Wow, it’s hard to believe that we have recorded, produced, edited, and sent off to be hosted on the PBS Michigan Learning Channel, our 112th Math Might Show.

As we tie a bow on this season, and on this school year, I thought it would be fun to look back at how this opportunity went from idea to reality, and what the past five months (or 12 months, really!) have been like at SIS4Teachers as we developed something like this!

Much of the consultant work we were doing during COVID was through Zoom, and we weren’t really able to interact with teachers as much as we are now. However, with some of the new schools that we’ve added on, I’ve actually been able to get out and present in person! Masked and in small groups, of course, but it’s amazing to get back to what I’ve always loved to do. As I’ve introduced myself these past few months, and given the background of the things we’ve created and accomplished at SIS, It’s almost surreal.

One of the first things that we accomplished the minute that COVID hit was our virtual math series, #sis4students. I remember going to bed that Thursday night, not sure if I was going to send my own kids to school the next day, and thinking *We have to do something! *We knew education was on the brink of a drastic, potentially disastrous change, especially in the schools we’ve worked with to raise their student achievement in math. As I thought about the uncertainty of what was to come, one thing I decided to start doing was recording videos. It’s something I had always wanted to do. Presenting to a group of teachers is one thing, but to be able to expand the reach of your instruction with an on-demand video is quite another, and has the potential to reach so many more educators. Even when I was teaching in the classroom, I’d think about how I could help my own students in my own building in my own district, but as a presenter, how much more of an impact could I have on multiple school districts. So I began to think about how I could create that video content that people could go back and use over and over again.

When COVID hit, I was thinking of my primary audience as teachers, but I also thought about parents who suddenly found themselves being teachers. Whether they were stay-at-home moms or dads, or engineers, or hygienists – they probably never expected to be teaching their children as well. So, we launched #sis4students as quickly as we could to provide support to anyone responsible for educating a child during the early weeks of quarantine.

I definitely laugh looking back at my technology journey as we started producing videos. Early on, I hung an iPad above my kitchen table. With teaching math, you can’t just have a web cam and a PowerPoint, you need to have that aerial view so you can show hands-on problem solving. I did lots of trial runs with different software that would let me write with my mouse, but it never looked right. I tried using a document camera, but my document camera always lagged.

I even tried using a pen on an iPad to see if I could solve problems and explain my thinking. Screencastify ended up being a great early solution.

My first stage of creating videos was, let’s just say, not the best. I had to have the iPad high enough to be able to show something like a dry erase board, and I still have a dent in my kitchen table from when my very high iPad contraption that I came up with wasn’t as secure as I needed it. But, I knew that I could create good content that I could get out to people who could use it right away. So, I partnered up with some friends of mine in Ohio to create a really great video series. We ended up with five weeks of content, each with a different theme (numeracy, math tasks, etc.), that you can still access on our website.

After the success of #sis4students, and as the year progressed, my husband kept talking about how we could expand the video creation portion of SIS, and maybe even build a studio in our house. My husband has a big TV background as a producer for Good Morning America for 16 years in New York. As encouraging as he was though, I couldn’t imagine having the time to record anything! I was travelling all over the country to different schools presenting and coaching almost every day, and in some schools, committing to work intimately with them for three or four years at a time. That is definitely a passion that I probably won’t ever give up, as I’ve been able to record myself and my content on video, I’ve really seen how that can create a larger bandwidth.

Once I finally agreed, my husband told me we were going to create a sling studio that could be portable. We could take it back and forth from our house to our cottage, and I could use my kids as models to help me with playing different games. The goal? To create a membership website.

The Molding Math Mindsets (M³) Membership website was something I always wanted to do, but never could really envision what it would look like. So, I thought I’d just start recording content. It started with video tutorials for our Deck o’ Dots games, then fractions, progression of multiplication, progression of division, until we had a whole menu of content that we could present to teachers in a user-friendly way where they could access what they needed with just a few clicks. I thought, maybe if there was a new teacher in the building that missed my training on numeracy talks at the beginning of the year, they could go in and download all the information they needed to get up to speed. Of course, with COVID, this idea grew to encompass creating content for teachers who were teaching virtually or were just simply overwhelmed with everything and needed lessons already done for them.

In the basement of our house, we created a studio with different lighting (not just from my kitchen lights!). It wasn’t the most high tech thing, but it was a sling studio that we could sling from, at that time just with the PowerPoint and on the overhead, but not a camera yet. I actually wasn’t even interested in going on camera. But both our web designer and my husband were always encouraging me to get my face on camera, which is not something I was really comfortable with, even though I present in front of hundreds of people.

We developed a ton of different videos through those months that showed how to play different math games, but it was really just PowerPoint to overhead, and PowerPoint to overhead, trying to give as much information as I could and create a resource that was as useful as possible. I started creating different things like accountability sheets and game boards and things that would help teachers have everything they needed to be successful. If you wanted the instruction part that I created for the video, you could download the PowerPoint. You could even edit the PowerPoint that I created and put in your own numbers!

