Clothesline Math has been a growing trend in mathematics education.  I saw Andrew Stadel give a talk on it, however it was geared toward middle school and high school math.  My mind, never shutting off, was pondering how to make it fit for my elementary teachers.    And in my research, there aren’t many elementary clothesline cards out there. 

Clotheslines become interactive number lines.  Students are able to manipulate cards to show proportional reasoning,  precision, equality between numbers, and magnitude.  The clothesline builds students’ number sense.  It’s a routine that can work from kindergarten through high school. 

***Did you know that the number line is mentioned in the Common Core Standards 26 times from 2nd grade through 8th grade?*****

Each set of cards has been designed to have equal cards as well as multiple representations. They are all PDF files.

####Kindergarten number lines co-designed by Stacy Zagurski####

 Number Lines  Suggested Grade Levels
0-5  TK, Kinder
0-8  TK, Kinder
0-10  Kinder
kinder-3-15  (using ten frames & dot images)  Kinder
weight  Kinder
0-25  First
0-50  First, Second
0-100  Second, Third
2nd-clothesline (using ten blocks)  Second, Third
cents(money) Second, Third
2nd baseten (base ten, expanded form)  Second, Third
Time  Second, Third
Equivalentfractions  Second, Third
multiplication-3rd  Third,
 fractions-3rd  Third
fractions-4th  Fourth
decimals  Fifth
 fractions-deci-percents-6th  Sixth
 integers (6th)  Sixth
Percents (6th) Sixth
FDPERC (Fraction, Deci. Percent) Activity Sixth

Create Your Own






Blog posts on the Clotheslines

Kinder  – names

Second – cents

Third/Fourth – fractions

Kinder/6th – weight

All grades


8 thoughts on “Clotheslines”

  1. I tried the 0 – 5 clothesline with kindergarten yesterday. Kids were really into it! However, only 1 group did it the way I thought they would (grouping all the 1’s, 2’s etc.) A lot of groups got stuck that there was no 6, so they took a 2 and 4 and put them together to make 6. Should I have been more clear in my instructions, or does it matter that they did this?

    Another group thought the 2 tally marks was 11. They did really great problem solving to figure out how far away from 5 to place it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jen,
      I’m actually impressed that your students did that. They are developing number sense and numeracy. And yes…some of our students saw the 2 tally marks as 11. One of the standards of math practice tells us to have students construct viable arguments–which is exactly what your students did. That’s terrific.

      Download the next sets on this page (0-8, 0-10). Keep using the routine. With kinder, we have done the clothesline with weight too. That’s an interesting conversation.

      Good for you! And thanks for writing in!


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