Differentiated Math Fact Practice

Making Ten

4th Grade Resources

Engaging Students with the Seasons and Holidays in the Math Classroom

There is so much to think about when teaching math to first graders. Of course, we need to begin with a review of kindergarten skills. Then we head in to introducing the new skills and standards that we need to cover. When mapping out our lessons for the quarter, semester, or even the year we have to be sure we are meeting all of the standards in a fun and relatable way. I like to do this by integrating the seasons and holidays throughout the year. Let's dive right it and talk about year long seasonal math practice for first graders.

Learn about this year long seasonal math practice for first graders.

When I'm planning I like to think about the big picture first, and then I narrow it down to each skill and topic. This can be overwhelming at first. To help narrow this down and be sure I am covering everything that I need, I created a Mega Math Practice resource. It is the perfect year-long seasonal math practice for first graders.

What is Mega Math Practice?

Learn all about this comprehensive math unit to use daily during your math block.
You may be wondering:  What in the world is Mega Math Practice? Well, it is a comprehensive math resource that covers EVERY first grade math common core standard in all four strands. 

  • Numbers and Base Ten
  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Geometry
  • Measurement and Data

It includes print and digital resources and activities to keep your students learning all year long. All 430 pages are completely adaptable and can be used in a variety of different ways both in and out of the classroom. I love to use them for guided practice, independent practice, math centers, homework, and small group work. They also work well for hybrid and virtual learning situations.

How to Teach Using Mega Math Practice

After years of putting pieces of different curriculums together and searching for the perfect materials and activities for math class, I was discouraged. I couldn't find everything I needed in one place and I was spending way too much time and effort looking for it. So, I created Mega Math Practice which I now use as my go-to math curriculum. I combine it with my Number of the Day resource that I use for daily warmups.  Using these two resources allows me to provide a solid math block full of intentional instructional time. 
Engage students with seasonal and holiday  based math practice activities like this St. PAtrick's Day practice page

After many years of trial and error, I have finally found a schedule that works best for my class and me. 
Here's what my daily math block looks like:

  • Number of the Day: 7-10 Minutes
  • Mini-Lesson: 5-7 Minutes
  • Guided Practice: 5-7 Minutes 
  • Guided Independent Practice: 10-15 Minute Intervals
  • Small-Group Work: Time Varies

Your math block may look similar to mine or completely different! That's totally fine! The key is to find the best routine that works for you and your class and go with it.  It might be using an independent practice review activity as morning work, or integrating adding guided practice to your small group instruction time.  I promise, it's not a magic formula!  And since classrooms and schedules can vary so much you have to make it work for you.  

Mega Math Practice contains a year's worth of skills-based activities that you can use to fill your daily lessons. So you won't need to spend hours piecing together the curriculum or searching for that perfect activity. Everything is here for you!

Year Long Seasonal Math Practice

This Valentine's Day making ten practice page is a great example of how to incorporate seasonal fun into skills based math practice
The only thing better than Mega Math Practice is Seasonal Mega Math Practice! Who doesn't love to celebrate a holiday or special event? Incorporating seasonal themes and holidays into my daily lessons is one of the ways that I keep my students engaged throughout the year. It always adds a little spark to our learning and gives my students something to get excited about. 

Instead of spending time figuring out how to make my lessons relate to the seasons and holidays, I created a resource that was built around these things! Enter my  Seasonal Units Bundle that includes year-long seasonal math practice for first graders. This bundle will give your students tons of practice in all areas of the standards with added seasonal themes. 

With the same skills-based focus as the non-seasonal Mega Math Practice, the seasonal bundle provides students with a variety of practice opportunities that can be used all year long.  Instead of fighting against the excitement students have for a holiday or season, use it to engage them in the classroom.  

This bundle has everything you need to teach all of the math standards with seasonal themes added.The Mega Math Practice Seasonal Bundle includes 15 seasonal units to take you from Back to School all the way to the end of the school year.  Here are just some examples of the seasons and holidays you get in this jam-packed bundle:
  • Back to School
  • Thanksgiving
  • Holiday
  • Winter
  • New Year
  • Valentine
  • And so many more!

Incorporating Seasonal Mega Math Practice into your daily math block will make all the difference in the world. You can be assured that you are covering all of the skills and standards while your students are fully engaged and having fun. They will be looking forward to celebrating the next season or holiday. I can't wait to hear about how you implement this bundle in your classroom. 

