Common Core Math Idea!

I recently had the good fortune of attending a great workshop on implementing the Common Core State Standards. Although most of the content was geared toward second grade, much of it can easily be related to other grade levels as well.

I was particularly excited by the math portion of the workshop. I left with so many amazing, yet amazingly simple ways to teach what are sometimes difficult concepts for the students to grasp.  I'll be sharing lots of them on my blog in the coming weeks, but here's one great idea to start things off.  First and second grade will spend a lot of time becoming fluent with addition and subtraction facts. It is of supreme importance that their number sense be fully developed and automatic before they leave second grade because it is not in the standards for third grade! One way to help enforce that solid understanding of number relationships is by working through equalities with missing digits or symbols, like this:
All you need are some counters and a cup for each set of partners. Here's a visual of how students can explore the concept with partners after you provide an initial understanding.

I'm so excited to share this with my team and my students when we go back to school, and I'm so glad I get to share it with you now! I've got quite a few more fantastic ideas like this one that I'll be sharing soon as well. Math has always been fun for me, but I feel a renewed sense of excitement now facing Common Core instead of the uncertainty that I was feeling before my training. I hope I can inspire the same in you!

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