Math Mights Teacher’s Guide: Episodes 401-402

May 13, 2021

Thanks so much for joining us this week for our teacher’s guide to Math Might shows 401 and 402.

You might wonder where 319 and 320 went…you didn’t miss them! The Math Mights Show has eighteen shows per quarter, per grade level. This week is really just a continuation from last week, but the numbering system just signifies we’ve moved into the 4th quarter.  

Teacher's Guide

Episodes 401-402

400 Series Focus: Numeracy/Number Talks

We revisit number talks as our warm-up in the 400 series, but there are plenty of twists! Kindergarten is practicing conservation to 20 in multiple modalities, 1st grade is experience their first actual number talks after doing numeracy talks so far this year, 2nd grade will be meeting a NEW Math Might friend with a brand new, “magical” strategy, and 3rd graders are putting a fraction twist on the traditional number talk!


Focus: 401: 10-Frames and More / 402: Numbers 11-19

“I Can” statement: I can compose numbers 11 through 19 using ten, ones, and some more ones. / I can show numbers with 10-frames and dots or counters.

Extension Activity: Deck o’ Dots Teen Match-Up / Teen Bingo

For Kindergarten, in show 401, we’re going to bring back numeracy talks! Previously, in the late 200s shows, we were doing numeracy talks with conservation to 10, but this time, Dotson is going to help us with conservation to 20. As we did before, we’re going to have the red carpet and flash the double-10 frame for students. They’ll “take a picture” of what they saw and tell us how many they see.  Our friends Nora and Layla are going to tell us two different ways that they knew that the 10-frames in this example were 13. The big idea, especially this time of year, is to help kids to see numbers in different ways or in multiple modalities. 

The “I Can” Statement is: I can compose numbers 11 through 19 using ten, ones, and some more ones. 

We started off playing a really fun game called Deck o’ Dot Teen Match-Up. Students are going to flip over two Deck o’ Dots cards. One of them will have the quantity of 10 and the other one will be any of the numbers one through nine. As we flip over a card, we see that we have one full 10-frame and one with just four, so we can tell the total is going to be 14. Of course, we can’t do 10s and 1s without our Math Might friend, Value Pak! We want kids to really see the relationship between the number and its value. When they see that total 10-frame, it’s worth 10. The four is worth 4. Instead of just writing a “1” and a “4”, Value Pak wants to make sure students know that the amounts on their bellies actually show 10 and 4, which make “14” when you put it together. We use a really great recording sheet here where students are able to color in the 10-frame, and then complete the sentence 10 + _____ = 14. 

As we continue, we have a Two out of Three game, also played with the Deck o’ Dots. Dotson wants students to select which two cards make the target number, for example 13. We might have six in a 10-frame, 10 in a 10-frame, and three in a 10-frame. The sentence stem says “___ is a group of 10 and ____ ones.” In this example, we know that 13 is a group of 10 and three ones, so students would select which cards support that sentence. We do several different examples that reinforce the idea of teen numbers.

The fun game that students get to play as their independent activity is the game that we played in the show called Deck o’ Dot Teen Match-Up. 

As we move on to episode 402, we’re again doing a numeracy talk. This time, instead of doing it with the double 10-frame, we want kids to be able to switch modalities and see the quantity in a linear way. Are students in your Kindergarten classroom just memorizing the 10-frame? Well, make sure you get a Counting Buddy Senior for your Kindergarteners at this time of the year so they can see quantities up to 20 in a linear way! The Counting Buddy Senior has 10 of one color beads and 10 of another color. We flash a quantity, and Nora and Layla once again give their feedback for how they figured out the number for the total that they saw.

The “I Can” statement is: I can show numbers with 10-frames and dots or counters. We give students counters that fill up a complete 10 frame with 10 in it, and we want them to create a special teen number. The first number we want them to build is 11, so of course we call again on Value Pak to help us! When students look at the digits 1 and 1, what is the actual value? As we know, it’s one 10 and one 1. We build a variety of different numbers this way where students are figuring out how many counters are needed to make a total. 

