6 Reasons To Love Color By Number

6 Reasons To Love Color By Number 

I don’t know about you, but math practice is all too often met with moans and groans.  I don’t know what it is about math, but year after year math is the subject that makes students say “UGH!”  I want my students to love math!  I want them to be good at math!  And most of all, I want them to look forward to math!  That’s why I love mixing math and creativity together whenever I have the chance! Color by number activities are a favorite in my classroom. I am so excited to share with you 6 reasons why my students and  I love them and use them all year long.

What Are Color By Number Worksheets?

Your students will love practicing math with these color by code skip counting worksheetsColor by number isn’t what it used to be!  You probably remember doing some version of a color by number worksheet when you were in elementary school. However, they were probably as easy as finding a number and matching it to a given color to complete a picture. Fast-forward a few decades and we as teachers have found that we can actually blend fun and learning. In fact, it’s rarely actually coloring by number unless you are teaching pre-k or kindergarten and working on number identification.  Now a days, the term Color by Code is a better description of these fun and engaging activities.  Why?  Because the code at the top of the page more often than not is not numbers but some other academic skill. 
Color by number worksheets with a math focus are no-brainers. Your students will still love coloring in the image, but they will have to do a little bit of math to actually find the number and correct color for each space. I think giving them an activity that is fun and engaging helps them retain their learning so much better than just memorizing a concept. 

6 Reasons Why I Use Color by Number Activities

1. Repeated Skills Practice

We all know that repetition is key when our students are learning a new concept. This is especially true with math concepts.  Some skills, like math facts, just take repetition in order to make it to long term memory.  Other concepts just take repeated practice to truly understand and master.  Color by Number activities are a great way to provide that repetition in a fun way.  In fact, there are many times that the Color by Number activity provides more practice problems than I would have assigned if I assigned text book practice or a worksheet of practice problems.  But the students don’t mind, they actually prefer it!  
Color by number worksheets are an excellent way to engage students in the math practice they need to master skills.In addition to the repetition, Color by Number activities allow me to provide specific skills practice for my students.  Each activity is focused on one skill.  This allows me to really hone in on the skill we are working on or reviewing.  This targeted skills practice is what helps my students master their new skills.  
I also know my students retain their learning so much better when they are given the opportunity to practice these new skills as often as possible. With math Color by Number worksheets, I am able to assign specific worksheets to target specific skills. 
I use my math color by number worksheets to focus on math skills like:
  • 3 Digit Subtraction
  • 3 Digit Addition
  • Skip Counting
  • Place Value
These activities are perfect for independent practice after a lesson.  But they are also great practice and review activities in math centers, morning work or even homework.  
When I am using Color by Number worksheets for repeated skills practice, I am confident that my students are getting the repeated practice they need. 

2. Self-Checking Activity

One of the best pieces of advice I received as a teacher was this: Not everything needs to be graded!  If you haven’t heard that before then let me be the one to encourage you.  Teacher friend, not everything needs to graded.  If you can get to this point it is actually very freeing.  That being said, I still like my students to have feedback on their work because it helps them learn.  One way I love to do this is with self-checking activities.  This allows students to find and fix mistakes they have been made all on their own.  It is so empowering for them to not only see where they may have made mistakes but also to see where they did well. 
Help your students master the skill of skip counting with these engaging color by number worksheets.Color by Number activities are a great self-checking activity.  Students can often tell right away if they have made a mistake because the colors don’t match up.  Additionally, you can easily provide the picture key for students to use as a check.   
When students complete the activities I can also quickly check to see how they are doing.  While I don’t take a grade, I do like to stay on top of where they are mastering skills and where they are struggling.  It’s so easy to do with Color by Number activities.  
Sometimes I will also do a quick check-in with my students after they have completed their color by number worksheet and have done their self-assessment. They are always excited to tell me how well they did.  They will also tell me what mistakes they had.  I like to end these quick check-ins with a question or two.  “How did you correct your mistake?” or “What did you learn?” are two of my favorite questions.  By closing with these questions students are taking ownership in the learning process.   

