Sunday, September 21, 2014

Our math routines

We're off to a great start in math this year. Each day starts with Morning Meeting, one of my favorite times of the day. After greeting each other and answering the "share question" for the day, we move on to our morning math routines. This includes putting the date on the calendar, singing the Days of the Week song, and marking our days in school (the first picture below). We've had 14 days of school already (even though the pictures below were taken on day 13)! We also count out loud up to the number of days, which is good practice for kindergarteners who are expected to count to 100 by the end of the year. Last, we display the number of days in a different way (the second picture below), so kids can become familiar with our Base Ten number system. These charts show them that 13 is represented by one row of 10 and 3 extra dots ("ones"). This is a concept that we will revisit all year.

We've also begun more hands-on math activities, such as the one below involving counting mats and number cards. In this game, one partner displays a number card and the correct amount of blue/red squares. Then the other partner needs to make the same display on their counting mats. Even for kids who are already adding and subtracting, it's good to develop a deep number sense before moving on to more complex math.

Our last math routine is Number of the Day! Starting at one, we explore one number per day and the kids record it in their Number of the Day packets.
  1. First, we write the number. Kids at this age often write their numbers backward, and that's completely fine. This is good practice for them to recognize what the numeral looks like. I sign songs that go with each one - my favorite is how to write the number five. As you write it (in the way this video portrays), say "Long neck, belly fat, number five wears a hat." 
  2. Next, we fill in the ten-frames. (Click here for more information on what a ten-frame is.)
  3. Then we draw a picture to represent that amount.
  4. Last, we find that amount of objects from around the room, and bring them back to the circle to share. This helps the kids get a concrete idea of the amount this number represents. They can see that the amount of "five" is the same, no matter if it's five markers, five blocks, five stuffed animals, or five toy cars.
Below are some pictures of our Number of the Day routine!

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