We came out with some really awesome series! One of my favorites is the place value series, where I taught teachers how to use place value strips to start teaching place value basics, then adding more or less, and how to do rounding and estimating. Another series that I had a really great time doing was our Visual Models for Word Problems series, which has everything teachers need, at their fingertips, to help students with different genres, if you will, of word problems.

We’ve created, and continue adding to, a really great membership website. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that we’ve produced over 150 videos that are included in the membership site, on top of the 112 videos for the Math Mights Show! You can get all the details about becoming a member below!

Meanwhile, with COVID changing everything, I was thinking about how my job would look different. Instead of doing coaching and presenting, could I do Zoom trainings? More video coaching? And out of this, we started conversations with PBS and Detroit Public Television, about launching something called the Michigan Learning Channel. The Michigan Learning Channel was going to be a special channel that we wanted to host in the state of Michigan, not necessarily just to address the COVID slide and to help parents with kids at home, but more as a sustainable channel that can provide educational content for the next five years. They were looking for a math show for Kindergarten, first, second and third grade that would be great for parents, teachers and students alike, where there would be a downloadable activity for each episode. It would be one of the first original programs that the Michigan Learning Channel was looking at bringing on.

Honestly, in the back of my mind, I thought *Well, yes I’ve graduated from my iPad suspended above my table and now I have a little studio, but wow, a TV show…? I don’t think I know the first thing about doing that!*

So, like any person would, I went ahead and put my hat in the ring. Between my talents and my husband’s talents, I thought, let’s see what we could come up with!

Lo and behold, we got a call in early December and began to get things rolling. We decided to call the show The Math Mights, after the strategies that I developed in the Math Might characters. I felt the strategies had made such a huge difference in teachers’ and students’ lives, and now I was going to be able to make those math strategies come alive!

I suddenly now had to get the animated pieces for an intro in the show. I had to figure out which teachers to host the shows for Kindergarten, first, second and third grade. I knew I really wanted to be one of the teachers, and I picked second grade because there’s a lot of Math Might development in that grade and that was something I was passionate about. Fortunately, I’ve worked with some rockstar teachers in our various project schools, so I asked Alicia Gray to host Kindergarten, Tiffany Markavich for first grade, and then Rhonda Askew as our third grade teacher.

As we worked on getting some of the logistics in place, I started to think about what content we were going to use. Where are we going to get content for four grade levels? We were able to get permission to use the beta version of Illustrative Math as some of the backbone of the shows. Illustrative Math is a program that is coming out in July (read more about it here!) and the content goes right along with some of SIS signature things, such as the Math Mights strategies, number talks, numeracy talks, visual models with our friend Professor Barble and more.

I was adamant that I did not want the Math Mights Show to be something that kids had seen for the last year – a Zoom call with their teacher in a little box and math content on the screen. I wanted this to be more interactive. I wanted kids to be able to see a teacher on camera, but then to go to PowerPoint, and then go to activities on the overhead, and to be, well – engaged!! It’s a 16-minute TV spot…how hard could that be, right?

The idea sounded…not terrible. But we had to think practical. What would a TV-show-producing studio look like? Our little sling studio wasn’t going to cut it. My husband had to figure out which cameras and which lighting and how we would go about constructing it.

And then, probably the hardest part of the whole adventure, was that DPTV wanted us to produce eight videos a week, two for every grade level K-3 each week, for a total of 112 shows.

Once we started the project in early December, we hit the ground running. We were creating PowerPoints, making sure our content was not only engaging but high quality, trying to train teachers who are used to teaching in front of a classroom how to be on camera. Of course, I have the presenting thing down, no problem, but being on camera and being recorded is a whole different story, especially when you have to be able to articulate things in different ways. And of course, to be able to help another teacher encapsulate the ideas from the content I wrote was a challenge that I wasn’t really expecting.

For each show, we had a PowerPoint from which we created an extension activity. Then, we had to do very detailed production notes so the teachers knew when they were going to be on camera, when they were going to be on the overhead, when they were going to be on PowerPoint. I had to script out what I wanted them to say, of course hoping they could also addlib with some of their own teacher style based on the content of the show.

The hours that went into developing a show were astounding. It certainly took a lot longer in the beginning, but as time went on, we worked like clockwork. Still, the amount of hours that my husband and I put into the show was astronomical. We spent weekends shooting in the studio, thinking maybe it would only take a teacher about an hour to shoot a 16 minute spot, where sometimes it ended up being seven or eight hours to shoot that spot.

One thing I can tell you, looking back at the situation as stressful as it was, it is very rewarding to see what we have accomplished. We’ve created 112 shows from the ground up. We had one other editor helping us, but my husband, Scott McCartney, did a majority of the legwork. He is certainly talented in what he does as a producer, but he went above and beyond with the animations and different things he did to make the show come to life.

