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. Detailed directions about teaching calendar math can be found 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 reviewing counting through ten-frames, using the video Learn Numbers from Turtle Diary.
I do this to get the kids focused on counting and on the patterns of quantities visualized within the ten-frames.
Next we watch a one minute Ten Frame Flashcards video by Jamie Robinson. The video runs very quickly so I pause occasionally to let the kids see the larger numbers.
After identifying the quantities in the video, I explain to the kids that we are going to identify quantities greater than ten. I show them the filled ten-frame and then I guide them in naming the teen numbers (11-19) that I "flash" on the ActivBoard. I place one full ten-frame under the doc cam and then add one partially full ten-frame at a time in random order to create teen numbers. The kids begin by shouting out the teen number represented and phase into doing individually. I choose students to name the quantities by pulling names from a name stick can.
After we finish working with the videos, I flash quantities of 11-19 on the ActivBoard through the doc cam. I do this by placing a full ten-trame under the doc cam and asking the kids to identify how many they see. Of course they all respond by stating, “10.” After that I have them identify the quantities in order as I place the additional partial ten-frame under the doc cam. If they start saying the number before they see them on the board, I make them slow down and wait for the visual. We finish this segment of the DI by identifying the teen base-ten combinations in random order. This is a critical step, because there is a potential for students to rote count the teens while not knowing the quantity they represent, and/or recognize the numeral).
Next I demonstrate the activity for the day. Since they play the same game with a partner in the prior lesson, Roll a Spot, Day One, the kids are familiar with the game and don’t need much demonstration. The only difference is that in this lesson the partners will be playing a “speed” game for identifying teen quantities/nuumbers.
I choose a med-high to high student who can follow cues with little support. This allows students to view the steps of the activity with little breaks in pace or thinking. For more complex activities, I will ask a student or two to come in at lunch and learn the game so we can model it together.
The game is played exactly like the game in Roll a spot, Day One except there is a Team A and a Team B as well as Partner A and Partner B. Team A goes first while Team B watches. Team A, Partner A rolls and works first while Partner B coaches. Then Team B, Partner A goes while Partner B coaches. Round 2: Team A, Partner B goes while Partner A coaches. Then Team B, Partner B goes while Partner A coaches (see video of game play below).
**The Spot sheets are placed in plastic sheet protectors (medium grade) and the kids use dry erase markers to play.
Since the kids are familiar with an activity almost identical to this one, I don't spend a large amount of time on guided practice.
I walk them through one full round of play (one play of Team A and one play of Team B) and then let them take it over on their own. I watch for any potential problems that may arise based on behavior and ability to follow the steps.
Since the partners are strategically paired, their is always at least one member of each table team who is capable of assisting the other kids with the steps of the game.
The goal is to get the kids working and learning a soon and as long as possible.
For the independent practice in this lesson, I give students full control of the game immediately because of the experience they have playing the same game with different quantities. I roam the room and assist where needed and intervene in any conflicts that may arise between partners.
During independent practice, I roam the room and monitor the partner teams. I ask questions as they play to make sure they stay focused on the math, not just the game:
What number did you make?
How did you know how many more “spots” when you were already given ten?
What combination did you make to get ____? Can you do it another way?
How do you know _____ and ______ is the same as ______.
I also make sure the teams are using time wisely and working well together. Learning time is golden and should be used for learning, not fooling around. Maintaining high expectations provides kids the understanding that learning is important and takes priority in the classroom.
Partners are assigned with great care in mind. I partner kids according to ability levels. See the demo video below to see how I partner and/or group kids.
Once time for game play has expired (clean up 5 minutes before end of play time) I have the kids gather back on the floor (I countdown from 5 to 0) to discuss what they have learned, any "aha" moments they would like to discuss and anything they would like to suggest to improve the game.
This provides an opportunity for them to refocus their attention on the math concepts and skills they learned as well as provides an opportunity for buy-in. This generates excitement and dedication in the students for learning and for further activities.