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.
We review what we know about counting. I stress to the kids that each time we count an object, even our fingers, we give each object that we count its own number name. That number is one more than the number before. We count to ten on our fingers slowly (MP4 - Model with mathematics). We do this so the kids can get a firm grasp on the concept that ever object needs to have it's own number and that we need to assign the numbers in order.
I read 10 Furry Monsters while I think aloud on each page:
If you don't have a copy of this book, it can also be found as a video on Youtube.
I have the kids count each monster will me from the fifth monster on.
To guide children in one-to one-counting and to prepare them for independent counting, I load Counting Fish by ABCya.com on to the ActivBoard. I have students take turns coming up to the ActivBoard to count (MP2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively) and click the number of objects (in this case fish) with support and guidance when needed (MP5 - Use appropriate tools strategically).
I choose students to come up and try counting the fish by pulling name sticks from a cup. This way, students at all different levels have the opportunity to come to the board to count the fish and click the appropriate number.
I ask the kids to explain their counting strategy to the class to help those who are still struggling with one to one counting and tracking (MP3 - Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others).
The Counting Worksheet independent work for this lesson requires the kids to connect numbers to quantities (MP7 - Look for and make use of structure). They do this by drawing a line from each set of objects to the corresponding number (MP2, MP4, MP6 - Attend to precision).
The kids are provide "offices" which are two file folders stapled together for make a "box" around the area where each student sits. They are asked to work on their own and do the best they can.
I explain that I am trying to see how well they are counting at this point and what they still need help with. In this way I ease the anxiety that some of them immediately experience when I ask them to work on their own. Since over 50% of my class turned five years old after school started, some of them struggle to keep up with the rest of the class. They need reassurance that it's okay if they still need support.
Before I give them the paper, I demonstrate how to do the job:
First I touch and count the first set of objects. "Did everyone see how I counted the koalas? How many did I count?"
Me: That's right. I counted 3 koalas. Now I am going to draw a line from the koalas to the number 3. I will do the same thing for the rest of the groups of objects. When I get done with this side of objects, I will then do this side.I should have a line from every group of objects to a number in the middle of the page.
As the kids are completing the page, I circulate about the room to get an idea of how they are doing. I try to catch an issues that I see with understanding how to complete the job or with the concept of counting and assigning a number to the quantities. I make notes on a page regarding kids that I may have concerns about.
The exit ticket for this lesson is the completed independent worksheet (see resources in section above). I collect them and sort them by Meets, Approaches and Falls Far Below.
Meets has 0-1 incorrect and continues with the learning unit as planned.
Approaches has 2 incorrect and I meet with them one on one to clear up any misconceptions such as confusing numbers (6 and 9) or miscounting.
FFB has 3 or more incorrect and those students meet with me in a small group each day for further direct and guided instruction until they are proficient.