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. Morning calendar is outlined in the Daily Calendar Procedure.
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 reading 10 Furry Monsters. Any counting to 10 story works. I chose this one because it is fun and engaging. It is written similar to the book 10 Little Monkeys. I use this book in several lessons and the kids never get tired of it.
As I read the story, I think aloud the math I encounter. If time is not a concern, I do it for each page. If it is a concern, I think aloud only three or four of the pages.
Me: This story started with 10 furry monsters. Now this page only has 8. I remember 2 of the monsters got hurt. So if I take the 8 monsters on this page and I add the 2 injured monsters to them I should have 10 monsters altogether. That means 8 plus 2 must equal 10. I hold up two fingers and count out 8 more. I then count them altogether. Yup, 8 plus 2 equals 10!
Once I have read through the book, I demonstrate how to do the activity for the day:
Me: Do you remember the game we played yesterday? Please see my lesson titled, What makes 10, 10-frames and view the video below this box.
I place a copy of the turkey ten-frame game board under the doc cam to project it on the ActivBoard. The students confirm that they recall the game.
I demonstrate shaking, spilling and placing the two-sided counters onto the ten-frame. I then place the recording sheet under the doc cam. This is the new part to the game.
I demonstrate recording the combination I made on the ten-frame onto the the recording sheet.
When I am done making and recording my combination, I ask a mid-high to high student to come to the doc cam to act as my partner and to do exactly what I did.
After the demonstrations, I have the kids sit at their tables with their assigned partners. These partners are prearranged. Lows with med-high and med-lows with highs. Never place students with partners more than two levels apart as it frustrates both students and often creates behavior issues during the activity.
The materials are organized in a tub for easy access and passing out (see photo below).
Once the materials are passed out, I have the kids follow my instructions step by step for the first two rounds. If they appear ready to take it on for themselves, I let them take over and I roam the room supporting any teams that need the extra help.
Once all the teams are playing on their own, I roam the room and ask questions as they play:
What combination did you make?
How do you know __ and ___ makes 10?
How are you helping your partner while he/she is making a combination of 10?
I ask these types of questions for two reasons, 1) to keep the focus on the math not the game playing and 2) to reinforce the conceptual understanding goal of the activity. I want to make sure my kids know why they are playing and what they are supposed to be getting out of it.
I collect the recording sheets at the end of the class period and it serves as the exit ticket for the day. Because time is often an issue for a lesson like this, I don’t expect all of the recording sheet to be filled in, but I do expect my students to stay engaged at all times and to get as much work done as possible. Once I collect the recording sheets, I look for anything that demonstrates a misunderstanding such as incorrect equations, totals that aren't 10, or equations that don’t match the colored in ten-frames. I pull those kids into a small group for further instruction and clarification the next day.
I close the lesson by having the kids gather on the floor and share what they learned and what they thought of the activity. Having buy-in from students is key in getting kids to learn at the highest level they can. When kids have a say in how they learn, they are more readily accepting of the information and willing to participate at a higher level.