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.
I read the book, 5 Little Monkeys, to the kids and think aloud about the math as I read.
Me: I know there are 5 little monkeys. If one falls off and bumps his head, there will only be 4 little monkeys because 4 and 1 is 5.
Next page - We started with 5 monkeys and we've lost one already. Now there is 4. If we lose another monkey, there will only be 3. (I read more of the story) Look, another monkey bumped his head. Now there are only 3. I know that's true because 2 monkeys have bumped there heads and there are only 3 left. I know that 3 and 2 make 5 and that's how many moneys we started with.
I continue with this think aloud through the rest of the book.
We then review the addition and equal signs.
Me: Holding up the addition sign, I ask, "What is this?"
Kids: addition sign
Me: What does it mean?
Kids: to get more
Me: What is this?
Kids: Equal sign
Me: What does it mean?
Kids: Same as
Me: Great! I'm so glad you remember what the signs mean. That's really going to help us meet our goal today.
First, I introduce the goal and the activity to the kids.
Me: Now that we understand what addition is and we've gotten pretty good at it, it's time that we move to the next step. In kindergarten, we need to know all the combinations of numbers that are the same as 5.
Today we are going to play a game that is going to show us all the combinations that are the same as 5 by the end. It's called, "Shake and Count 5". Here's how you play:
I choose a high-achieving student to be my partner because she doesn't need much coaching in order to demonstrate the game to the rest of the class.
I place the game sheet under the doc cam and show the kids the cup with 5 counters that they will be using with their partners.
I call myself partner A and Anelyse (the partner student) is partner B. (My class is assigned A and B partners every 6 weeks. High achievers are paired with med-low students, Med-high achievers are paired with low students. This is done deliberately so that the high students do not get frustrated while working with low students. NEVER pair high achievers with low achievers. The achievement gap between more than one level is too great and can increase behavior issues.
I demonstrate step 1: cover the cup with my hand, shake the cup (filled with 5 two-sided red and yellow counters) three times and spill it out. I place the red counters in the spaces first and record the number and then the yellow recording that number. 3 red + 2 yellow. So now I know that 3+2 is the same as 5. I read the number sentence I recorded while I point to each symbol.
I pass the game sheet to my partner and ask her to shake, spill and record. She spills 4+1, places the dots in the appropriate places, records the number sentence and states "4+1 is the same as 5."
I tell the class it is their turn to play. I guide them through the first round A and B.
The independent practice section of this lesson is the kids taking over the game and completing the game board for both A and B.
I roam the room and assist when needed and provide conflict resolution for partners when needed. I also maintain appropriate classroom behavior by roaming and overseeing the actions of the students.
I collect all the supplies and game sheets. I have the kids gather together on the floor and we go over what we learned and what we could remember.
Me: Okay, so how did you like the game?
Kids: It was fun!
Me: Good, I'm glad to hear that. Now, who can tell me one combination of five that you discovered while playing the game? I am looking for a Gold Star student who is sitting criss cross applesauce and has their hand in the air.
Student one: 2 + 3.
Me: Good job! I record the combination on a Bubble Map poster (see image). Let's say it, "Two plus three is the same as five." Okay, who can tell me another combination?
Student 2: 4 + 1
I record the combinations as the kids provide them. Two students struggle with the concept and are confused. They both seem to understand that combinations that make 5 are made with at least one number being between 0 and 5, but they are confused in what those numbers are combined with to make 5 even when I show them on my hand. One suggests 5 + 5 and another 4 + 3. Finally, through discussion and coaching from other students she understands 5 + 0 = 5. The other student, the boy, is still confused and still thinks 4 + 3 = 7. I will meet with him in a small group tomorrow along with a couple of other students I have some concerns about.
The exit ticket for this lesson looks exactly like the game sheet except there are only two places to make combinations of 5 (there are three exit tickets on one sheet - copy and cut).
The kids are asked to show 2 different ways to make 5 and write the equation.
In the video I ask the kids to label the circles with an R for red or Y for yellow. In reflection, I would have given them back the red and yellow crayons and had them color in two different ways and then write the corresponding equation for each.