Building Towers

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SWBAT count a set of up to 20 objects by 1's. SWBAT use number names and written numbers to label the quantities they represent. SWBAT order a set of numbers and quantities up to 12.

Big Idea

Get out your toolboxes and heavy machinery because today your are going to be Building Towers! Using vocabulary words like least,greatest, and "in order," the students will build cube towers of designated heights and then be asked to put them in order


5 minutes

I start today's class with a few rounds of Start At, Stop At.  This game was introduced during the previous day's lesson:

Start with the number 1 and then choose a number card from the number card basket to act as your stop at number (the number you are counting up to).  I want students to keep using one as the starting number. I encourage them to model the 1:1 correspondence on the number line. 

I want students to realize that the number line is a tool that can be used for counting, finding numbers, and comparing where numbers are in relationship to each others (future learning) CCSS.Math.Practice.MP5.  I like to use this opportunity to introduce the idea (very informally) of adding on the number line to the students CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.C.5.  


Teacher's Notes:

  1. Connection to MP5: The students are using the number line as a tool to count forwards from 1 to a number less than 31.  Although they are not choosing the tool independently, it hits this Practice Standard because they are using the only tool that has been introduced so far.
  2. Connection to 1.OA.C.5: The students are understanding that they are moving farther away from 1 by adding one more hop (on the number line) as they say each number.

Building Towers

15 minutes

I start by using the SMART Board to project the image of 12 connecting cubes in a line, numbered (1-12), and out of sequence (resources: see Building Towers.notebook if you have Smart software or Building Towers.pdf if you don't).  I then ask the students to tell me what numbers they see.  I also ask which one is the smallest and which one is the largest?  Once they realize that all of the numbers from 1-12 are there,  I have them count with me from 1-12 as I point to each corresponding cube.  I leave the cubes as they are and don't put them in order (this will come later in the lesson).  

I then tell the class that we are going to start making towers of cubes to match the numbers.  I choose to start with one and point out that one already has the number of cubes it needs for that tower. Then, I ask who would like to pick another tower number to build?  I continue doing this until we have built all 12 towers Throughout I remind the kids that the cube with the number on it counts as one of the cubes for the tower.  

After all of the towers are built towers I tell the students that the rule is: the towers must always be lined up from least to greatest.  I demonstrate the first few (1-5) with them and then stop. They will continue to arrange the towers in order during Center Time.

I like using the SMART Board for this lesson because it allows the students to physically play the game and it engages them in a much more visual mode of learning.  This use of physical modeling offers learners an easier way to make sense of what is going on during the demonstration. 

Center Time

30 minutes

Today there are two Center opportunities available to students: 20 Beans and Building Towers.  I remind the students that they need to all play 20 Beans today because at the end of the lesson, we will be discussing how the Twenty Frame makes the game different.  The other opportunity is Building Towers.  I tell the students to let me know when they have built all of their towers.  This way I can check for quantities in each tower and see if the students are ordering them from least to greatest (CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.A.1).  I remind the students that after you check the towers, they can unsnap them and put the labeled (1-12) cubes back in the bag.  This way it will be ready for someone else.

I plan to check-in with students playing the 20 Beans game. I will look to see how students are using the 20 Frame to help them keep track of how many beans they have. I am looking to see if students are using a row of five and then counting on by 1's. Also, are they realizing two rows of five make ten.  Finally, do any of the students realize the empty spaces tell you how many more you need to get to 20?

Extension: If students are ready for this skill, I ask them to find a way to record their play by documenting the number rolled and total number of beans at the end of each round.  This again will get students to start working with the idea of documenting their math actions.

Connection to 1.NBT.A.1:  Students are building and counting and writing numbers in the range of 1-20.  For those who are ready, they are tarting to write representations of their total (in the 20 Beans activity).  

Advance Preparation:  Make enough 1-12 labeled cube sets for at least half of your class to play.  I find it easiest to have each set in its own bag.  I also label each set in its own color. This way if they get mixed up or one is left out, you can easily find which set it belongs to.


Lesson Wrap Up

15 minutes

I will signal to the students to clean up and then join me on the carpet.  I will have them all face the easel for this discussion.  Start off with asking how did the use of the 20 Frame change 20 Beans for you?  As ways are suggested, I write them on the chart paper and ask for clarification if needed. 

Then, we play a game of 20 Beans as a class.  As students were playing during center time, I scouted for students who were using the 20 Frame to count on, counting the empty squares to figure out how many more were needed to reach 20, and using 5 as a landmark (e.g., "I know there are five in a row, and one less would be four").  I did this because I want students to share and to see different ways of using the twenty frame.  Although some of these ideas will be advanced for my students, I think it is still beneficial for me to expose them to it at this time (MP3, MP5).

If time permits, I ask the students to practice writing the numerals that have been introduced (0,1,2, & 3). I want to emphasize this as much as possible over the first month.  I find this practice helps eliminate reversals.  I remind students to use the visual posters (video in previous lesson) to remember the starting point and strokes for each numeral.

Connection to MP3:  Students are justifying their use of the 20 frame and the answer they came up with.  

Connection to MP5:  Students were given the 20 Frame but not told to use it to make groups of 5 or 10.  Ny doing this independently, the students are choosing to use the 20 frame strategically and nto just as a tool to organize the beans by counting by 1's.