We then play a really fun game called Teen Bingo. The bingo board is filled with quantities shown in double 10-frames and on a rekenrek, which again is another modality in which students should be able to see 20. Then, just like a bingo game, we pull a card, and students have to find the number on their double 10-frame or rekenrek to try to get three in a row. Students have to be really careful here, and teachers might need to offer a scaffold to students by helping them actually see the number built on a 10-frame built and build it themselves on the rekenrek to help them transfer their understanding of teen numbers. 

First Grade

Focus: 401: Solid Shapes / 402: Sort Flat Shapes

“I Can” statement: I can sort, describe, and create solid shapes. / I can sort flat shapes and create a data display to represent our sort. 

Extension Activity: Sorting Solid Shapes / Sorting Flat Shapes

Abracus Vector ArtIn first grade, episode 401, we’re going to be looking at shapes in this series. We start off the show, just like we do in Kindergarten, however this show marks the first time in the Math Might Show that we’re doing an actual number talk with first graders. Typically we do numeracy talks the first half of the year, maybe even throughout January, then switch to number talks as you’re working on conservation to 20, 40, maybe then to 100 and beyond. For number talks in first grade, we want to remember to pose a problem with operations students are familiar with. This time of year, it might be compensation, which is also known as “doubles plus one” or “doubles minus one,” which is the strategy that Abracus helps us with.

In a number talk at this stage, students might also be familiar with being able to make a 10 with D.C., or they might be able to add 10s and 10s, and ones and ones. Eventually students might even be able to do a subtraction problem in a first grade number talk, where they’re doing something like 12 – 7 using Springling. 

In this number talk, we’re going to feature Abracus for the first time on the show! He’s asking students to solve 7 + 6. As we’re solving this, it’s great to use a visual and try not to use the terms “doubles plus one,” “doubles minus one,” “doubles plus two,” “doubles minus two” to name the strategy, because to most first graders, that sounds like four different strategies. However, they’re all just using compensation.

As we solve this problem, 7 + 6, it’s nice to build these two addends in a double 10-frame, with seven in red on the top, and six in yellow on the bottom. This helps kids see a quantity they already know, like maybe 6 + 6, and then they can add one more to make 13. Other students might say, I see seven and I can zap that six with Abracus’ wand to see it as 7 + 7, and then minus one

Compensation is a really great strategy for first graders to know. Obviously, it’s helpful if students understand their doubles facts in order to apply this strategy, but by creating problems with concrete tools to help them visualize what’s happening, students can be successful. 

Our “I Can” statement is: I can sort, describe, and create solid shapes. We offer students four different pictures and ask them which one doesn’t belong. Some of the shapes are flat shapes and some of the shapes are 3D shapes. We then start talking about how to sort solid shapes. You might sort the shapes by ones that are flat versus round, ones that roll or don’t roll. Maybe straight sides or not straight sides? Does it have squares or not have squares? Tall or short? We get the kids to sort the shapes in different ways and they can even guess how someone else sorted the shapes by looking at their attributes. 

Then, we look at a bridge that’s built out of blocks, and we want to see if students can see what shapes that particular bridge is made up of. It’s made up of cubes and triangles and rectangle blocks. The idea is for students to look at a geo block and create a new geo block shape with it. It’s pretty fun to do an activity that provides exploratory ways for students to visualize and picture what they’re doing.

In the extension activity, they’re going to be sorting solid shapes by the attributes. Providing  kids with the language to describe how shapes are created is really helpful for being successful in this standard. 

In show 402 for first grade, we continue with a number talk. Just as we did in the previous session, we are still focusing on Abracus. We’re hoping that, in the second show, students become more independent with being able to answer a problem like 7 + 8. We build the problem again on the double 10-frame for students to observe and solve. 

The “I Can” Statement is: I can sort flat shapes and create a data display to represent our sort. Again, we offer four images and ask students which one doesn’t belong. This time, the majority of the shapes are 3D and only one of them is flat. But as we know by now, students can figure a reason based on one attribute as to why each shape may or may not belong. 

We then do a sort with flat shapes. We take a bunch of different flat shapes and see if we can sort them into triangles, squares or rectangles. You could also sort by different categories, like color. 

