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. The full description of morning Calendar Time is described here.
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 this lesson by using 10-frame cards under the doc cam to make quantities 11 to 19 (I have included large cards in case you do not have a doc cam). The goal is get the kids to understand that there is always one 10 in the teen numbers and that the number of ones determines what the teen number is.
In the video below, the kids have recognized the pattern and are actually anticipating what the next number is. In a later lesson, I mix up the teens and do not show them in order which makes them have to be more attentive to the ones group.
I then demonstrate the activity by reminding them of the games they have played over the past few days, Dog Gone Good 11-12 (parts 1 and 2), and now this one.
Since they are familiar with the earlier activities, this lesson is quick and easy to demonstrate as it builds directly off of the others.
I place a copy of the game mat under the doc cam and demonstrate the activity:
1) I touch and say the number in the top left corner of the game card.
2) I count the dots in the filled-in ten-frame and record the 10 on the line to the right of it.
3) I fill in and count the dots that are needed to reach the given number.
4) I write the number of additional dots I added on the line to the right of the second tens frame.
5) Next I write the number sentence made by the two ten-frames and I read the equation out loud to the class (my partner).
I have the kids go to their seats one table at a time. The materials are prepared and kept in a tub for easy access and easy distribution by me and some student helpers. I have added a stack of Spot 13-16 cards to the 11 & 12 cards from the previous lesson so they are now playing Spot 11-16.
I guide them through at least two full rounds of play before letting them go on their own. Releasing the game too early invites chaos and behavior issues. It's vital to make sure the kids fully understand the steps in the game and can manage them on their own before letting them have at it independently.
As I guide them through it (Partner A first, then Partner B) at least two full rounds, I roam the room and intercept potential problems or misunderstandings.
Once I feel they are taking steps (acting on what comes next before I give the instructions) I release one independent round to them as continue to roam and monitor. I support and/or correct missed or incorrectly done steps. I do this until they are all working independently with their partners.
The independent practice continues with me monitoring and supporting when needed. I resolve conflicts and confusion between partners.
If the kids are working well together, I roam and ask questions to keep the focus on the math and less on having fun and playing a game.
I ask questions such as:
What number did you make?
How do you know what to do to make ____?
How did you make ____?
How do you know that's ____? Can you prove to me that it's ____?
I expect the kids to be able to explain to me what it is they are doing, how they are doing it and why so I can be sure they are building a full conceptual understanding of what they are doing.
While the teams are working, it is expected that both partners be engaged at all times. That means while one partner is making the number, the other is coaching and checking the work. Their job is to assist anytime their partner struggles or does the task incorrectly. Please see Spot - game play video below.
Once the allotted time is up, I have the kids clean up their materials and stack them in the middle of their tables. I call them one table at a time to the floor to have our closing discussion. We make a contest out of it by seeing which table comes to the floor the quickest and the quietest without running.
I ask kids to share what they learned by doing the activity, what they remember, and what they like the best about it. I also ask for suggestions to make the game better because the best ideas always come from my kids. They know what they need and what they want and will tell you if you give them the opportunity. Some of my best lessons were developed through ideas provided by my students.
After our wrap-up (closure) I give each student one of the 11-16 game cards to complete. I make sure no two people at the same table have the same number so they cannot copy each others work. I ask the kids to fill in the given game cards and I collect them as the line up.
As I collect them I put them in one of two piles, understands or needs help. The needs help kids meet with me at a later time during the same day or the next morning. I work them on the specific skill or step that is missing or incorrectly done on the card and have them practice a few more. I then ask them to explain to me what they are doing, how they are doing it and why. If they struggle to answer these questions, I meet with that student one on one to address specific needs.
While viewing the sample of completed cards in the resource section, please notice that the student who completed the 12 card wrote the 2 backwards. At this point, I am not concerned with reversals, only mathematical thinking and accuracy. In a situation like this, I would send a 2 tracing page home with the student for homework and share the information with his/her parent so they can help the student learn to write the numeral correctly.