Can you help a first year, first grade teacher?

Question:I am trying to plan hands-on math activities for my students. My objectives are basically to be able to read and write numbers up to 99 and to describe sets of objects. Leading up to that I need to write a couple of lessons for the same objectives up to 30 and up to 50. I am tired of using my 30's charts and 100's charts; I want something more fun. PLEASE give me some ideas that have worked for you and that the kids enjoyed!

A good way to practice writing numbers up to 30 is, at the beginning of each month, have your children make a calendar to take home. (fill in the numbers on a blank one)
As a kindergarten teacher, I start the year by having my children trace most of the numbers and only writing 1-10. but by the end of the year, they have to fill in the entire calendar (with my modeling, of course.) Then we glue it on large construction paper and, of course, decorate it.

another great game to practice/learn/reinforce any concept is Alligator! Alligator! or whatever you wish. We play Elephant! Elephant! in my room. It's basically a tweaked version of Around the World. You start off with index cards of what you want your children to know. (in your case, numbers) Possibly differentiate the cards with pictures as well. Children try to say the number on the card the quickest in order to advance to the next seat/opponent in the classroom. The goal is to get around the room. But the whole class has to watch b/c if you pull an alligator/turkey/elephant/what... card, everyone has to stand up, spin in circles and shout 3 times, "Alligator! Alligator! Alligator!" It's silly and tons of fun. It also keeps the children's attention. You'll start the year with lots of Alligator cards, but you can pull some out later on if you wish.

Hope this helps!
make them count apples or something.. im 12
M&Ms were always fun. I don't know if they are still allowed by schools though. Maybe make them count marbles or something, then reward them with a treat. For example, each ten marbles = treat.

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