Reflection: High Expectations Down on the Farm: Base 10 Problems - Section 5: Independent Practice


Common Core has a huge emphasis on writing throughout the curriculum. As a result, even in the first month of first grade, I try to get my students to write down their explanations for how they solve problems. 

As all first grade teachers know, it can be pulling teeth to get students to write down detailed explanations! This lesson is a great example of that. When I looked through the student work, I saw a wide range of explanations. 

I attached 2 examples here. Both need improvement, but the one labeled "Better Explanation" is right where she should be for this point in the year. She explained how she counted and loosely connected that to how she found her answer. My push for her tomorrow is going to be, "I'm confused why you counted by 10s. Can you include that in your writing?" Later I would also want her to explain what told her she needed 3 extra ones. 

For the limited explanation sample, this student did a first grade classic, "I knew it in my brain" and "It was so easy". My push for this student is going to be: "What did you do in your brain to figure out your answer?" or "I want you to write down how I could use my brain to figure it out. Tell me what to do first, second and third."

These consistent, little pushes will help them be able to write full explanations by the middle of first grade. 

  High Expectations: Range of Written Explanations
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Down on the Farm: Base 10 Problems

Unit 2: Count to 100 Every Day!
Lesson 12 of 13

Objective: SWBAT apply their understanding of place value to help them solve story problems.

Big Idea: Students have been learning about tens and ones. This day allows them to apply what they know to a "real life" farm crisis! The chickens have laid a bunch of eggs and students have to figure out how many the farmer is collecting!

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