Each day we begin our math block with an interactive online calendar followed by counting songs and videos.
My class does calendar on Starfall. 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:
We do daily counting practice to reinforce the counting skills. In the first two to three weeks of school, we watch two to three number recognition 0-10 videos (one to two minutes each) until all students can identify numbers correctly in random order. Depending on time, we may watch "Shawn the Train" and count objects with him. I may also choose to rotate songs, videos and counting depending on time and skill needs. As the students become more proficient at counting and number identification, I begin to add additional skills such as counting to 20 forward and back, counting by tens to 100 and counting to 100 by ones.
Direct instruction for this lesson is reviewing and practicing what we already know. We review the addition, subtraction and equal signs, then practice adding and subtracting quantities.
Me: I hold up the addition sign and ask, "What sign is this?"
Students: Addition sign
Me: What does it mean?
Students: Get more!
Me: I hold up the subtraction sign and ask, "What sign is this?"
Students: Subtraction sign
Me: What does it mean?
Students: Get less! (some say, "Put some back!")
Me: I hold up the equal sign and ask, "What's this?"
Students: Equal sign
Me: What does it mean?
Students: The same as!
We practice doing the online addition and subtraction problems. I have the kids come up to the board to answer or use the ActivPen to touch the answer by randomly drawing name sticks from a can. I have them practice together until everyone has gotten a turn at the board or until I see time is running short. They are welcome to use their fingers or ask for a bag of cubes to help solve the problems before coming to the board. They are also welcome to help each other solve the problems since this is a guided practice.
Note: If you do not have an ActivBoard, you can enlarge and copy the addition cards provided as a resource or use store bought flashcards and manipulatives.
I solve all of the problems with the kids using my fingers to count.After everyone has had a turn, I start a discussion about how I noticed that several of the equations we solved had the same solution. I ask the kids it they can think of some equations that were the same as 6.
We verbally share them. Each time a new equation for 6 is given, I have the kids turn to their talking partners on the floor (they are preassigned each morning based on who's present and who's absent) and I have them say, ___ + ___ = 6.
Having the students verbally state to a partner the equations after they are provided helps them process what we are discussing and solidifies in their mind the concept that more than one equation can equal the same thing.
For this practice, I prepare addition and subtraction number sentence cards (flash cards work) with like sums and differences (5 and 7). I use them to introduce this lesson by sorting them with the kids in a pocket chart. I also use counting cubes to act out the problems to prove which number they are the same as.
I place the 5 on one side and the 7 on the other. I have the kids solve the number sentences with me and place them on the correct side of the pocket chart. I say "same as" not "equal to" because my goal is to get the kids to understand that 4+3 is the same as 7, it's just broken apart.
Me: Today we are going to find equations that are the same as 5 (holding up the 5 card and placing it in the pocket chart) and 7 (holding up the 7 card and placing it in the pocket chart).
Here's the first one (holding up the number sentence card):
4 + 3 What is 4 + 3 the same as?
Me: So where should I put this card?
Students: Put it under the 7!
Me: Okay, well let's make sure that we are correct first. I count out 4 cubes and snap them together into a tower. I then count our 3 cubes and snap them together into a tower. I put the towers together and have the kids count the number of blocks in the new tower. We count out 7, which confirms their initial answer so I put the card under the 7 on the right side of the pocket chart.
We continue to do this until all of the cards have been placed correctly.
The students are provided with a cut and paste activity. On the first page, there are two columns with the number 6 at the top of the left column and the number 8 on the right column. On the second page, there are mini flashcards that with equations that all equal 6 or 8. They are asked to solve each equation, cut it out and glue it in the correct column. They may seek the support of the other students sitting at their table if they need help solving any of the equations.
The cut and paste activity in the independent practice is the exit ticket. I use this time to check student work and break them into groups of Meets (zero or one equation in the wrong place), Approaches (two equations in the wrong place) or Falls Far Below (more than two in the wrong place).
Meets students will continue with an extension lesson the next day.
Approaches will meet with me quickly to clear up any minor misconceptions.
Falls Far Below will be placed in a small group or met with individually to reinforce the concept and clear up any misconceptions. They will also be provided extra practice time with a capable Meets partner.