Students will come into math class and gather in a circle on the carpet. They will be introduced to me (as some of them are coming from another classroom). I will explain that this is how each math class will begin. I will then ask how many kids do you think are in our class? Explaining that this is called making an estimate. When you make an estimate you try to figure out about how many of something there are without counting them all out exactly. After a few children have made an estimate, elicit ideas for checking the estimates and try them out. Reinforce the idea that if you go around the circle, it doesn't matter who you start with. This will emphasize the conservation of quantity.
Set up 4 different stations consisting of pattern blocks, connecting cubes, geometry blocks, and number cards 1-10 (4 of each). Introduce each of the materials and ask if anyone knows the name of each set and/or has used them before. Explain that these are some of the math tools that they will be using throughout the year to solve math problems. Remind them of appropriate uses and that the materials should stay at the center they have been placed at. Also discuss how to clean up the materials and where to store them. Explain to them that you will be at the number card station teaching them how to play a game called "Greater Than." (This works the same way as the game we use to call "War.") By using the term "greater than," you are introducing a new vocabulary word and reinforcing its meaning. The CCSS ask us to increase student academic vocabulary, so I try to incorporate rich, precise math language whenever I can. You will also be teaching them how to play as cooperative partners. As each pair goes through the game, model and reinforce the appropriate behaviors that you expect during partner play.
What It Will Look Like:
As students come over to the number card station (Greater Than game), have them sit facing each other. Teach them how to cooperatively set up the game and how to choose who goes first. I often encourage for one member to speak up and ask the other one to go first. As they start to play point out and/or encourage engagement by both members even when it might not be their turn. After the game is finished teach them how to be good sports by shaking hands and saying "nice game." Then show them how to take care of the materials.
Explain to the students that, over the next few days, they will be having center time as part of their math class. They will be using the materials that we just discussed. Each of these materials will be placed at a different table and they need to get to each one over the next few days. There are 5 chairs at each center. If a chair is open, then you may join that center. Again, remind them that the centers will be available for a few days and that they won't get to all of them in one day. Then dismiss the kids in small groups to go and pick where each one will choose to start.
Have the students clean up the stations and gather back on the carpet. Post a copy of the Partner Play Expectations on your easel, whiteboard, or Smart Board. Discuss that you saw some great ways to be successful with playing partner math games. Call on a few students (from your notes documented during station time) to share some ways they were a good partner or you can state some of the positive behaviors/actions you observed.
Then as a class fill out the chart to create a list of norms for playing math games with a partner. Display this chart in a place that can be referenced by both you and the students throughout the year.
Hand out the number recording sheet and ask that each student write the numbers 1-20 (in order). This will give you a quick snapshot on formations and reversals.