The Math Mights Show has been airing on our local PBS station, but you can find all 112 episodes on the Michigan Learning Channel or our new website: https://mathmights.org

But the resources for the Math Mights show didn’t stop at the actual episode. Our web designer gave the Math Mights their own website, and on each show page, you can find and download the extension activity, but you also have a whole list of supporting virtual manipulatives and other related resources and products from the SIS4Teachers site. There are also teacher’s guides for each of the Math Mights shows, explaining a little about the concepts and problems used in the show, what strategies we used and why, and even what manipulatives we chose and why. I love being in a training and being able to say, *Since you’re doing place value, check out this Math Might episode on that!* It’s a great tool to be able to offer schools that can enhance the curricular pieces they’re already using.

So, looking back on this experience, it really is a blur. Typically you’d be given six to 12 months to develop the types of shows that we did, but we ended up doing it in a very short period of time. We look back at the first shows and laugh at the lighting and the different things that we did, and we certainly have had amazing bloopers where a word that I said didn’t make sense and in fact the math that I said didn’t even make sense!

We really had a great time getting to know Tiffany, Alicia and Rhonda. We also had Laura, our amazing assistant, in the studio with us doing the timings of the shows, all the manipulative prep. It’s hard to imagine what happens behind the scenes of creating a show like this, but now, having had this experience, I’ve definitely gotten to the root of what it is like to be an educator trying to create a TV show. It’s been a really, really rewarding experience.

Looking forward, we don’t know what the future will hold for the fall. I know there’s a large interest for us to continue the Math Might Shows, doing September through December and then finishing out the year. The idea would be to have a library of shows, two per week per grade level, that you could use in different school districts – what a great resource!

I won’t lie there were bumps in the road, but we ended up working all those things out, and were able to create something, I think, that will be incredible, and hopefully leave an imprint on education today.

It’s hard to capture everything I want to say about this, but I did a video that I want to share with you about my experience and all the people that I want to thank for this amazing opportunity.

I definitely want to thank the people at The Michigan Learning Channel for taking the chance on SIS4Teachers being their first original programming.

There are three people in particular I really want to thank for their hard work and support – Laura Dzieciolowski, Sherry McElhannon, and of course, Scott McCartney. I truly could not have done this project, with all the ins and outs and details, without you! Together we have created a masterpiece, and I’m thankful for the expertise and dedication you brought to the table to help make this vision into a reality.

Of course, I also want to thank Alicia Gray, Tiffany Markavich, and Rhonda Askew for the hours you put into taking my content and bringing it to life on screen.

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.

**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.

**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?

The “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.

**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.

(valid M³ Membership login required)

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.

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.

**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

In 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.

**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.

**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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Thanks for joining us for our blog this week for our Math Mights recap on shows 317 and 318!

This week’s shows will be the last of the 300 level shows. As you know from the 200 level shows, we stopped at 217 and 218, giving you eighteen shows per quarter. And so, next week, we’ll start talking about shows 401 and 402. Don’t worry! there won’t be any big gap in the instruction when we start the 400 level shows, it’ll just be a continuation of where we left off.

This will also be our last two shows featuring a Mystery Math Mistake. Look for a new type of warm-up when we start the 400 level episodes!

Episodes 317-318

**300 Series Focus: Mystery Math Mistake**

In the Mystery Math Mistake, our warm up for the 300 level series, the Math Mights get their strategies all mixed up! Students have to be detectives to see if they can find the mathematical error as we work through the problem. You’ll have great fun watching the shows as students start to look with a critical eye to see if they can spot the Mystery Math Mistake!

**Focus: **317: Count with 10 and Some More / 318: Represent Numbers 11-19

**“I Can” Statement: **I can count pictures with 10 and some more, and answer the question *how many?* / I can represent numbers 11 through 19 in more than one way.

**Extension Activity:** Guess Then Count / Cover Up

In Kindergarten, we’re going to be working on counting with 10 and some more. In our Mystery Math Mistake, D.C. definitely needs your help! He’s come up with different number bonds by decomposing the number seven, but students will have to look carefully to see if they can find his mistake. At this point in the year, having Kindergarteners practice analytical thinking is such a great exercise! They always think their teacher is right, so this lets them back up a little bit and see if they can find the error.

The “I Can” Statement is: I can count pictures with 10 and some more, and answer the question *how many?*

At the beginning of the show, we have a variety of different cubes. This is the first time we’re having Kindergarteners do a little bit of estimation! We want them to figure out what’s too low, about right, or too high. Of course, our students could touch and count the collection of cubes, but we really want them to get the basic idea of what a good guess would be. Guessing two cubes would be “too low,” because we can obviously see there are way more than two cubes. “Too high” for a Kindergartener might be 50 cubes because, even if we were to look at 50 on an abacus, we could see that there are way less than 50. A “just right” guessitmate might be about 10.

