Math Might Teacher’s Guide: Episodes 403-404

May 17, 2021

I can’t believe that we’ve made it to the end of our Math Might shows for this second semester, shows 403 and 404! They both have some really great material for you to check out!

Teacher's Guide

Episodes 403-404

400 Series Focus: Numeracy/Number Talks

We’re going to continue the number talk theme in these shows as we continue to use numeracy and number talks as our warm-ups.


Focus: 403: Number 11-19 in Different Ways / 404: Write Equations for Numbers 11-19

“I Can” statement: I can show numbers 11 through 19 in different ways. / I can work with numbers 11 through 19, and write their equations.

Extension Activity: Teen Number Match-Up / Teen Puzzles

In Kindergarten episode 403, we’re going to do a numeracy talk that’s a little bit different. We’re going to be showing students the linear look of 18 on a Counting Buddy. We want them, in a quick flash, to picture it. But instead of telling us how many they see and how they know, we now want them to transfer their knowledge to a double 10-frame and build it. So many Kindergarteners memorize the structure that you’re using to display quantities, for example a 10-frame, and they often can’t switch modalities, so this is great practice in numeracy! We talk to Brian and Donovan to figure out how they solved this warm-up. 

The “I Can” Statement is: I can show numbers 11 through 19 in different ways. Value Pak starts the main part of the show by asking the students a question: What number does 10 + 1 represent and how do you know? So far we’ve talked about how, if we have a full 10-frame and then one more, that total is 11. But in this show, we’re really going to bring in the equation. So Value Pak is super excited because, when he is clicked apart, he shows the value of each number. When you push him together, we get a great visual of the addition sentence as he is combined.

For example, we ask, Can you find the expression for the number 14? We have 10 + 4, 10 + 5, and 10 + 2. Students look at this and make lots of connections between the expressions and the actual teen number we’re looking for. We also switch modalities and ask the same question with a 10-frame. We display a 10-frame with 10 at the top, and eight at the bottom, and students then have to match that up to the equation and the correct 10-frame.

For the independent activity, students continue matching up equations and the 10-frames. If you’re a Kindergarten teacher, you know the understanding of teen numbers is one of the hardest concepts to teach, so you can never have too much practice!

In our last show for Kindergarten, episode 404, we do a different spin on the numeracy talk. We’re going to flash a double 10-frame, and we want the students to replicate it on a rekenrek. Remember, we’re focusing on the idea of conservation to 20, which means that students can look at that 10 and the six and tell you how many without counting. Students will have different ways of seeing the quantity and building it on the rekenrek, and you’ll see those in the show.

The “I can” Statement is: I can work with numbers 11 through 19, and write their equations. To get us thinking in the right direction, we ask students to tell us what they know about 15. Some examples:

  • 15 is less than 16.
  • You can make 15 with a full 10-frame and five more. 
  • 15 comes after 14. 
  • 15 is 10 plus five. 

I think it’s great to get kids to generate their own ideas about what we’re teaching them!

In this episode, we start to integrate the number bond alongside the 10-frame in our study of teen numbers. Students will see a double 10-frame, with 10 at the top and eight at the bottom. We know the 10 and the eight are the two parts of the 10-frame, but when we put it together, what does it make? It makes 18. We do several examples with 10-frames and matching the number bond that goes with it. This is very similar to the equations we were talking about in the previous episode, but in this case, we want kids to see the part-part-total. We then do a variety of equations that’s called fill in the equation such as 10 + 5 = (blank), or (blank) + (blank) = 16, or 10 + 1 = (blank) and so forth. 

Teen Puzzles is a really fun activity for Kindergarten! Each puzzle has a double 10-frame, a number bond and a number sentence. We cut these puzzles apart and then students have to apply their knowledge from this show to see if they can match them up. 

First Grade


Focus: 403: Triangles, Rectangles and Squares / 404: Build New Shapes

“I Can” statement: I can explore what makes a shape a triangle, a rectangle and a square. / I can build new shapes from smaller shapes.

Extension Activity: Draw a Shape / Different Ways to Make a Hexagon

In first grade, episode 403, we’re going to be doing another number talk. This time we’re bringing back our friend D.C., who we know helps us make a 10. He gets really angry when he doesn’t see friendly numbers, so we want him to be able to help us in this show to solve the problem 9 + 6. 

