Each day we begin our math block with an interactive online calendar followed by counting songs and videos.
We do calendar on Starfall every afternoon. This website has free reading and math resources for primary teachers. It also has a “more” option that requires paying a yearly fee. The calendar use is free. A detailed description of Daily Calendar math is included in the resources.
Counting with online sources: Today we did counting practice to reinforce the counting skills. We watched two to three number recognition 0-10 videos (one to two minutes each) because some of my students students were still struggling with identifying numbers correctly in random order. We watched "Shawn the Train" and counted objects with him to refresh our memories on how to count objects to ten and to reinforce one to one counting. Since we have started the second quarter of the school year, we added to today's counting practice: counting to 20 forward and back, counting by tens to 100 and counting to 100 by ones to get a jump on our end of the year goals.
I begin the lesson by reviewing our hexagon chart. We talk about the attributes of the hexagon and about what we learned in the previous lesson (The Making of a Hexagon).
Me (holding up a hexagon die cut): What do we call this shape?
Me: Well, what makes this shape a hexagon? What can you tell me about this shape?
Students (names randomly picked one at a time from popsicle sticks in a jar) are provided with the sentence stem, "The hexagon has __________."
Student 1: The hexagon has six points.
Me: What are those points called? (If student is unable to answer, I ask another student to "help" him or her. (I circle the points on the hexagon.)
Student: The points are called corners (some say vertex or angle - any is accepted)
Me: What else makes this shape a hexagon? What else can you tell me about it?
Student 2: The hexagon has six sides. (If the student doesn't use a complete sentence to answer, guide them into rephrasing their answer into a complete sentence using the sentence frame.)
Me: Awesome! A hexagon has six corners and six sides (I number the sides of the hexagon on the chart). Now, turn to your talking partner and explain to them what we did with the hexagons yesterday.
Students: Talk to their partners discussing yesterday's lesson.
Me: I call on three random students (stick jar) to report to the class what their PARTNER said (this encourages good listening skills). "What did your partner say about what we did yesterday with hexagons?"
I give the students a page with hexagon outlines and ask them to fill each hexagon with a combination of shapes. The challenge is that no two hexagon fills can be the same!
Once the students have all the hexagons filled in, I ask them to remove one shape at a time and trace the space where it was.
After all the tracing is done, I ask them to identify each shape and trace it's outline in the color that matches the block they used to create it e.g. red trapezoids, green triangles, blue rhombuses.
They share their completed pages with their table team.
Management tip: To call on students, I pull names on popsicle sticks that are housed in a plastic jar. This prevents me from sub-consciously choosing the same students repeatedly or calling on too many girls versus boys and vice versa.
We gather back on the floor and share our findings and our favorite hexagons fill-ins. I choose a few kids to come up and use the blocks to demonstrate how they filled a hexagon and share their tracing technique.
The kids get excited about sharing how they were able to fill in the hexagons. My struggling students get the most out of this time because it sparks ideas in them they didn't get on their own.
The exit ticket for this activity is the filled in with color hexagon page.
I separate the pages into two groups: Meets and Needs. My Meets group is made up of the students who satisfactorily complete the task of filling the hexagon. My Needs pile is made up the students who still additional instruction or a small group experience.