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 100by ones to get a jump on our end of the year goals.
I read a counting book to begin this lesson. Any counting book will work, but I chose to read one of their favorites, 10 Furry Monsters.
As I read each page, I think aloud the math I encounter. For instance I say, "Look, there are 4 furry monsters on this page. (I touch and count them) I need (I count up on my fingers to 10 and hold up my fingers - 6 of them) 6 more monsters to have 10 furry monsters.
I continue to think aloud in this manner for the rest of the story.
I use this story to get them thinking about combinations that make 3 to 10. Today we will focus on the combinations of 6, 7 and 8. Yesterday we focused on combinations of 3, 4 and 5 (see lesson, What Makes 3, 4, & 5?). We review partitioning of numbers 3, 4 and 5.
Once I finish the story and think aloud, I have my helper of the day pass out bags of counting snapping blocks. Each bag contains 10 blocks of a single color.
I instruct the helper to give kids that sit close together different color blocks. I do this for two reasons, 1) I can see who uses their manipulatives properly and 2) it is easier for the kids to manage their tools without getting them mixed up.
Once all the kids have a bag of blocks, I ask them to build a tower of 6. I instruct them to hold the towers in the air. Then we break them to make two parts.
We record all the different combinations of 6 that we make.
Me: Count out 6 blocks and make a six-tower (I wait for all to have a tower). Hold your tower up. Close your eyes and break your tower into two parts.
Hold up the two parts. Rayne (random pick of student), what combination of 6 do you have?
Rayne: I have 2 and 4.
Me: Excellent! Let's all say, "2 and 4 makes 6"
Me and the kids: 2 and 4 makes 6
Me: I write the combination on chart paper under 6.
We continue to record the combinations of 6 until they are all recorded.
We follow this same pattern for the number 7 and 8.
We discuss what we have learned from this experience. I ask the following questions:
1) What was one thing you learned from this experience?
2) How can what you learned help you with addition and subtraction?
Me: What was one thing you learned from this experience?
I pull a name stick from the name stick jar. I call on Anelyse.
Anelyse: I learned that 2 and 4 make 6.
Me: Great! I like how you shared a combination of 6 with us. It's great that you remember that. I pull another stick. I call on Roman.
Roman: I learned that I can break numbers apart.
Me: That's terrific! That is exactly what I want you to learn. It's important for you to know that numbers are made up of different combinations and that more than one combinations can make the same number.
So then, how can what you learned today help you with addition and subtraction?
I call on a random student sitting nicely with their hand up.
Bayro: The combinations are the parts of numbers. And you can make the combinations addition problems. Just put an addition sign where the "and" is.
Me: Excellent, Bayro! That is the whole idea. We are trying to learn combinations of numbers so we can use those combinations to add and subtract numbers. It's a good idea to try to remember combinations as you can.
Now you are going to get a chance to work with these combinations all by yourself.
The exit ticket is the same as the previous lesson. The kids are given a blank half a sheet of paper. They are asked to write down two different combinations of 8. They are encouraged to use their blocks if they need them. They can write a number sentence or they can draw a picture. Either is acceptable as long as they can show the combinations that make 8.
Since this lesson is so early in the unit, I am only looking for correctly paired numbers, not correct writing of the algorithm. I pull kids that are struggling with the concept of combinations to experience further guided instruction in a small group. I also look for those who may need one-on-one interaction. Those are usually the ones who still struggle with counting.