Clothespin Math: How I Use It!

Hello everyone! It's Halle from Across the Hall in 2nd Grade.

Across the Hall in 2nd

Today is my very first Tuesday of Summer Break...I know, right?! I've been drooling over some of your summer pictures for about a month now, and I'm just getting to enjoy summer myself.

Let me tell you, the first Tuesday of Summer Break is glorious. It's everything I remember it being :)

Last week some of my owl pals stopped in to tell you how they used popsicle sticks in their classroom. I've already filed a few of those ideas away for next year.  Those creative owls!

This week it's all about those other wooden tools in your classroom...clothespins!

I use clothespins for lots of things in my classroom. Most notably, my clip-chart! I've jeweled and glittered more than a few clothespins in my time! I also use them to hang student work above my windows in my classroom.

But my most creative use of clothespins?

Clothespin Math!

I love clothespin math for so many reasons. One, it's super easy to get organized and use over and over again.  Two, it's extremely cost effective.  50 clothespins for a dollar? Sold!

Here's how I do clothespin math.

1) I take a bunch of clothespins and a sharpie.  On each clothespin, I write a math fact or math skill.  You can do doubles, addition facts, subtraction facts, 3 addend addition, multiplication, division, you name it.

You can also do arrays, repeated addition, or mental math.

Really, the options are unlimited.

And you can totally use clothespins for other subjects as well.  Parts of Speech in Language Arts?  Genres in Reading? Backbones and no backbones in Science?  Community characteristics in Social Studies?  Yes! These ideas are totally coming to me as I type, I type!  The possibilities are endless!

But alas, today we will focus on Math.

Ok, back to the steps. Boy to I have a tendency to ramble, even in written form!

2) After you decide what math topic you're going to focus on, and you've written the facts on your clothespins, you'll need a place to clip them.  This could be as basic as writing the sums or differences on notecards.

Of course, I like to cutesify it up a little.

You can do seasonal clothespin math. I offered up a Halloween-themed version on my blog almost two years ago!  Click here to grab it!

Or you can just do a basic number card, like the freebie I have for you here. I just whip these babies up on Power Point.  The set I made-up includes numbers 1-24, so it lends itself to quite a few skill options.

3) Lay out the cards and attach the clothespins to the correct card.  I like to make sure I have about the same amount of clothespins for each card.

4) Throw the cards and clothespins in a basket and voila! Instant center!

I hope you'll start using clothespin math in your classroom if you don't already!  It really is such an easy center and a great way to target specific skills!

Click here to grab my Clothespin Math FREEBIE!

Stay tuned for more great ways to use clothespins in your classroom! Do you have your own way of using clothespins in your classroom? Link up below!


  1. Halle, I LOVE this idea! So cute and easy to put together! I'll be putting this on my "to-do" list! :)

    Prepping for the Primary Gridiron

  2. I love this idea as well- thanks for sharing the idea and the freebie!

  3. Love that it's like a puzzle- my students are so into them right now.


  4. Thank you so much! I have 4thgraders who'll benefit from this! : )

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  5. I love all your pictures, what a great center game that the students don't need to waste any time learning the directions each week!
    Thank you so much for sharing such great ideas!
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  6. I LOVE clothespins and all the things I can use them for......Just an FYI: The wooden ones can be dyed using RIT dyes, painted, or just colored with markers to make them into specific sets by colors.

  7. I love this idea!!! Thank you for sharing!! :)

  8. Thank you, Halle! These are so cute! I forget about using simple things like clothespins. Also, they help with small motor skills. Can't beat that!
    i Heart Second

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