Category Archives: Math

Math Update!

As a first grade staff, we are always striving to meet the needs of each and every student.  In order to do this, we studied the data from our students’ math performance so far this year, and used this information to group together students with similar areas of expertise and areas of need. For this unit, many of our students will be taking part in a “math switch” in which they may be traveling to a different classroom, so that they are able to work in the group and with the teacher that will help them reach their full potential as a math learner.  Each group of math learners will be working on the same math concepts each day, but the pace and practice may look a little different.

We began new math learning this past week!!  Our Unit 4 in math will focus on tens and teen numbers, place value to 100, and strategies for adding larger numbers.  So far, we’ve practiced counting groups of tens.

We studied the teen numbers (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19) and noticed that every teen number has a 10 hiding inside along with some extra ones.  We also represented teen numbers using a ten stick and circles, and wrote an equation to match our work.

Math Update!

During our math time this week we continued to practice solving addition and subtraction equations and stories as a whole group warm-up each day.  In order, to incorporate some small group review into our math time we also worked in math groups.

Our math group time involved a partner game called: Who Has More?  This game is very similar to the card game War, but it uses math cards with five groups as a visual support and involves important “math talk” that the kids share as they play.  Our group time also incorporated an independent practice packet from our Unit 2.  The kids were extremely self directed during this time and worked as a team to solve problems.  You may have also noticed some fun holiday mazes in your child’s blue folder.  This was a bonus task during one of our rotations.

We will continue rotating through our math group time next week, and we will also continue to practice our strategies for solving equations and stories.

Math Update!

Our first graders worked hard this week to prepare for our Unit 3 assessment.  We spent our math time solving addition (missing total & missing partner) and subtraction stories using the great strategies that we’ve learned during this unit.

The kids were definitely ready for the assessment and performed very well.  Woohoo!!!  Still, they will be asked throughout the rest of this year to solve stories, and we don’t want your child to lose any of the great strategies that they’ve gained from our learning.

To support your child at home, please encourage him or her to always PROVE THEIR ANSWER when solving a story.  We have taught our first graders to listen to a story and make an EQUATION that matches the story.  Then we ask them to use a math mountain to solve the equation.  This is demonstrated below:

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We appreciate all the time that you take to encourage your child on their math homework.  Practice makes permanent and we don’t want our first graders to lose any of these wonderful strategies!!!

Math Update!

This week, we continued to work on missing partner and missing total equations and stories. We started each day off with a review of equations and the kids have grown in their ability to recognize addition or subtraction and then label the equation with the matching secret code (P + P = T or T – P = P). If you notice your child knowing the answer right off the bat, encourage them to write the answer in right away, BUT then they need to go back and check that their answer is correct by labeling the secret code, drawing the math mountain, and placing their TOTAL at the top. This will help to reinforce how important it is to check their answer and make sure it makes sense (and help eliminate silly mistakes).

We spend the rest of our time mixing up subtraction and addition stories to see how independent the kids are becoming at following these rules to solve their math stories.

  1. Circling the numbers in the story
  2. Listening to see if the story is subtraction or addition
  3. Writing the secret code that matches the story (T-P=P or P+P=T)
  4. Adding the numbers to the equation
  5. Drawing the math mountain
  6. Putting the total at the top
  7. Clapping and counting ON or UP to solve for the missing number

Next week, we will review some more and end the week by taking the Unit 3 math assessment.

Math Update!

We continued to work on subtraction strategies, this week. The first graders performed very well with the strategy of:

  1. Circling the numbers in the story
  2. Listening to see if the story is subtraction or addition
  3. Writing the secret code that matches the story (T-P=P or P+P=T)
  4. Adding the number to the equation
  5. Drawing the math mountain
  6. Putting the total at the top
  7. Clapping and counting ON or UP to solve for the missing number

 We are in the habit of checking to see if the number we solved for makes sense in the math mountain (the largest number always has to go at the top). If they make a mistake, the math mountain helps them to realize this.

Math Update!

We kicked off Unit 3 this past week and introduced our first graders to a new strategy: math mountains.  A math mountain is a method for organizing the partners on bottom and the total on top.  If we aren’t sure of the total in a math mountain we can underline the greater partner and count ON.  If a partner is missing, we can underline the known partner and count UP to the total (drawing a circle for each number that we count).  The number of circles tells us the missing partner.

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Our first graders solved stories that were missing a partner instead of the total this week too.  This was our first time exploring ways to solve this kind of problem.  We found that our math mountain strategy helped us organize the numbers so we could count-UP from the known partner to the total in order find the missing partner.  So, we worked hard to recognize the total and partner in each story so our math mountains made sense and our work was accurate.

Math Update!

This week, we reviewed all the concepts that we covered in Unit 2. Unit 2 covered addition and subtraction strategies and provided the foundation for all of the math learning that will take place for the rest of this year and beyond. Look for the math assessment to come home soon and check over how your child performed. Any areas that are still NOT consistently solid, we will continue to practice in our lesson warm ups and small group intervention.  This week’s homework will be a review of writing addition equations (P + P = T) and subtraction equations (T – P = P).

Math Update!

This week, we focused on subtraction equations and stories.  We continued to emphasize that a subtraction equation always begins with the total and worked hard to label all our equations so we knew which numbers to put where.

We also learned that we can use addition to help us solve subtraction.  If we know the partners for an addition equation, we can use this understanding to help us find the missing partner in a subtraction equation.

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Math Update!

We spent time studying a new math concept: SUBTRACTION!!!  When we solve stories that involve “taking something away” we use a minus sign (-) to represent what happened.  For example, when given the story:

There were 5 cookies.  I ate 3.  How many are left?

Our first graders learned to represent this thinking with circle drawing, break-apart stick, and minus sign right through the circles that were taken away:

We also emphasized that a subtraction equation always begins with the total.  Then we show the “minus” partner, which means that our answer is actually a missing partner (rather than a missing total like an addition equation).  Our first graders “trained their brains” to count up the total and write that number first to accurately represent a subtraction story or circle drawing with an equation.

With our introduction to subtraction still very fresh and new, please support your child on their homework pages as they learn to understand the strategies involved with solving and representing subtraction stories!!!!