When we rearrange the cubes into an organized 10 and some more, like we’ve always talked about in Kindergarten, we can easily and quickly see that there’s 14. Now, we also know how students might want to revise their estimations after they see the orientation of the objects set up a little bit differently. Instead of saying that two would be too low, we know that a good estimate for “too low” would be 10. Obviously we didn’t fill a full double 10-frame, so it would be “too high” to estimate 20. We know the “about right” answer is 14. It’s really great to provide that opportunity for kids to do their own thinking through this process!

Then we visit with our friend the Counting Buddy Sr. to see if we can figure out how many beads are showing! The Counting Buddy Sr. has 10 of one color beads and 10 of another color. It’s really important to mix up the modalities of numbers for Kindergarten kids so they aren’t just seeing that double 10-frame. So, in this episode, we’ll match a lot of different numbers with 10 and some more with the Counting Buddy. If you don’t have Counting Buddies in your classroom, check them out here!

Of course, we still want to be practicing with the double 10-frame, so we ask students to match the double 10-frame mat with a teen number, making sure to ask how they know which number it is.

The estimation portion of the show comes back in the extension activity, called Guess Then Count. Kids will grab a handful of counters or small objects and guess about how many they have. It’s a really great way for them to understand the idea of something that’s too low, that’s just right, or something that’s too high.

In episode 318, we’re continuing on this journey of teen numbers. D.C. gets mixed up again in our Mystery Math Mistake. He does number bonds again, but this time he decides to do them with missing addends. He has a total of eight, and then he has five, but does he end up putting the other missing addend in correctly? Can you use your analytical thinking to find D.C.’s error and help turn him around?

The “I Can” Statement is: I can represent numbers 11 through 19 in more than one way. As we said before, in Kindergarten it is really important to not just show numbers in one modality. In the previous show, we mixed up the double 10-frame with the Counting Buddy Sr. In this show, we bring in the third modality of a rekenrek.

A rekenrek is similar to the top two rows of an abacus, 10 on each row, five of one color and five of another. We want kids to become familiar with this math tool! If you haven’t used a rekenrek in your classroom, we have several videos on how to use it. The big thing to remember, which you’ll see in this episode, is that you clear to the right. I say “white right” or if you push the beads to the right, I say “clear to the right, red in the lead.” To help your students remember, you can put a smiley face in the upper right-hand corner to show how it is cleared. It does feel a bit awkward at first when you push beads to the left because you’re thinking *wait, I read from left to right! *However, once you push the beads to the left, maybe showing a row of 10 and then two more, you’ll actually read it from left to right.

Then, we use two different modalities – the double 10-frame and the rekenrek. And we end the show by bringing in all three tools and practicing conservation to 20 with the rekenrek, the double 10-frame, and the Counting Buddy Sr.

I really like this extension activity for this episode! It’s a little complicated for some students, but I think they’ll like it once they get the hang of it. It’s called Cover Up. Students will grab a teen number and try to match the double 10-frame and the rekenrek that represent the number. If you do this activity with your Kinder kiddos, make sure you have a double 10-frame mat and a rekenrek nearby so they can see exactly what the quantity is! You want them to make the connection of 10 and some more, but not memorize it in just one way.

**Focus: **317: More Story Problems / 318: Story Problems and Equations

**“I Can” Statement: **I can solve story problems with unknowns in all positions. / I can think about story problems and write equations.

**Extension Activity:** Problem Solving with Professor Barble / Professor Barble Puzzles

In episode 317 for first grade, our Mystery Math Mistake is bringing back something we talked about in a previous episode – decomposing & composing with addition This can be a hard concept for first grade and so we want to see if they can look deeper into a problem to figure out where D.C. is making his mistake. He is going to decompose the numbers and we’re going to see if Rocco and Aiden can help him figure out where the mistake is.

Our “I Can” Statement is: I can solve story problems with unknowns in all positions.

If you heard me say “story problems,” you know what character we’re using in this show – it’s Professor Barble! We are bringing back this concept of a visual model, but in a little less scaffolded manner than we have before. We have different problems that have unknowns in different positions. For example, *Elena bought a bag of beads to make a bracelet, she takes out nine beads to make a bracelet. There are 11 beads left in the bag, how many beads were in the bag when Elena bought it?* These types of missing addend problems can sometimes be complicated for first graders, just because of how they read. So, we want to make sure that we’re really walking through Professor Barble’s step-by-step process – rewriting our sentence in question form, figuring out who our *who* and *what* is, chunking and checking the problem, putting in our bars – all of those great things that we’ve taught in the past so students can understand this problem.

Then, we want to find out which equation matches the story, in this case the story of Elena and her beads. She has some beads in a box. She uses five of them to make a bracelet. She has 10 beads left. How many beads were in Elena’s box? What should our number sentence, or equation say? 5 + 10 = ____? Maybe ____ – 10 = 5? Or 10 – 5 = ____?

