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.
The direct instruction for this lesson is done by acting out the story, Ten Flashing Fireflies. This story is about two children who see ten flashing fireflies at night and they catch one at a time and place them in a jar.
I make construction paper fireflies (or you can print and color the Fireflies Template in the resources) and I have a plastic jar. I tape ten paper fireflies to a piece of chart paper. As I read the story, I remove one firefly at a time and place it in the jar. With each movement, I go recite the two equations that go with it.
Me: There are 6 fireflies in our jar. How many are outside of the jar?
Me: That's right, we started with 10 and now there are 6 in our jar and only 4 left out. So now I know that 10-6=4. We catch another one and place it in the jar. We had 6 in the jar and we added one more. How many are in the jar now?
Me: Awesome! 6+1=7 How many fireflies are left outside?
Me: Alright so 10-7=3 and 4-1=3
We work through the rest of the story like this.
The students solve addition and subtraction problems (mixed on the page). When they finish solving the problems, I ask them to circle the equations that equal the same (same as) and then draw a line connecting the equations that equal the same.
I check to see if the kids can solve the equations accurately (they are provided manipulatives) and if they can identify the equations that equal the same.
I separate the collected papers into three piles:
Meets - miss one or none
Approaches - miss two (I look for common errors to address)
Falls Far Below - miss three or more (These kids are placed in a small group and given further guided instruction)
I ask the kids what they have learned from this lesson. I want to see if they are able to tell me that more than one equation can equal the same thing.
I have equations written on large index cards. We go over each equation and place them in a pocket chart. We place the cards that equal the same next to each other in the pocket chart.
Me: I'm going to ask you a question and I don't want you to yell out. I want you to take a minute to really think about your answer and then raise your hand when you're ready to share. What is one thing that you learned today? (I give about 30 seconds of wait time)
I choose a student who is a medium-high achiever because I want someone who can spark a conversation and get the other kids thinking, but not give too much away.
Student 1: I learned that problems can have the same answer.
Me: Can you explain what you mean by that?
Student 1: Like when you took 1 bug away from 4 bugs. That was 3 bugs, but then that same bug joined the 2 bugs in the jar and that was 3 bugs, too.
Me: That was an excellent example, thank you. I really like the way you shared the bug stories that were the same. I pick another student, this time one who struggles a little.
Student 2: I learned that the bugs can be in the jar or outside.
Me: Okay, but what did you learn about counting the bugs?
Student 2: When a bug went in the jar, there were less bugs outside.
Me: That's great! You could see that the bugs going in the jar took away from the bugs outside. What do we call it when we take something away?
Student 2: Subtraction
Me: Right, and what do we call it when we get more?
Student 2: Addition
Me: Very good! So we were adding and subtracting at the same time. We were adding bugs to the jar and taking bugs away from outside.
Let's look at the problems on these cards. Let's see if we can match them with problems that equal the same thing. (the numbers 4, 5, and 6 are in the pockets to one side of the pocket chart in a column)
I hold up the first card, it has 3+1 written on it. We solve it together and place the card in the pocket chart next to the number 4.
I hold up the next card, it has 6-1 written on it. We solve it together and place the card in the pocket chart next to the number 5.
We continue to solve and place them in the pocket chart until we have gone through them all. Then we go over the pocket chart and notice that there are at least two problems next to each number.