The school bell has rung and it is time to get my first graders working towards their goal of mastering all of the Common Core Standards. The most basic skills I need my first graders to have are counting and one-to-one correspondence. This knowledge is necessary for students to be able to use operations, algebraic thinking, and understand place value. Here at the beginning of the school year I need them to be able to represent a group of objects with a written numeral (1.NBT.A.1). The CCSS encourage our first graders to develop strong counting skills all the way to 120. This strong foundation will support them when they go onto second grade. I want to begin by reinforcing what they learned in Kindergarten and build on those skills with a solid foundation in number construction. They will develop accurate counting strategies by building on the understanding of how numbers in the counting sequence are related.
This lesson is also going to build accuracy in counting and help them identify a structure for how numbers are built. (MP6 & MP7). Students will be using mathematical language to describe numbers and explaining their reasoning for the counting sequence. (MP6). Students will be carefully looking for patterns in how numerals are formed and using this structure to construct additional numbers. Also, students must understand that, as the counting sequence increases, so does the quantity (MP7). I like to support students in understanding this concept by sharing models with them and asking them to create their own models that represent given numbers with accuracy.
I start by picking a student from each group and asking that child to begin a counting chain for the group to follow. This child will start with saying "one" and then the next child "two" and so on. Have the chain continue until the number 20 is reached. If anyone strays or breaks the chain, ask them to raise their hand and you will help them pick a start over point and begin the chain again.
Go to the resource section and open up the Power Point slide show on your Smart Board. If you do not have one, try to gather the kids around a central computer that they can all see the monitor. If this is not possible you will have to print the slide show and draw the patterns on the board or paper. Whatever you do, don't stress out! They will love it no matter how you have to present it.
The slide show is to introduce common spatial patterns for numbers 6-10. It is designed for them to have several counting opportunities for each number. You can pick different children to count the different patterns or you can do it as a whole class.
They are going to enjoy the activity and feel very confident because this is building on their kindergarten Common Core Standards to count to 100 and writing their numbers to 20. Now in first grade, the CCSS want our students to master counting and writing to 120. This is why the standards make sense; the standards are built on one another and are related. This will allow for more in-depth teaching because we are not being spread thin with numerous skills to teach.
Students will be creating paint chip numbers to practice numbers 6-10.
You will have to collect enough paint sample cards from your local paint supply store for each child to have 5 cards. You can set this practice up in two different ways, so pick the method that works best for you.
Option A: if you can find enough teachers in your building to let you borrow their single hole punch for all of your students to use at once, then you can do this as a whole group independent practice time. If not, go with the next option.
Option B: design this as a math center and make sure you schedule enough time in one day or over a one week time span to rotate every student through the center.
Have your students label their cards with you. One number should be written legibly on each card and you only want them doing numbers 6-10. After they are labeled you can go ahead and connect them together with a tie wrap, metal ring, or any other object you have that can work. I just wouldn't staple them because it will make it too difficult for them to do their hole punches. If you are doing the activity altogether, then go ahead and pass out their hole punches and show them how they work. Your goal is for them to put the correct number of punches in each card to match the number on that card.
Check the resource section for videos of me providing instruction and their joy for the activity. The videos show a very small group of two students who actually missed the lesson the day before, but could really benefit from it. I had a co-worker volunteer to take my kiddos, so these students wouldn't miss out on good practice. One of the best things you can do as a teacher, besides love your secretary and janitor, is to develop strong relationships with your co-workers. We are all in this together and need each other at times to swap, share, or steal from (wink, wink)!
If your doing this as a center, make sure and walk them through an example, so they know what is expected. You may even leave some example cards at the center so students who do it later will have a reminder.