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Provide your first grade students with fun and engaging math practice.  These seasonal and holiday themed math practice activities include every first grade math skill for the entire school year.

3 Fun and Easy Ways to Teach Number Sense

In preschool, the core of mathematics instruction is teaching numbers and counting. This is done by teaching students to identify numbers 1-10 and counting to 10. These skills are taught intentionally and on a daily basis. This is where their understanding of number sense begins to take place. As students move into kindergarten, the skills will build on each other and lead to recognizing and counting higher numbers. There are tons of ways to teach number sense in your classroom. I'm going to talk about my favorite three fun and easy ways to teach number sense in pre-k and kindergarten. 

Teaching number is an important part of math in preschool and kindergarten.  These tips and ideas for teaching number sense will help you and your students.

What is Number Sense?

To put it simply, number sense is your sense of what numbers mean. Which number is larger or smaller? What value does the number hold? Comparing numbers to each other and figuring out what they mean in the real world are also a part of number sense.

Number sense is just as important in math as phonemic awareness is in reading. When students are struggling in math class, it is often because they don't have a solid understanding of number sense. This foundational concept can hold them back from developing future math skills. Before our students can accurately perform number calculations, they need to have a firm understanding of number sense. 

Number sense includes all of the following:
  • Number identification
  • Counting
  • Adding
  • Subtracting
  • Mental Math
  • And so much more!

Teaching Number Sense to Pre-K and Kindergarten Students

Just like everything else, teaching number sense requires some planning on your part. It needs to be a focused part of your daily routine. This will set your students up for success in their future math endeavors. 

I like to focus on a number of the week. Morning meeting time is the perfect place to introduce the number and practice it daily. I have a pocket chart on my board with everything I need to teach the number of the week. We work on number recognition and counting. We talk about what comes before the number of the week and what comes after it. I post all of these numbers on the board as a visual representation. We also use a number line to help with our counting skills. 

Morning meeting is a great starting point and a quick review for our number of the week. However, we still need to dive deeper into the numbers to fully understand them. Here are some skills I focus on to do just that. 

3 Fun and Easy Ways to Teach Number Sense

1.  Number Recognition

Number recognition is the absolute first step in teaching number sense to students. There are so many creative ways to do this at home and in the classroom. Teaching students to be aware of numbers in their environment is a great way to do this. Along with recognizing the number, your kiddos need to learn to write it. A simple way to this is to be tracing the number and writing it a few times daily. 

Now that we can recognize and write a number, it's time to represent it. Do this with pictures! Kids love activities with pictures that they can color and decorate to have a little fun. 

2.  Counting On 

Counting on is an important math skill that students need to develop early on as part of mastering number sense. Otherwise, they'd have to start counting from zero every time. Who has time for that? Teaching students to start with the biggest number and count on from there is usually a simple task. Counters and number lines are great tools to use for teaching this skill. 

3.  Ten Frames

Ten frames are a great tool for students to begin to understand numbers in relationship to each other and the beginnings of place value. They are just rectangular frames divided into 10 individual boxes. Numbers up to 10 can be shown in the ten frame using counters or dabbers of some sort. Ten frames help students to really "see" a number. They help with addition and subtraction as well. They are also a great tool to provide more hands-on learning to your students. 

These three fun and easy ways to teach number sense are just a few of my favorites. Of course, there are a ton of different ideas and methods to choose from. The key is consistency and practice, practice, practice! 

Number of the Week

When I was developing my lessons to teach number sense in my classroom, I knew I needed something that would be quick and easy, yet effective and rigorous at the same time. That's when I created these Number of the Week worksheets that meet all of my needs. Not only do they reinforce what we learn during our morning meeting time, but they give students a variety of ways to work with numbers too! 

Each resource gives students lots of practice working with numbers, representation, and relationships. Your students will work on number sense skills like these:
  • Number line completion (K.CC.1)
  • Counting forward from the number (K.CC.2)
  • Writing numbers (K.CC.3)
  • Representing numbers through pictures (K.CC.B.4)
  • Comparing numbers (K.CC.6)
  • Representing numbers on a ten frame (1.NBT.B.2)
You and your students will love the mini posters and coloring pages that are included to make learning fun! I know you'll love this resource as much as I do. So, I put together this Number of the Week Bundle so you'll be all set with numbers 1-30. 

You can find more Number of the Week resources for Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. 

I can't wait for you to get started on your teaching number sense journey. I hope you enjoy these three fun and easy ways to teach number sense in your classroom. 

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