal was to have them place small hats in each stripe, count them and write the number.  It ended up being more work for me due to my planing as the project went along, but I know better for next time we do this!  Here is the end result, and I'll explain my thought process along the way...

We started this project by painting every other strip red on the hat...most of us did this successfully.  :)  After it dried, we cut the hats out.

Next, I prepared groups of 10 small hats for the students to cut and place in the stripes.  This would model counting by 10 frames, which we are now counting by 20 frames.  My first instruction to the students was to glue two groups of 10 small hats in each stripe, which gave them 20 hats in each stripe.  (Next time I do this project, I will already have these hats printed on the construction paper, to eliminate this step.)

Then I let them glue down more individual small hats in each stripe.  They could glue down between 1 and 9 more.  This is another part I didn't plan out well.  When I first made these large hats, I didn't know what I wanted to use them for, so mid way through this project I realized they wouldn't have space to write the number of small hats in each stripe.  So to make sure they would have room to write the number, I drew a circle in pencil in each stripe so they would leave space to write the number.

I had the students count their hats and write the number in pencil in small groups with my aide.  Once we knew they had the correct amount, then they traced it in marker.

I feel like this project was chaotic.  But I feel like I learned a lot, mainly the importance of me thoroughly thinking through the project before I make more work for myself.  Is it bad that I feel like I keep learning this lesson?  :)  I was talking to my friend on twitter about how I only like to post projects on my blog that that were successful.  But in this post I want to be transparent of how things don't always work out as smoothly as hoped for.  :)  The good part is, they did get to practice counting!


  1. Michelle,

    I've definitely had that happen before too, but it's great because afterwards we know how to make it even better next time! Looks like they had fun painting though and Dr. Seuss activities are always fun! :)

    Lessons with Laughter

  2. what a cute idea!! I'll have to show my K buddies :)

    ♥ Jen
    The Teachers' Cauldron

  3. I think it turned out well !

    That happens sometimes to me subbing. Or if I'm in a dual class and I teach the same thing in the afternoon to the second set of kiddos. I mark what went well the first time but what needed work.

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

  4. Sometimes it works...sometimes it doesn't-nothing wrong with that! And I think they turned out cute!!

    First Grade Blue SKies

  5. That has happened to all of us! What we think will be great turns out could have been better with a little tweeking. That is called reflective thinking! Good work!
    Conversations in Literacy

  6. I wanted to say that I loved this activity. I think it is rigorous and exactly what the kids needed to practice. Do you have copies of the small tens frame hats? I would love to make these with my kinders. jaya

  7. I think you should celebrate. This was hard work!
    And there was plenty of thinking going on.

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog today.
    That made my day!!!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  8. Michelle....cute post and A LOT of hard work!!!! Way to go:) Thanks for stopping by and following me at 1st GRADE ROCKS!!!! !!!! I'm your newest follower:)
    1st GRADE ROCKS!!!!

  9. Love that you turned the cat and the hat hats into a math activity! We nominated your blog for an award. Come on over to our blog to check it out!

    ~Katie and Rebecca
    First Grade ABCs

  10. CUTE! I just sent you an award...stop by my blog to check it out :)

    Color Me Kinder