I really like this episode because a lot of students guess when it comes to word problems – do we add, or do we subtract? When they’re having to actually see the mathematical statement, it really gets them to think about whether it’s going to be an addition or a subtraction, or maybe even a missing addend that we might be using.

The extension activity is for students to do a missing addend problem on their own with Professor Barble and his step-by-step visual model process.

As we move into show 318, this Mystery Math Mistake brings you a showdown between D.C. and Value Pak! Our problem is: 29 + 14. Students can decompose and make the 29 into a friendly decade number, or they can solve with Value Pak by decomposing the 29 into 20 and 9, and the 14 into 10 and 4, and then adding the 10s and then the 1s. Can you figure out where the error is that one of our characters made?

The “I Can” Statement is: I can think about story problems and write equations. Again, we’re keeping consistent by using Professor Barble and his step-by-step visual model process. One of our problems says *Mia made nine paper frogs. Diego made 15 paper frogs. How many fewer frogs did Mia have then Diego? *This is an additive comparison problem, which is usually quite complicated for first graders.

We don’t often get to every problem that we have planned when we’re shooting the shows, so some of this episode might be on the cutting room floor, which means bonus examples for you! Check the deleted scenes page as we’re posting new clips all the time!

At the end of the show, we really want to make sure again that students are understanding which equation matches the story. Kids need a lot of practice with this concept and so for the extension activity, they’re going to be doing Professor Barble puzzles! These are really fun puzzles where students have to match an equation and a visual model together with the story problem to see if it all makes sense together.

**Focus: **317: Let’s Make a Dollar / 318: Problems with Money

**“I Can” Statement: **I can find coin combinations to make 100 cents. / I can solve addition and subtraction story problems in the context of money.

**Extension Activity:** Handful of Coins / The Toy Store

As we move into second grade and show 317, T-Pops gets to make an appearance in this Mystery Math Mistake! He’s all upside down and confused trying to solve 62 – 36. I wonder if T-Pops made a common error that many second graders make at this time of the year when they’re thinking about regrouping! Landon and Miles are on the show to help set us straight.

In these two episodes, we get to talk more about coins! The “I Can” Statement is: I can find coin combinations to make 100 cents. We start with a *What do you notice? What do you wonder?* where we present students with a variety of different coin combinations that they can look at, including a dollar bill, which is new on the show.

Kids might make the connection that it takes double the amount of nickels to make a dime. We also present them with a picture where they see the $1 bill, but they also see two quarters and five dimes. We want kids, without any prompting, to get the idea of what we’re talking about in the show by asking our famous questions.

We then start counting nickels. We need 20 nickels, we know, to make $1. Then, we look at how you can make a collection using only dimes to make that same value. We want kids to see how you can exchange the coins in this situation. Sometimes, counting nickels can be hard, but if students can point to two nickels at a time, they can start skip counting by 10s if they realize the exchange value.

Then, we take a lot of the show’s time to talk about how four quarters equals $1, three quarters equals 75 cents, and two equals 50 cents. We want kids to have the idea of how they can add up different combinations, so we’ll bring in the idea of adding quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies and being able to represent it in different ways.

The application at the end of the show presents a child having $1.10 in her pocket. Can we represent that with coins? What about with a paper dollar? The activity is called Handful of Coins, and students are going to do just that! They grab a handful of coins, draw a picture to represent the amount of coins, and then they’re going to add it up to see what their total is.

In Episode 318 for second grade, our Mystery Math Mistake again features our friend T-Pops. Since students did so well catching the mistake in episode 317, this one should be easy! We purposefully make the warm-ups similar in each set of shows to help students really get great practice with a concept and hopefully take their learning deeper in the second show as they approach a familiar concept/problem.

The “I Can” Statement is: I can solve addition and subtraction story problems in the context of money. This is helping kids to be able to stretch their thinking a little bit to see if they can apply their knowledge of coins and money. The first step is asking: *How many coins do you see?* And *How do you see them?* The really interesting fact is in this picture, there’s actually pennies, nickels and dimes. There is a total of eight of each coin. We talked about the idea that, even though the actual quantity of the physical coins might be the same, their values are certainly very different.

Then, it’s time to go shopping! Kids get a list of items they might need to buy – a pack of pencils or a pencil sharpener, an eraser or a pen – and they’re going to the school supply shop with a certain amount of money. These problems involve addition AND subtraction, as we have to add the total of items that we have, and then we’re going to have to subtract it from what we have. We may even use a Math Might character to help us solve some of these!

We give a variety of examples here where students are buying different things and we want to highlight where we need to add and subtract. We know sometimes when we’re counting money, a really great character to use is Springling. We also can use D.C. when we’re adding.

The independent extension activity is a trip to the toy store! Students have to figure out how much different items cost, and then figure out how much money they have, how much is spent, and then, if they have money left!

