Math Empowers 1

Middletown Township Public Schools

Grade 1 - First Trimester 2017-2018

How successful are YOU with solving Irrelevant problems?

Gain buy-in with your students with this SMART Notebook File containing dozens of engaging openers for your math class!

  • Some slides are numberless, so you can lead your students to identifying what they NEED to solve the problem and what path they will take. You can choose the appropriate numbers! (And reuse the slide another day)
  • Some slides are question-less! "The answer is 5 pumpkins. What is the question?"
  • Some slides have all the necessary information, but students must determine if they have 2 parts and need to find the whole... or if they have the whole and a part but need to figure out the missing part.

You can right click "CLONE SLIDE" if you want to reuse a slide with different questions or numbers. You can INSERT a new page to paste your own picture and question. Where has this resource been hiding??? ON THE MATH RESOURCE DOC OF COURSE!

You will also find Pumpkin Doubles and Pumpkin Bump Composing Numbers and Capturing Gems on the Hundreds Chart Printable game.

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"Just Knowing" Number Composition and The Hiding Assessment

While first graders do not need rote memorization of all math facts, composing numbers to 10 is an essential understanding that precludes many children from gaining deeper understanding about numbers. If a first grader counts out 10 cubes, and 6 are covered up, we want them to "just know" how many are missing based on how many they see. If they need a few seconds to count (even silently), then they need more work composing 10.

Upon further investigation, struggling learners may need more work composing 5, or even 4. Number composition to 5 is a kindergarten standard some students are not ready to master. They may need more time with activities to build SOLID understanding of smaller numbers, like Shake and Spill games with fewer counters. Here is a FABULOUS 5 minute intervention video you might appreciate for building better number understanding.

There are more of these VIDEOS on our Math Instruction Resources Doc!

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Symbaloo for Number Sense & Visual Math Games

This Symbaloo, or web mix, compiles our favorite interactive math sites from our resource doc in a way that is easier to share with parents and students for home extension. The organized layout and visuals might make it easier for you to find a great SMART board center for your intervention or enrichment groups!

It's basically leveled from left to right, top to bottom, so Kindergarten/First Grade starts on the top and there is some overlap. For example, "Hit the Button" is a great game for first through fifth grade! "Number Bonds" lets students demonstrate their ways of making ten. "Doubles" reinforces that all sums are even and how easily one can use a known fact to find other facts.

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Counting on Your Fingers & Number Sense

Evidence from brain science suggests that far from being "babyish", the technique is essential for mathematical achievement. Read this article from "The Atlantic" about finger awareness as being a predictor of success with calculation, estimation, and number comparison. Click here for the article.

Try these 5 activities during intervention time to help children build finger differentiation, which is important for developing numerical understanding. Click here to download the PDF.


Value all contributions and all efforts equally. Having a "matter-of-fact" attitude about failure reinforces that it is simply a step in the process. Making mistakes, being incorrect or taking longer to complete a task does not define anyone.

Nothing BIG ever happened without getting messy and making mistakes!

Failure is simply a step in the process

Carol Dweck and her colleagues have shown that everyone has a mindset, a core belief about how they learn (Dweck, 2006). People with a "growth mindset"are those who believe that smartness increases with hard work, whereas those with a fixed mindset believe that you can learn things but you can’t change your basic level of intelligence. Mindsets are critically important because they lead to different learning behaviors, which in turn create different learning outcomes.

People with a fixed mindset are more likely to give up easily, whereas those with a growth mindset are persistent and keep going even when work is hard. How great would it be if all of us had a predominantly growth mindset? Click here to read more.

Mathical Awards

Math is more than numbers and equations! The Mathical Book Prize is an annual award for fiction and nonfiction books that inspire children of all ages to see math in the world around them. Mathical Award Winners and Honor Books are selected by a nationwide committee of mathematicians, educators, librarians, and authors. Each year’s selections join a growing list of stories ranging from picture books and graphic novels to chapter books and young adult literature. Click here to check out the winners!

Kristine Venneman

Elementary Math Specialist