When you’re doing number talks with first graders, you want to make sure you aren’t using really high numbers, especially if students aren’t going to have pencil and paper. You want them to be able to mentally visualize the problem. However, there’s nothing wrong with building the problem on a 10-frame (nine at the top and a six in the bottom), or with the Counting Buddy Sr. (pulling over nine beads of one color, and six of another), so kids can see that the nine only needs one more to make 10. Sarah and Tiffany give us some really great ideas to help us with find the answer!

The “I Can” Statement is still on shapes: I can explore what makes a shape a triangle, a rectangle and a square. We give the students four different images and ask them which one doesn’t belong. Some of the images aren’t actually closed shapes, so we talk about why it has to be closed to be a shape. Some of the images don’t have straight lines, some aren’t really shapes at all, one is only a triangle, and one has different features to it. 

We then spend some time talking about triangles and “not triangles.” So a shape might look like triangles, but what are the attributes that a triangle has to make an actual triangle? We want to make sure that it has three sides and three corners. We want to get kids to analyze shapes that don’t look exactly like a triangle, and see what they notice about how these shapes could be called “non triangles.”

We talk about rectangles and squares in the same way on this show. Some of the things, as always, don’t end up on the show. We like to pick them up off the cutting room floor and post them on our deleted scenes page occasionally, so make sure you check out some of those extras from this particular show!

In the extension activity, we really want students to be able to draw triangles, rectangles and squares based on what they know is true about that shape. We give them grid paper with dots to help them to make their sides and their lengths similar so they can create the shape based on the attributes.

As we look at show 404 for first grade, we’re doing a number talk again, and you guessed it, our friend D.C. makes an appearance! This time it’s 8 + 6. Again, we can take a double 10-frame and build the problem – eight in the top with red and six in yellow on the bottom, and see if kids can visualize the strategy mentally.

The “I Can” Statement is: I can build new shapes from smaller shapes. We first start by looking at two different pictures (both of a really cute dog!) that are made with pattern blocks. Students are asked those famous questions: What do you notice? What do you wonder? We want them to see that one of the dogs is made with three hexagons, but in the second picture, those same  three hexagons are made up of different shapes, such as two trapezoids, six triangles, and even three rhombuses. 

Then, we can talk about other shapes we can make with hexagons, rhombuses and trapezoids. We come up with a variety of different ways that we can make six hexagons using those shapes. We then take an enlarged hexagon and see if students can figure out how many shapes can fit into it. So you might discover that you could use seven hexagons and six rhombuses to make a large hexagon. We also do the same exercise with a triangle as well. 

Then, we look to see if students can build different shapes with pattern blocks. Mrs. Markavich builds different animals out of pattern blocks, and it’s fun for students to have to figure out what she’s building. In the extension activity we want students to be able to apply what they learned in the show today by finding different ways to make a hexagon. 

Second Grade

Focus: 403: Find the Differences Between Numbers / 404: Add and Subtract 3-Digit Numbers

“I Can” statement: I can find the difference between numbers. / I can add and subtract three digit numbers.

Extension Activity: Find the Difference with Springling / Solving with Springling and Minni and Subbi

For episode 403 in second grade, we review Value Pak’s strategy of partial sums by adding the 10s and the 10s and then the ones and ones. The particular problem that we’re working on is 64 + 35. By this time in second grade, we want students to be able to use strategies pretty quickly because they should be adding and subtracting all the way up through 1000. We try to promote that in our warm-up by keeping these problems manageable for students to figure out with one of the Math Mights.

The “I Can” Statement is: I can find the difference between numbers. We start to look at finding the difference between numbers in two different ways. Jayda has a way where she’s using base-10 blocks and Andre uses a way where he’s counting back on the number line. Of course, we talk about what students notice and what they wonder based on these strategies and how they’re being taught. We bring in one of our Math Might friends, Springling, to see how she might be solving it. We certainly can count up or back on the number line with Springling, or in some cases, we can start at the minuend (the first number of a subtraction problem) and hop back the number on the subtrahend (the second number) to see where you land on the number line. 

Then, we talk about all the different ways that you can use Springling, such as 189 – 73. Counting up to solve that might be an easy way to do it! Then we find out that Springling has been messing with some paint and she has decided to splatter paint on parts of our problems to see if we can solve it. 900 – 370 = SPLAT!, or 250 + SPLAT! = 1000. We want students to see that they can use Springling to help on an open number line using addition, subtraction, or even missing addend!

For the extension activity, students are going to apply what they learned on the show to find the difference between numbers with Springling. 

