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.
I begin the lesson by reading a portion of the M & M's Addition Book. I don't read the entire thing because it goes into addition that is beyond what we are working on in this lesson.
I read through the first few pages and stress the important mathematical information. I count out loud the M & Ms on the page and think aloud about the math.
Me: I read about the parts of an addition equation and explain what they mean. Kindergarteners don't need to memorize this information, but it may help some of them to understand the parts of an addition equation (the higher achievers seem to benefit from this). I touch the two parts of the vocabulary and say, "The two parts in an addition problem are called addends. Everyone say, 'The parts are called addends."
Kids: The parts are called addends.
Me: Now turn to your floor partner and tell them that you know what the parts in an addition problem are called. And say, "The parts are called addends."
Kids (turning to their floor partners): The parts are called addends.
Me: Good job! Now see this (touching the solution)? This is the whole number or the solution to the problem. It is called the sum. It's not like the word that we know, "some S O M E" It's a different kids of sum. it's spelled S U M. Can you see it here in the text?
I touch the word, sum. You guys blend the sounds and read the word with me, "sum."
Kids (while I drag my finger across the word sum): Sum (I waste no opportunity to practice blending sounds in words!)
Me: Now say, "The whole number is the sum."
Kids: The whole number is the sum.
Me: Now turn to your floor partner and say, "I know what the whole number is called. It's called the sum!"
I finish reading the portion of the book that is appropriate for kinder. I go over each addition problem as I read (there are only a couple).
For this lesson, we play a card game using cards 0-5. At this point, I don't want the sums to go over 10.
Me: Today you are going to play an addition card game. You will be working with your table partner to play. If your table partner is absent, stay calm and I will find you another partner. For now, it's important that you watch and listen now so you can learn how to play the game.
Each team (two players) will have one deck of cards, one whiteboard, one dry erase marker and one wipey (small cloth pieces). I set up my doc cam to demonstrate the game for the kids.
Partner A will go first.You will take two cards off of the TOP of the deck (I demonstrate). You will turn them over and set them next to each other like this (I demonstrate). You will make an addition equation out of them and write the number sentence on the white board like this (I write 2+4= on the whiteboard under the doc cam. Then you will count the total number of objects and write the sum, or whole number, for the solution like this (I finish the equation 2+4=6). My partner should be watching and checking my work as I go. If they agree with my answer, I will then hand the whiteboard, the marker and wipey to my partner to take a turn. I don't need to move the cards because they should already be sitting between us.
Partner B takes a turn (this could be a high achieving student that you choose because they need little prompting to be able to understand and remember what they need to do to take their turn).
Everyone go sit at your tables while I have a few helpers pass out the materials. Do NOT start playing when you get your materials. Say, "I promise not to touch my materials until my teachers says."
Kids: I promise not to touch my materials until my teacher says.
Me: I will guide you step by step through the first couple of rounds. Okay?
Me (after all materials are handed out): Hands up! (that's a signal we are starting) Hands in your lap! Here we go! Partner A, take the deck of cards and put them on the table between your name plates. (I wait until they have all done it.)
Partner A, take the first two cards off of the TOP of the desk. That means you don't dig for a card. You take whatever is on top.(I wait)
Partner B, you should be watching and checking everything that Partner A does. Help them out if they get stuck or if they miscount.
Now turn them over on the table so you can see the number and objects on them. (I wait)
Now think what the addition problem should look like and write it on the whiteboard. (I circulate to make sure they are doing it correctly. I assist where needed. Most do it fine on their own.
Partner B, tell your Partner A if you agree with their number sentence and answer.
Partner A, wipe off the white board and pass it with the marker and wipey to your partner.
I repeat the same steps for Partner B to experience how to play. Then I have them play the game this way (step by step guided) one more time. On the third round, I ask them what they need to do next and then have them do it. By round four, they are on their own.
Note about partners: I pre-plan the partners and I switch them around every six weeks. This seems to help avoid major behavior issues and frustrations. All of the A partners are high or mid-high achievers. The Bs are all low or mid-low achievers. Never put kids together that are more than two levels apart! That frustrates the As and causes behavior issues and is counter productive. Highs are partnered with mid-low and mid-highs are partnered with lows. The mid-highs are usually those who function well, but are a bit slower in the game play or solving problems. They have to go through a few more steps in their mind where the high are competent and fluent and need little directing.
I gradually release the game to the kids. If I release the game too soon, the kids become frustrated and start to act up and argue.
They spend the next 15 to 20 minutes playing independently while I roam the room checking to see if they are playing the game appropriately and if they are recording the number sentences correctly. I did have to intervene a couple of times.
Me (talking to a student who recorded the number sentence incorrectly 2 + 5 + 7) I see you drew the 2 and the 5 from the pile. Can you read me your number sentence?
Kid: Tries but fumbles on the second addition sign. (That tells me she knows something is incorrect which is great because it makes it easier for her to understand how to fix it.)
Me: Let's look at the number sentence you wrote. I point to the first plus sign and ask, "What is this?"
Kid: Addition sign
Me: What does it mean?
Kid: To get more
Me: Good! So you know what the addition sign is and what it means. Very good. Now let's look at the two numbers you drew from the pile. What are they?
Kid: 2 and 5
Me: Okay so show me where they are in your number sentence.
Kid (Points to the 2 and then the 5.)
Me: What is this number then (pointing to the 7)?
Kids: It's how much 2 and 5 make.
Me: Well, look at this sign (pointing to the second addition sign) What does it mean?
Kids: To get more.
Me: Are you getting 7 more?
Kid: No, that's how many these ones are together.
Me: Okay, then is there a different sign that you should use to show that?
Kid: Oh yeah, I remember now! She erases the addition sign and writes and equal sign.
Me: What sign is that?
Kid: Equal sign
Me: What does it mean?
Kid: Same as because 2 and 5 are the same as 7
Me: Great! Please read your number sentence to me now. Two plus five is the same as seven.
We continue to play the game until time is up. I help any other students that need assistance by asking probing questions to make them think through the process. Most of them find the answers are already in their heads and just need a little nudging.
We meet back on the floor and discuss what they have learned from this experience. I ask them the following questions (I choose 3 to 4 students to answer each one):
What was one thing you learned while playing this game?
Some of the answers:
I learned that I could count all the pictures on the cards to get the whole number.
I learned that if I have the same numbers, they can be in either spot because I had 3 and 4 and then my partner had 4 and 3 and both were the same as 7.
I learned how to write a number sentence. (This was the student I helped)
What did you like about this game?
Some of the answers:
I liked the cards.
I liked writing the problem on the board.
I liked helping my partner.
Is there anything you'd like to do differently with this game?
Some of the answers:
Can we play outside one day?
I want a paper that we can write the problems on so we can go back and look at them. (High achiever)
Can we get bigger cards?
The exit ticket is a quick addition practice page to see how they are coming along. It has pictures and the number sentence, except for the answer, written for them. They just need to solve and turn in.
I separate the responses into three different piles while I collect them:
Meets - misses 0 or 1
Approaches - misses 2
Falls Far Below - misses 3 or more
The "Meets" students continue with the teaching-learning cycle as planned.
"Approaches" - I look for a common error that I see in their papers like miscounting and I meet quickly with them in a small group to correct it by having them count slower or having them mark out the objects as they count them.
"Falls Far Below" are still missing a large piece of understanding of this concept so I meet with them in a small group or individually if necessary. I have them demonstrate their strategy and then I intervene with more direct instruction and guided practice.