Then, we try to take the idea of shapes and apply it to data collection. We take three handfuls of pattern blocks and see if we can determine the data. We find that we have nine triangles, four trapezoids, and seven squares. How can we use this data that we’ve collected on shapes to answer questions such as How many triangles and trapezoids are there in all? We might even ask How many more triangles are there than squares

For the independent activity, students are going to be doing something similar to what we did in the show, which is sorting flat shapes. 

Second Grade

Focus: 401: Compare then Add or Subtract / 402: Add and Subtract 10s or 100s

“I Can” statement: I can compare numbers and add or subtract. / I can add and subtract 10s and 100s.

Extension Activity: Solving with Springling / Add and Subtract 10s and 100s

For second grade show 401, students are going to be doing a number talk, like we’ve done in the past. This time, we also use Abracus with second graders. Now we’ve talked about Abracus as the “doubles plus one” or “doubles minus one” strategy. He likes to zap a number to change it temporarily, holds that change in his wand, and then zaps it back when he’s done solving. The example that we have here is 25 + 26. Some students might think of this problem like quarters – 25 plus 25 is 50. So, we’re temporarily changing, or compensating, the number 26 to make it 25 by taking away one. You know 25 + 25 = 50 quite quickly, but, don’t forget, you have to zap it back! 

The “I Can” Statement is: I can compare numbers and add or subtract. I think the theme of this show makes a lot of sense at this time of the year for second graders. A lot of second graders have lots of different strategies in their math tool belts to figure things out by now, and they often just stick to the one that is their favorite if they’re only required to solve problems one way. Instead, we want students to start to look at problem solving analytically. 

When we say “compare numbers” we don’t necessarily mean decide if they’re greater than or less than, but we want to have students look critically at two numbers and see what strategy will be most appropriate. If we are subtracting 81 – 79, should we use T-Pops? Or would Springling be more appropriate? In this show, Tyler and Elena work on solving problems two different ways. Tyler uses T-Pops, and Elena solves with Springling. 

In Mathville, there are two different vehicles you might see going around – a pokey little car with a windsock hanging from his antenna on the back of the car with a hat that is usually just putzing along, and a jet plane that you have to watch out for because it zooms around really quickly. Both kinds of transportation will get you there, but the jet plane is clearly more efficient. We don’t want kids to feel like they need to rush through math, but what we’re really talking about is being able to determine which strategy is most efficient, based on the problem we’re looking at. 

When we look closely at this problem, 81 – 79, we notice that using counting up with Springling makes a whole lot more sense because the two numbers are really close together. Springling is the jet plane strategy. Using T-Pops for that problem would get you the right answer, but it will take much longer to get there. We give a few other examples, such as 680 minus 673, and students have to decide if it is more efficient to use Springling or T-Pops.

For the extension activity, we’re going to drive home the idea of Springling for students with numbers that are very close to each other. 

As we move into 402, we’re doing another talk with our friend Abracus. This time, it’s 58 + 22. It’s kind of interesting when you see a problem like this, because you could add 2 and subtract two from the respective addends, and it would kind of equal each other out.  If I added two to 58, it’s going to be 60. If I took away two from 22, it’s going to be 20. Then, I’m left with a pretty easy problem to answer 60 + 20.

The “I Can” Statement is: I can add and subtract 10s and 100s. Of course, we have to have our friend Value Pak here! Most of you have seen Value Pak with their red and white, but this time you’re going to see that Value Pak has a new member – orange (hundreds)!  We’re going to start with a number, 297. We roll a number cube, and add that many hundreds to complete the equation – 297 + (whatever you roll as hundreds) = ____. As we use place value strips, we want kids to understand that they’re adding in the 10s, or they’re adding in the 100s and how that can help. We do the same thing with the idea with subtraction. Starting with a number like 982, and this time we want the dice this time to represent 10s, so students have to roll and complete the equation.

The idea that there are different ways to look at numbers and figure out how many there are all together is one we come back to often. In this show, for example, Mia has two 100s, two 10s, and three ones, and someone else has two 100s. How could we figure out their value all together? We want to really make sure kids understand place value!

This transfers into students being able to write an equation by looking at place value blocks. They work on this objective by using a combination of place value blocks and even place values strips.