**Focus: **317: Compare Fractions / 318: Compare Fractions with the Same Numerator

**“I Can” Statement: **I can represent and compare fractions. / I can compare two fractions with the same numerator.

**Extension Activity:** Fractions take Action /

In episode 317 for third grade, our Mystery Math Mistake features the multiplying up strategy. Springling has gone wrong in counting up for the problem 84 ÷ 7. Somewhere there’s an error and our friends Nora and Layla are going to help find it!

We’re continuing our journey through fractions in these two shows, first with the “I Can” statement: I can represent and compare fractions.

We ask students to look at two fractions strips, but one of them has a cloud covering part of it. We ask *What do you notice? What do you wonder? *Even though the cloud is covering a portion of the fraction strip, we hope that kids can still compare them by looking at the amount that they see shaded. Then, we ask *Are these fractions equivalent? *If I was looking at 1/2 and 1/3, are they equivalent? One of our friends says no! If I look at those two fractions on the number line, I can see that they’re not equivalent. We use some of the tools that kids have learned about throughout previous shows to help them determine their answer – area model papers, fraction tiles, or maybe even a number line. Students are also asked to compare 4/6 and 5/6. This one is a bit more simple because of the common denominator, so students can decide if those two fractions are equivalent by looking at how many pieces there are.

Once we determine that 4/6 and 5/6 aren’t equivalent, we can use that concept to get kids to look at things a little differently. One child might say that 4/6 is less than 5/6, and show their work on a number line. But another student says no, 4/5 is greater than 5/6, and they show their number line. Who is right?

One of the most important takeaways from this show as we’re comparing fractions and looking for equivalent fractions or comparing fractions is that the length of the number lines we’re using must be the same. Unless the number lines match exactly, we can’t really compare apples to apples. In the show, we prompt kids to come to that realization as we talk about what they’ve noticed and make some connections to what we already know about fractions that can help us when we’re comparing.

The independent activity is called Fractions take Action. Students will decide if the problem is going to have a common numerator or a common denominator, and then figure out the best way to determine if the fractions are equivalent.

In show 318 for third grade, our Mystery Math Mistake is the second one to showcase the multiplying up strategy. Springling is trying to solve 96 ÷ 6. Can students find the error this time?

For this show, we’re going to take what we’ve learned about equivalent fractions and add to it with the “I Can” Statement: I can compare two fractions with the same numerator. We often hear people talk about a “common denominator,” but we don’t often talk about a common numerator. On the show, Priya says that 5/6 is greater than 5/8, but Taylor says 5/8 is greater than ⅚. Let’s look at how students are really thinking about this kind of comparison. We know that sixths are larger than eighths.

So 5/6 is greater than 5/8. When you’re looking at a fraction that has a common numerator, we know we’re talking about the exact same amount of pieces, so we’re going to have five pieces out of the six or five pieces out of the eight. It might help if kids can relate this to eating something – do you think you’d get a bigger slice if a pie was cut into eighths or if the pie was cut into sixths? Once we have a good idea of the size of the pieces, we know we’re talking about the same amount of pieces. So obviously, 5/6 are a lot larger than 5/8.

We use this same strategy as we start to look at comparing other fractions, like 3/4 and 3/8. Again, kids often have a fear of fractions, and they don’t really want to think about them. But, wait a minute! Those fractions have a common numerator! If I thought about taking a brownie pan, and I cut it into four pieces, would I want a piece that size? Or would I get a bigger piece if I cut the brownies into eight slices? I only get three pieces, so which size would I like to have? Students can use this common numerator process to help them understand that 3/4 is larger than 3/8.

As we move on, we want to make sure kids are careful looking at common numerators, 5/3 or 5/6. Well someone thinks thirds are larger, but they also have to remember that 5/3 is a fraction larger than one (you might call it an *improper fraction* in your classroom). It’s okay to let kids say improper fractions. In fact, many of the tests will label it like that. But I always ask third, fourth and fifth graders, what is an improper fraction? Their answer is usually when the numerator is larger than the denominator. But, we want to tie it back to number sense. Help your kids get in the habit of calling it a fraction larger than one whenever they see a fraction where the numerator is larger than the denominator. We spend a lot of time on the show looking at this common numerator idea. I think it’s a really great way to get your third graders to think about fractions.

Our really fun game that we’re going to play is called Spin to Win. We’re going to look at it with either the same numerator or the same denominator.

I hope you’re having as much fun as we with all these Math Might shows! Remember if you’ve already taught a concept in your class this year, file these episodes away for next year!

Also, remember, If you’re an M3: Molding Math Mindsets member, you have all of the footage that we use to create these videos – the PowerPoints that I made with the instructional videos, number talks, Mystery Math Mistakes, Professor Barble’s problems. It’s already put together and ready to use with a click of a button on our M3 dashboard. We have a separate Math Mights page created just for members, so you can go use those problems! So many of our schools are using the Math Might shows for summer school instruction! Great idea because the work is already done for you, even the extension/independent activity that goes with it!

M³ Members, don’t forget to download the PowerPoints and get your very own Mystery Math Mistake animation!

