Saturday, October 20, 2012


The children find out real quick that these big numbers they are working with take a long time to count...if counting by 1s.  So, early this year we started L., 1st grader, with skip counting.  10s/5s...and even 2s after a bit is pretty easy for him to count by.  Definitely makes large sets of items easier to count but one thing we are struggling with is this idea of organizing into sets of 2 and what do you do with the odd one out?  1st grader is finding it hard to skip, skip, skip, and then step.  :-P  2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12...13. 
Here's are some activities that seem to be helping and I'm open to any other suggestions!
Number Lines
(If you are looking for visually appealing and free number lines check SparkleBox!  They have quite a selection.) 
As usual, I'm having difficulty with my camera and our my pictures are definitely not awesome.  But it does give you an idea of what we were doing and a glimpse at one of several of the cute number lines that are available at SparkleBox

I gave L. a selection of odd numbers on slips of paper. We used one of SparkleBox's 0-30 number lines. He put his right finger on the number he was counting to, then his left finger skipped along with his counting until he got to the number prior and then he took a step. This was a pretty small number line to work with but it seemed to help with the concept.
We then moved to a larger number line.  This allowed him to skip/jump by twos and then take a step...with a marker, thus an additional visual and tactile approach. 
I included the one on the left because I love it.  :-)  A. is so intrigued with the different ways I put together to practice concepts.  :-)  Teacher in making?  I'm not sure.  He doesn't have a whole lot of patience...but then again, I don't either.  It was a learned behavior for me and I need to work on it constantly.
Another activity that has been helping, again visual, is to give him a set of objects that can be organized into sets of 2's, pairing colors up.  One day we we used links....
Another day we used counting bears...
 Another day we used circle blocks that came with our MVCA supplies...
These are visuals to show that there is an odd one out.  We're getting there but again, if anyone has any fresh ideas, I like to change about what we are doing so it's more interesting!

Side note:  I believe in doing something for short periods of time-every day vs. sitting down and working long periods of time on a how I do this is to have 3 "problems" to work on each day...less than a minute of practice.  It really does make a difference!  This next week we'll actually be moving on to multicolored sets to count vs. just two colors in a pattern.  This will reinforce organizing his set first in order to count it correctly.  We'll also move from skip counting by 2s and having an odd one out to counting by 5s and having a couple odd ones out :-).  Progress!

Ah!  Love first grade! Young enough to enjoy the early childhood teaching techniques but old enough to begin taking responsibility for their own learning.  There is such a growth in 1st and academically!

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