In the last show for second grade, 404, we’re doing a number talk again with our friend D.C. This time, we’re bringing up the numbers a little bit higher, 189 + 21. Do students see how close that 189 is to 200?

minni and subbi - squareThe “I Can” Statement is: I can add and subtract three digit numbers. In this case, we have two different ways that students are solving the problem 500 – 387. Mia decides to look at the distance between those two numbers, and use our friend Springling. But Lin uses a character that we haven’t seen yet on the Math Might show called Minnie and Subbi. 

Minni is the character in the baseball cap, and her full name is actually Minuend, which is the first number in a subtraction problem. Her sister, Subbi, in the ponytail without a hat, is Subtrahend, which is the second number in the subtraction problem. Minni and Subbi are on a number line together because they were born with adjoining tails. They use a strategy called compensation, which is also known as shifting the number line. 

So Lin decides, instead of using the distance between the two numbers, she just backs up one from 500 to 499. Students will quickly learn, as they use Minni and Subbi’s strategy, that Minni and Subbi don’t like their tail dragging in the mud, so they will have to shift together. As students take one away from the minuend, they’re also going to take away one from the subtrahend. Shifting the number line is actually a really magical strategy and second graders love to use it!

Our friends on the show wonder if you can use Minni and Subbi in different ways and so we talk about how you could use them and their strategy with other problems. 

We also have a way that you could solve this problem with addition, using Value Pak. So we talk about decomposing by 100s, 10s, and 1s to solve. 

For the extension activity, we really want to hit home on Minni and Subbi’s strategy. They don’t really like to regroup, so we get students to solve problems with Springling and Minni and Subbi.

Third Grade

Focus: 403: Interpret Line Plots / 404: Collect Data on a Line Plot

“I Can” statement: I can make sense of line plots with lengths in half and quarter inches.  / I can collect data and represent it on a line plot.

Extension Activity: Interpreting a Line Plot / Creating a Line Plot

In third grade show 403, students are going to be doing a number talk, but in this case, they’re going to be doing a sort with fractions. We just finished a fractions unit and we want to make sure kids have this fresh in their minds! We present a series of different fractions and they have to decide if the fractions are less than half, equal to half, or more than half. Mia and Eva give their thoughts about why they think the fractions should be sorted in a specific way. This is a great inquiry-based activity you can do with your kids to make sure they understand the application of fractions. 

The “I Can” Statement is: I can make sense of line plots with lengths in half and quarter inches. Line plots might not be the most exciting thing to do, but the ability to read one is really helpful for kids to be able to gather information. We have students look at a table with data, and then a line plot, and ask them what they notice, and what they wonder. Obviously, when students are looking at a data chart, they’re seeing lots of information, but it might not tell them a lot about the frequency or other information that they might want to see.

We incorporate the students’ understanding of fractions as we look at something that is six and half inches, when we have a line plot from zero to seven. Where do we put that?? 

In this particular show, we end up talking about some seedlings that are being planted and how tall they are growing. A lot of data was taken by the students conducting this experiment, and we’re going to use this data to help us answer a lot of questions. We’re going to compare the chart that has the data on it with the line plot to decide which chart is going to give us more information. We then do a similar exercise with twigs.

The independent activity is for students to interpret data from a line plot that’s already been created so they can answer the questions.

In 404, we’re going to do another number talk with fractions that are less than half, equal to half, or more than half, but we make it a little bit more tricky by adding fourths, eighths and sixths. Mia and Eva go through their ways of reasoning why each fraction might be placed where it needs to be.

The “I Can” Statement is: I can collect data and represent it on a line plot. In the previous show, we discussed the importance of a line plot, and how to gather data. In this show, we’re going to have some fun collecting data on our own to see what it looks like. We start with eight different pine cones. Ms. Askew describes how to apply our knowledge of measurement to measuring the pine cones, create our list of data, and then turn it into a line plot. 

If you’re an M³ Member, you don’t want to miss this PowerPoint! We had to cut a whole activity where students would be doing a similar exercise with measuring different feathers – it’s already done for you, you just have to download the file!

It’s really important for kids to apply the idea of fractions with measurement and data. Bundling all those concepts into one helps students see that these things actually have real life application!

This extension activity also helps kids get the real life connection. It walks them through collecting the data, and creating a line plot using measurement with fractions.

I can’t believe how much fun it’s been to produce the Math Mights Show! And I certainly can’t believe that we have produced 112 of these shows! I’ve learned so much as I’ve reflected on the creation process of the last few months. I certainly hope that you’ll join us next week for the “Producer’s Commentary” as I share with you what it was like creating this amazing resource for teachers, parents, and students.

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