(valid M³ Membership login required)

It’s a great week in Mathville! Get the inside scoop on episodes 315-316!

Episodes 315-316

**April Focus: Mystery Math Mistake**

In the Mystery Math Mistake, our warm up for April, the Math Mights get their strategies all mixed up! Students have to be detectives to see if they can find the mathematical error as we work through the problem. You’ll have great fun watching the shows as students start to look with a critical eye to see if they can spot the Mystery Math Mistake!

**Focus:** 315: Counting Groups 11-20 / 316: Count Groups Up to 20

**“I Can” statement: **I can figure out how many objects are in our collection. / I can answer questions about how many are in groups up to 20.

**Extension Activity: **Race and Trace / Build the Tower

We start off kindergarten with a Mystery Math Mistake, and D.C. is all confused! He’s created number bonds for 10-frames, but somewhere he found an error. Eric and Maki help set D.C. straight in this Mystery Math Mistake.

The “I Can” statement is: I can figure out how many objects are in our collection.

We know that Kindergarten students often struggle with one-to-one counting if things are not presented in an organized way because they often recount. So, we start the show by talking about how to count a collection of clear counters. There are different ways to go about counting – we could line up the objects, we could make sure we touch and count each one. We also use a new tool that you can download, called My Counting Mat, which helps students slow down and count more carefully. They can put all of their items on one side of the mat, and then, as they cross over the line on the My Counting Mat, they can count it so they won’t lose track.

Our Math Might friend Value Pak appears in this episode because we want to be able to set up our collections in a way that helps us see the value of 10s and 1s. We also use a different mat, the Double 10-Frame Mat, which helps students see the value of 10s and 1s by creating a set of 10, and then some more. So students will count in three different ways and then they can match up with Value Pak, seeing the red Value Pak in a 10, and the white Value Pak in three, and then when you put that together it makes the number 13.

It’s really important when we’re looking at teen numbers, like 16, to make sure that students don’t just say “one, six.” We want them to know the value of what they’re saying. The one in the number 16 is really a 10, and the six is six. You could think of a teen number as 10 six.

We then play a game called Race and Trace (watch the deleted scene!), and that’s the extension activity that the students will be playing in show 315.

As we move into show 316, we’re going to be doing a Mystery Math Mistake very similar to the one on the previous show, but this time instead of number bonds, D.C. is making number sentences to go with his 10-frame, and he is all turned around and confused!

The “I Can” statement is: I can answer questions about how many are in groups up to 20.

We open the episode with a pile of unifix cubes, asking *What do you notice?* and *What do you wonder? *Obviously, we can’t really count that pile of cubes, but we can look at them and maybe estimate the amount by looking at how many we see. We might be able to ask questions as we wonder, like, “Are there more red cubes or yellow cubes?” I think this opportunity to investigate through inquiry is really important for Kindergarteners to set them up for what we’ll be doing during this lesson. As we did in the previous lesson, we use the Double-10 Frame Mat here to begin to organize the cubes and we also use Value Pak to help us see the value of our collection.

We then have a collection of cubes and each student says there is a different amount – one says it is 15, another says 17, another says 16. They can’t all be right! So we have to investigate to see who is correct. We bring out the My Counting Mat again to make sure that we’re not counting too fast, which can lead to errors in counting.

We then look at scatters and different arrangements of an amount (12). We want to find out which arrangement of objects is easier for counting? A circle? Probably not because, when you start off counting in a circle, you might forget where you start if you don’t make a mark. It might be easier to line it up in a 10-frame where we have a row of five, and a row of five, and a row of two. Maybe we could line the objects up and skip count by twos. So we talk about the different ways that to arrange objects, and then we have different objects that we can arrange – buttons, snowflakes and even popsicle sticks.

For the extension activity, we do a game called Build the Tower. Students are going to roll a connecting cube onto a number mat with the numbers 0 – 9 and add that number to their tower. The first person to get to 20 in their tower is the winner.

**Focus:** 315: Measuring Lengths Longer than 100 / 316: Story Problems with Length

**“I Can” statement: **I can measure lengths longer than 100. / I can solve story problems with measurement and compare length

**Extension Activity: **Match-Up with Value Pak / Problem Solving with Professor Barble

We start off episode 315 with a Mystery Math Mistake, but this time we have Professor Barble who is upside down and all confused. We solve a problem that says *Rocco had 12 bags of fruit snacks. Jack gave him three more. How many did Rocco have in all? *It’s an addition problem, and we go through the Professor Barble process, but we might do the wrong operations. Can Nora and Laila help us?

Our “I Can” statement is: I can measure lengths longer than 100.

We are going to be measuring the students’ bodies in this episode! If you’re in the classroom, you could trace the students’ bodies on a large piece of butcher paper. In the show, Clare uses a piece of string to measure the length of her body and she discovered that it was 112 cubes long. When we have that many cubes, what is the best way to count them? We bring this back around to base-10 understanding with base-10 blocks. That’s a lot of cubes to count individually, but we can have 11 groups of 10 and 2 single cubes to make 112.

