Teaching Resource

Missing Numbers – Task Cards

PDF, Google Slides | 5 pages|Grades: K, 1 - 1

Practice counting by 1s forward and backward by completing number sequences with this set of 12 task cards.

The ability to distinguish number patterns is a skill developed with time and practice. 

In their introduction to mathematics, students learn numbers 1-10, then 10-20, and 20-30. They learn that the first digit in each set of 10s follows the same 1-2-3-4 pattern from when they first began to count, helping them go from 30 to 100 with ease. Over time, remembering these sequences becomes second nature because they’re counting everything they see!

At first glance, the numbers on our Missing Numbers task cards might look like pure chaos.  

But once the student realizes what they already know, order replaces the chaos and a pattern will emerge. 

How to Play Our Missing Numbers Game 

This resource can be used as a math center activity, for small group instruction and whole group practice. 

Students will review each of the task cards and write the missing numbers from the sequences in their corresponding space on the recording sheet. 

More Ways For Your Students (and YOU!) to Play 

Want to take these task cards to another level? We’ve got a few more number pattern activities up our sleeves

Group Lesson 

Using your smartboard or another projection device, display the sequence cards and work through them in order as a class. When your students call out the correct missing numbers, write them on the lines for students to see. You can also provide each student with a recording sheet, or give each a dry-erase marker to solve the problem by writing it on their desk.  

Gallery Walk

Mix the cards up and hang them around the room to have your students complete a gallery walk. Working either alone or in pairs, assign a task card to each and have them rotate around the cards (on your signal), writing the answers on their recording sheet until they have completed each one.

Warm-Up/Exit Activity

Use these task cards for an easy formative assessment. Either before your math lesson or at the end of the day, ask students to select a card from the deck. Have them write the card number (1-12) and their name in the top corner of a sticky note. Then ask them to complete the entire 4-number sequence on the sticky note.  

How to Extend This Activity or Bring Others up to Speed

Challenge students either by asking them to count backward or forwards past the numbers on the cards. 

To help students who need more time learning their number sequences, limit the number of blanks by writing in one of the missing numbers. 

Preparing This Missing Number Activity For Your Students

Print the task cards, game directions, and answer key on cardstock for added durability and longevity. 

As a center activity, cut out the task cards and punch a hole in the corner of each to place them on a binder ring. Print extra copies of the recording sheet and place everything in a folder or large envelope. 

Before You Download

Please note this resource is available in Google Slides or as a PDF. A recording sheet and an answer key are also included with this download.

This resource was created by Heather Chambers, a teacher/librarian in Texas and Teach Starter collaborator. 

Math doesn’t stop there, and neither do we! We’ve got more number activities your students are going to love: 


  Common Core Curriculum alignment

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