Jack O’Lantern Addition/Subtraction Sorting

I bought these darling little jack o’lanterns at Wal-Mart YEARS ago when I first started teaching Kindergarten.  I used to have the kids do a little one-to-one correspondence activity with them.  Since my 1st graders are knee deep in addition & subtraction right now, I knew these little guys would come in handy for the perfect sorting activity!


I wrote a different number on each jack o’lantern {6-18}.  Then I took popsicle sticks and wrote a different math fact on each….about 6 facts for each number…4 addition problems and 2 subtraction problems {subtraction is still pretty new to us}. 


The kids sort the math facts into the corresponding jack o’lanterns and when they’re finished, they can record their sorts onto a little pumpkin!  I die cut several little pumpkins and set these out in their math tub as well…they write a number on the stem and all the corresponding math facts in inside! 


I also gave the kids some seasonal counters to use to help them solve the trickier addition/subtraction problems.  We’re really working hard to remember to “count on”, so they’re mostly using the counters for the subtraction facts. {I got the little counters from the Dollar Tree!!}


If you have any other ideas for these little jack o’lanterns, let me know!!!


  1. Great idea! I love your blog! And...I am about to run to the dollar store to get some acorns!

  2. You can type up Halloween story problems on the computer and place them into the jack-o-lanterns for the kids to pick out and solve:) That's what I do with mine:)

  3. Wow this is awesome!! I love how simple but fun this project is and the "duh" moment I just had about getting counters from the dollar store. (Like really, duuh).
    I really love your blog as it helps me out with my "in home" classroom for our homeschoolers. Thank you SO much!! :)

  4. I would love to include your picture and link of the pumpkin addition in a blog post I'm putting together. Let me know...=)

  5. Sorting is fun! I bet the kiddos love that activity. I'm going to have to think of some sort of recycled containers that I can decorate for the same purpose--old spaghetti jars, perhaps?

  6. what a great way to sort. We might not can sort math facts in prek but this gives me some great ideas for other sorting shapes, colors, sight words. Thanks

  7. I bet I could do this with my 5th graders using different algebra facts.

  8. thank you! My first grader and I hate flashcards and math worksheets, but she LOVES this activity. Math practice is now an active game rather than boring drills. She's asking for it now :)

  9. What a cute idea! My 5yo would LOVE this. Pinning it now!

  10. Target has some of those counters (but pumpkins and leaves and acorns) in the dollar section if anyone is needeing....