Teaching (Math) Then & Now {w/ The Super Sparkly Teacher}


I love math and the way I teach it is constantly changing and evolving. Last year, I used a lot of math stories (word problems) and some of the materials from the math curriculum. It was getting boring and stale for me. After working with one of the math coaches this year, I found that math exploration could look much different. Now, my math time includes more hands-on exploration related to the concept we’re working on. #thenandnow

first grade math

Games are a great way to allow students to discover math concepts on their own (or with guidance) and they think they’re just playing. If my kiddos are having fun and learning, I’m all about it! I’m constantly letting them try out different tools like rekenreks, ten frames, bar models, and number lines during this time. This is the first year I feel like my students are experts when it comes to utilizing the different tools (even if they’re not).  


Here’s the format I've been using:
Launch- I usually share a math story (word problem) or picture.
Exploration- Students solve a problem using the tools I provide or are given a game where they are discovering a concept.
Summary- Students share out some of their observations or solutions.
Close- Teacher reviews findings and "Aha!" moments.
Extension- Students complete a ticket out the door, pencil/paper activity, or complete math stations.

Now, I may live in California, but North California has some GREAT resources. It’s possible that you have already been using them, but if not click {HERE} to check out their site.

first grade math

This doubles game is called Doubles Cover Up. I modified it in order to use it to make it work for near doubles. The previous day my students exclaimed, "Some of the numbers are missing!" This allowed for some great discussions about doubles and near doubles the next day. Click {HERE} to find the First Grade Games. Sometimes I pick things I like and pair them with other materials I have in my classroom.

Do you have any other free resources other teachers might like? Please share! I'm sure we'd all prefer less paper/pencil, more hands-on practice.

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