Math Empowers 1

Middletown Township Public Schools

Grade 1 - First Trimester 2018 - 2019


Encourage mathematical discourse in your classroom and add some Halloween fun to your upcoming lessons by using these Halloween 'Which One Doesn't Belong?'(WODB) math warm-up/cool-down activities from Anthony at Mashup Click here for Google Slides with the 2 Mashups.

Create a reasoning based classroom by adding engaging warm-ups like this to your morning routine! Counting circles, Number Talks, WODB, Estimation 180 and the like... all provide interesting ways of getting little ones THINKING and REASONING in a comfortable, low risk way.

The Hiding Game: Number composition & the Part whole model

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. While this is a fabulous way to assess number sense and fluency, Here is a PARTNER HIDING GAME students can play with a partner on their own level! Simply match up students based on their target numbers (this group hides 6 counters on each other.. this group hides 7.. this pair is ready for 10!) There are 20 different recording sheets for kindergarten/early first and late first grade levels. Check out the variety of part whole models and the mini-lesson included for building deeper understanding of this important model.

Shake and Spill games also provide excellent repetition. Since this becomes comfortably quickly, we can level up with more counters when appropriate AND focus on a variety of recording sheets (BAR MODELS, EQUAL SIGN FIRST, BALANCED EQUATIONS)

Here is a FABULOUS 5 minute intervention video you might appreciate for building better number understanding. In fact, there is a whole page of quick teacher support videos on our shared resource doc!

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

Do you Follow Graham Fletcher?

Graham Fletcher has served in education as a classroom teacher, math instructional lead, and currently as a math specialist. Graham’s work with the math progressions and problem-based lessons has led him to present throughout North America and beyond. He is continually advocating for best practice in elementary mathematics by seeking new and innovative ways to support students and teachers in their development of conceptual understanding. Check out his website, or his library of 3-Act Tasks, or his progression videos.


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.

Kristine Venneman

Elementary Math Specialist