3.  Easy to Prep

Let’s face it, teachers are busy.  Actually, that should be BUSY to be more accurate!  Every year there seems to be more and more added to the teacher duties.  The planning and prep time is often filled with meetings leaving very little time during the school day to prepare.  
Your students will love working on place value concepts with these color by number worksheets.My friends, it does not make you a bad teacher to include easy to prep or no prep activities in your lesson plans.  To the contrary, I’d say it makes you a smart teacher.  The key to using no prep activities is to make sure they aren’t just busy work.  Be selective in your activities and make sure the activity you choose helps further your students understanding of the learning objective.
With Color by Number activities I can confidently add these no prep activities to my lessons because I know just what a great practice activity they are.  And when I strategically add them as morning work and center activities they provide a great practice and review opportunity for students.  I even have students who love to do them as early finisher activities.  
Here’s another time saving tip for you. I generally print these math color by number worksheets in batches depending on the concept I want my students to review, or by the season since many of these pages have seasonal pictures.  This makes it really easy to add to centers, use as morning work, or hand out after a lesson.  And in a pinch, they work great if you need something for a substitute teacher to use.  You can’t go wrong keeping a couple of these on hand.

4. Highly Engaging

Engage your students with quality skills practice with color by number and color by code math activities.To say that my students love Color by Number activities is an understatement.  They actually ask for them!  To my teacher ear it’s like hearing the words “more math practice, please!”  My students always get so excited when I tell them it’s time for a color-by-number activity. You better believe I don’t get that same reaction when I say it is time for math problems. 
Since my students love these color-by-number activities so much, they are always engaged in the activity. It’s amazing how quiet my classroom is when my kids are working on their color by number worksheets. They get so focused on finding the answers and coloring the pictures correctly, that they don’t even want to chit-chat with their neighbors.

5. Differentiation Made Easy

Your students will love working on addition skills with the color by code activities that are perfect for math centers.In today’s classroom, differentiation is not just important, it is an expectation.  We all know that each student will learn at a different pace. This is true across all grade levels and subject areas. Differentiated instruction is so important to help students succeed.  One of the easiest ways to differentiate for student needs in through small group teaching.  When I pull students for small groups, I also have some differentiated practice activities for them to do.  They know that these activities are something they complete during their next center rotation.  This set-up and organization helps me to always have differentiated practice for each and every student.   
Color by number worksheets are the perfect way to differentiate math practice for your students. These Color by Number math worksheets offer two different ways to solve the problems.  This allows all of my students to work on the same skill at their level.  For example, when I’m using the skip counting worksheets for my students, I know that I have two options. One option includes clues to help students find the pattern. Sheets without clues require students to identify the pattern on their own.   I often do this with skills we are currently working on as a class.
Save time with these no prep math skills activities.For review, I often pull completely different Color by Number activities depending on the skill each students needs to practice and review.  By using both of these differentiation methods I can confidently rest knowing that each student is getting just what they need. 

6. Save Time

This final reason is really a culmination of the other five.  When all of these things work together the result is that time is saved.  Precious time that I can then use on something else that needs my attention.  Sometimes that is a student or planning a more elaborate activity.  Other times that saved time means I have more time for myself and with my family.  Both are very important!

Grab Your Free Color by Number Activities

I put together a free set of Color by Number activities so you can try them out in your classroom.  This school themed set will help your students work on 3 digit addition with these fun activities.  Perfect for a whole class activity, morning work or add to your math centers.  Click on the image below to grab your free Color by Number activities.
Grab these free Color by Code worksheets and help your students practice and review 3 digit addition.

Color by Number Sets 

You can also grab a full set of Color by Number activities for a variety of math skills in my store at Teachers Pay Teachers.
Your can students can master place value concepts with these fun and engaging color by code activities.
Help your students master 3 digit addition with these engaging skills practice worksheets.

There’s more too!  

Save These Color By Number Ideas

You never know when you will need a fun and engaging activity like Color by Number.  Pin this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you can quickly come back here for these color by number worksheets and more teaching tips and ideas. 
Engaging students in math skills practice can be difficult.  Find out the 6 reasons why I love using Color by Number worksheets in my elementary classroom.  You can also grab a free set of Color by Code activities to help your students with 3 digit addition.


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