Sunday, March 2, 2014

Math Centers for Number Combinations

We are beginning our Addition and Subtraction unit and I launched our new centers on Friday! Most of the centers will not change during the unit. These centers are completely differentiated because each student has a range of numbers that he/she "works on" at each center. 
The assessment and number range ideas were presented during a professional development training I attended at a local school. The centers were inspired by the information that was shared during that same session.  Some of these ideas are from Kathy Richardson's Developing Number Concepts Book 2 and some from the 
Math Their Way Book (free online).


The first step is to assess students using the Hiding Assessment from Kathy Richardson to assign a number range. Basically you are asking students to quickly give you the number combinations (missing addend) for a given number. You are then ready to assign a number range. My students work on their target number and the numbers that come before and after that number. 

The range cards can be found here.
I have placed all my cards on a ring and before the students go to their center I tell each student the numbers in his/her range and ask them what number he/she would like to work on at the center that day. I date the card and the student goes to the center and begins working. I will test the students again using the Hiding Assessment when each column in the range card is full or if I think the student may be ready to move to a larger target number.

I have 5 centers and the recording sheets can be found in my TpT store here.
I have created them for numbers 3-10 and with and without symbols (+, -, =).

Each center has a tub of manipulatives and a binder for the recording sheets.

The recording sheets are placed in plastic pockets inside the binders. The students choose the sheet for the number they are working on that day.

Tiles Center
The students use the tiles to create combinations for their number. They use two different colors and the tiles have to be touching. There are black mats for them to build several and then record two of their combinations by gluing paper squares to the recording sheet and writing the number combination.

Spill the Beans
The students place the beans in a cup and spill them out. They record the number of red and white beans and write the number combination.

Spill the Counters
This is very similar to Spill the Beans. They use the double sided counters instead of the beans.

Bear Cave (Bowl Game)
The students count the bears (for the number they are working with) and then place some bears under the bowl and some bears on top of the bowl. On the recording sheet they draw circles to represent the bears and then write the number combination.

Train Game
The students use 2 colors of cubes to build a "train". They color the recording sheet to match the cubes and write the number combination.

I have more centers that I plan to use and  I will post pictures of them with my weekly lesson plans.

I have not introduced the addition or subtraction symbols (+, -, or =) because I want the students to explore the numbers and understand the whole idea of joining together and taking apart. I will introduce the symbols later in the unit (now when we discuss the answer we call it the "number combination").

I did notice that all of my students except one student chose the largest number in their range. I am hoping that is a sign of great outcomes for my students. The goal is be able to quickly add and subtract the numbers mentally and hopefully with the many opportunities they are getting to practice this skill, they will be able to work their way through the numbers with ease.

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