For their independent activity, students are going to add and subtract 10s and 100s. It’s a great way for students to spin and quickly figure out how they can add those together without feeling like they have to write out a whole algorithm. 


Third Grade

Focus: 401: Measuring with Halves and Fourths / 402: Measuring with Rulers

“I Can” statement: I can measure length in halves or quarters of an inch. / I can measure length using a ruler marked with halves and quarters of an inch.

Extension Activity: Measure to the Nearest Half or Quarter Inch / Measure to find Equivalent Lengths

To begin episode 401, we’re going to be doing a number talk with a topic that the third graders just learned about – fractions! We’re going to be doing an area model fraction number talk so we can see exactly what they remember. Students are presented with a piece of paper divided into fourths, two are yellow and the other two are blue. Of course, we want to keep this really open ended so we just ask the students What fraction of space is occupied by each color? 

I really enjoy doing these fraction talks because they are so open-ended. Students oftentimes will give me a right answer, like, 2/4 are yellow, or they might say 4/8 are blue because they can see those, but sometimes they don’t understand that both of those equal half. They don’t see that yellow is half or 2/4, but it could also be 4/8. This kind of activity really creates wonderful conversation and inquiry-based learning in the classroom. 

The “I Can” Statement is: I can measure length in halves or quarters of an inch. We start by brainstorming what students already know about inches. Some students might remember that inches are used to measure length. Some might remember that there are different tick marks on yardsticks and rulers, or even tape measures. Others remember that inches are shorter than feet, but they’re also longer than centimeters. 

We want to incorporate the idea of fractions with measurement, so we start with a paperclip on a ruler. All of our rulers are enlarged on the show so that students can see how we’re measuring from endpoint to endpoint. Students can look at the object, see if it’s halfway between three and four and see how that would measure three and a half. We look at a pencil and different objects in this way. 

We also bring in the idea of what happens if I measure something and it is past an inch, but not quite to one and a half inches? Well, we know that would be a quarter of an inch. We talk about how to label that and how it would look on a ruler. We especially look at these marks of 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4, and show that 2/4 actually equals a half.

The extension activity is to measure to the nearest 1/2 or 1/4 inch. It gets kids to really look at exactly where objects are lying on a ruler, and helps them understand the parts of fractions that we’ve covered in previous shows as it applies to something in the real world. 

In episode 402, we’re going to be doing another fraction number talk. If you’re interested in learning more about this type of number talk, click the link in the episode guide for Love for Math. I love how they set up fraction number talks! In this number talk, the fractions are occupied again by different pieces – we have half as orange, a fourth is yellow, and two eighths are blue. Again, those fractions can be named different things, so you’re getting kids to be able to add to their knowledge of equivalent fractions by telling us what color is occupying each space. 

Our “I Can” Statement is: I can measure length using a ruler marked with halves, and a quarter of an inch. We look at two different rulers that now go beyond just zero and one. Our rulers go all the way from zero inches up to nine inches, and we see different tick marks in between. We talk about what we notice, and what we wonder. As always, it’s great to throw out this question as a way to catch kids’ attention and really get them the gist of what we’re going to be talking about. 

In this show, we do a lot of measurement with worms! One worm measures four and a half inches. Jayda says the worm is four and a half long, but Kiran says the worm is four and two fourths inches long. Who is correct? Obviously with us numbering, or labeling, the fraction tick marks in between the whole numbers, you could have something as four and a half or it could be four and two fourths, if you were to mark each tick mark by fourths. We measure a variety of different worms, discussing the different ways that you could talk about how you could name that measurement. 

We then look at finding the lengths and equivalent lengths of scissors, a stapler and a hole punch. We want to get students to be able to rename the length of objects using their knowledge of fractions.

The extension activity is to measure with a ruler to find equivalent lengths. They have different objects that they’ll also be measuring in the extension activity to apply what they’ve learned in the show. 

Wow, we have all kinds of things to offer this week with all the different topics we’re doing – from adding and subtracting strategies, to shapes, to measuring, and even our teen numbers!

Thanks so much for joining us. I can’t wait to hear how you enjoy the Math Might shows this week!

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