The beginning of the school year is an exciting time. While getting to know our students, we are also establishing routines and procedures to set us up for success. We complete lots of activities together as a class to form relationships and expectations for the year to come. Even with all of the fun chaos those first few weeks bring, we as teachers are constantly observing and assessing our students. It is sometimes difficult to know where to begin with instruction because our students will come to us at different levels. Let's talk about how you can use Number of the Day resources to develop numbers concepts in kindergarten thru third grade and get a peek into your students current level of understanding.

## Developing Number Concepts in Kindergarten

In kindergarten, we are building basic foundational number sense skills.   Developing an understanding of numbers and what they represent is a big part of kindergarten math instruction.  We mainly focus on recognizing and writing numbers through twenty.  Number of the Day is an excellent way to do this.  Through Number of the Day activities, students are provided with opportunities to recognize the number,  write the number and learn to represent the number in a variety of forms.  All of these activities help them develop that foundational understanding of numbers and what they represent.

It is important to assess your students at the beginning of the school year to see what they already know, where any misunderstandings might be and what instruction is needed.  In kindergarten there are likely to be vast disparities amongst the students in your class.  This initial informal assessment will be your starting guide for your instruction.

While end of year goals may differ from state to state, there are some consistent math standards you will find for all kindergarten students.

### Skills to Assess:

• Counting to 20
• Counting with 1:1 correspondence
• Write and identify numbers 1-10
• Add and subtract to five
• Make 5 with objects
You will be practicing these same skills plus a few more, all year long with the Number of the Day program.  Students will get the repeated practice they need to move their new learning from short term memory to long term memory.

A great way to introduce these new skills is by using a five frame and tally marks. These new skills should be practiced and reinforced daily. It is this repetition that leads to a true understanding of the number concepts.

A great way to implement these strategies is with a number of the day resource. Each day the students will complete these skills in different engaging ways that lead to mastery.  You can find everything you need for Kindergarten Number of the Day in this resource.

## First Grade Beginning of the Year Number Concepts

First graders come to us with some basic number sense concepts.  They should have mastered numbers to 20 on all fronts (identifying, writing, counting and representing). They are ready to move on and start working on numbers to 100.  This is a big jump and it is important that students truly grasp the number patterns in our number system and not just memorize a song or chant for counting to 100.

In kindergarten, students were introduced to the concept of ten plus more to get to twenty.  In first grade they will build on this.  Students should also enter first grade with an understanding of place value ones and tens.  During first grade they will add hundreds to this.

The first weeks of the year are a great time to review the kindergarten number concepts and see where students are.  Back to School Number of the Day is a great way to do this!

### Skills to Assess:

• Count to 100
• Count by 10 to 100
• Understanding Numbers Before/After
• Counting objects to 20
• Making groups of objects to 10
• Comparing using one more and one less

Assessing these skills at the beginning of the year gives you solid data you can use to plan your future instruction.  As we continue to develop these important number concepts in first grade, I make Number of the Day a daily part of our routine.

Throughout first grade, there are many new skills you will be introducing to students. Some of these build on kindergarten skills and others are introduced for the first time.  New skills you will need to address will include counting by 1 and 10, counting and creating groups of 10, and adding within 10.  You can easily introduce these concepts by teaching skip counting, using a 10 frame, and writing number words. All of these skills plus more are included in the First Grade Number of the Day Resource Bundle!

As students move into second grade, they should have a good understanding of numbers to 100 and possibly a little beyond.  They should understand the basic number patterns and be ready to apply those to numbers beyond 100.

Second grade brings the addition of fact families and equations. Students will begin to connect the dots with the previous skills they learned in first grade and kindergarten. It is so much fun to watch all of the growth happen!

During the beginning of second grade, it is important to conduct an informal assessment of your new students so that you can see what they have mastered and what, if anything, they are struggling with.  This will help you as you plan out your math instruction and guided math groups.

### Skills to Assess:

• Count forward and backward to 120
• Count by 2, 5, and 10 to 120
• 10 more/10 less
• Place value to 100
• Ways to make numbers to 30 using models, numbers, and ten frames
• Fact Families
• Addition/Subtraction Strategies using models and equations
• Comparing numbers using place value
There will be lots of new skills to practice along the way like counting/skip counting to 1,000, writing number words to 120, creating models with larger numbers, and adding within 100. By incorporating Second Grade Number of the Day into your math block or morning work routine you can be confident in knowing that your students will get the repetition they need with all of these skills.

In third grade, students will move to thousands and beyond.  Up until this time students have been focused primarily on 3 digit numbers.  Students will build on their understanding of place value to move into larger numbers. It is important to make sure students have an understanding of these concepts before moving on.  This is where that informal assessment comes in to play.  You can quickly identify and address any issues that students are having at the beginning of the year.  This will help to ensure that the new concepts have a solid foundation to build on.

### Skills to Assess:

• Count within 1,000
• Write number words to 120
• Build and write 3 digit numbers
• Place value to 1,000
• Add/subtract from 100 using different strategies
• Compare 3 digit numbers using place value
Lots of practice will take place building and using arrays, adding within 1,000, and using place value with larger numbers, You will need to introduce area models to build these skills.  And...you guessed it! Number of the Day activities are perfect for this.

I've done a lot of talking so far about the importance of doing informal assessments at the beginning of the school year.  There is so much information you can learn just by observing and doing some informal checks.  But these informal assessments don't have to be hard or time consuming.  In fact, it can be as easy as jotting down a couple notes for each student.

Teacher Tip: Don't be overwhelmed with all the things that you feel like need to be assessed. You don't need to do them all at once. Take your time and get to know your students!

For many years I have been using the anecdotal notes as a means of keeping data through informal observation and assessments.  What started out as a notepad has turned into an editable digital page that allows me to quickly document student progress and access data for all my students in one place.

I start using anecdotal notes at the beginning of the year and continue with them throughout the school year.  They become a key component of my data binder and I refer to these notes often as I plan.

After gathering all of the beginning of the year information, I use the data to assign small group assignments and make adjustments from there.This helps me to figure out what my students already know and what areas I need to focus on more intensely in both small group and whole group instruction.

I've put together my anecdotal notes forms for you to use in your classroom!  There's a version for each grade - kindergarten thru third grade and they are ready for you to use with your students. There is also an editable form where you can add any skill or concept you are monitoring.  I've also included the master sheet I use to quickly see each student's level and to assign small groups with ease.

## Number of the Day Resources

Help your students master these important number sense concepts by incorporating Number of the Day into your daily routine.  I believe in using Number of the Day so strongly that I want you to try it out in your classroom.  There's nothing like the consistent review and reinforcement of skills to help our students master these number sense concepts.

Try Number of the Day for FREE in your classroomJust grab the set that best meets your needs and try them every day for a week.  Use them as morning work or as a math warm-up. They also make a great topic for math talks.

I hope that after trying Number of the Day you see the benefit for your students and are excited to add them to your math routine.

You can find monthly sets or year long bundles in my store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

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