And so we have a variety of students in our pretend classroom that measure their body length in cubes and we talk about how we can count the cubes. For example, one person has 10 groups of 10 and 4 singles, so we know that that is 104.

We then transition into matching up a number over 100 with unifix cubes so students can see the representation together. Then, we talk about measuring different animals. We have the length, in cubes, of each animal on posters and students have to read that number. A red fox is 11 groups of 10 and 5 singles, how long is it? If a raccoon is 10 groups of 10, or the dog was 11 groups of 10, how long are these animals?

We then use Value Pak to talk about how a lot of kids say numbers incorrectly. When they’re counting in the English language, sometimes kids will say “twelveteen, thirteen, fourteen.” Mrs. Markavich had this happen a lot in her classroom! If a student is trying to read the number for the dog, which was 11 groups of 10, they might say eleven-d-ten (which isn’t really a number!). So, we talk about being really careful with numbers and how to honor the place value when we say the numbers.

For the extension activity, they’re going to do a match up with Value Pak. We usually see Value Pak in just red and white, representing just the 10s and the 1s, but we had our artist work on expanding him to 100s, which are orange! Students will be matching up numbers that are higher (in the 100s) with base-10 blocks. The idea of measurement is wrapped in with the idea of numbers higher than 100.

In show 316, our Mystery Math Mistake has Professor Barble upside down again! He should maybe be showing a subtraction visual model, but might get confused and so Nora and Laila help set him straight.

In the “I Can” statement, we can solve story problems with measurement and compare length. This episode is all about bringing length into real life situations and being able to use it to compare. Naturally, Professor Barble is the star of this show! Some of the problems ended up on the cutting room floor (check our deleted scene page to see them!), but we are talking about things like which paper clip is longer? How many cubes longer is the math book than the reading book?

This kind of problem is known as additive comparison, which can be quite difficult for first graders. As a result, I think it is really important to use Professor Barble’s step-by-step process to help students solve this type of problem.

And then it’s their turn! The students get to do a comparison problem with Professor Barble, walking through the step-by-step visual model process. They’re going to be using a non-proportional bar and adding in some of the pieces of information from the problem themselves.

**Focus:** 315: Coins and Values / 316: Coin Combinations

**“I Can” statement: **I can learn about coins and values.** / **I can learn about quarters and find the values of different sets of coins.

**Extension Activity:** Coin Compare: Levels 1 and 2

Show 315 opens with a Mystery Math Mistake featuring T-Pops! He is solving 78 + 14, but as the kids in the show contribute their thoughts about where the error was, you’ll see how you can look at an addition problem and actually end up doing the inverse operation! Nora, in the show, realizes that the answer can’t be 82 because 82 – 14 isn’t 78. It’s important for kids to realize how to look at the error, and we have to dig deeper to find out where T-Pops went wrong.

The “I Can” statement is: I can learn about coins and values. We talk about coins and value some in first grade, so this show touches a bit on some of the first grade standards. We don’t really count combinations anymore in first grade, but this is a nice review show to really help look at the attributes of coins. To begin, we ask our kids on the show to brainstorm on chart paper what they know about money.

In this show, we focus on dimes, pennies, and nickels, and their values. We also do combinations where we’re adding nickels and pennies together, or dimes and pennies, or dimes and nickels. We aren’t getting to quarters just yet, as I think it’s really important for kids, when they study coins, to practice skip-counting by 10s, then 5s, and then 1s.

An abacus is a really great tool to use with counting coins. If you’re counting by dimes first, then nickels, then pennies, you can use the abacus to help slow down your counting. We also talk a lot about how you go about counting money if you have a picture of coins, and you can’t rearrange them from greatest to least. Maybe you want to count or touch the dimes first, then the nickels, then the pennies to make your counting a little bit easier.

On the extension activity, students are going to be doing an activity called Coin Compare: Level 1, where students are going to be comparing coin sets with their partner to see who has the greatest total.

As we move into show 316, our Mystery Math Mistake is very similar to the previous show so that, in the first show, students could learn or be introduced to an idea or concept, and in the second show, we do a similar problem but students are able to be more independently involved to figure out where the error is.

The “I Can” statement is” I can learn about quarters and find the values of different sets of coins. There’s a new coin in town in this show – it’s the quarter! We’re looking at ways you can create a quarter or combine the values of coins in different ways. We present students with three quarters and ask *What is the value, in cents, and then how can you create that same value with different coins?* Could you have two quarters, two dimes, and then a nickel? Would that still equals 75 cents?

We have different combinations of coins – quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies – that students will study. In second grade, one of the standards asks students to be able to make a certain amount using the fewest coins possible. If we wanted students to make 66 cents, they might do six dimes and six pennies, but how would we make that same total with the fewest number of coins?

For the extension activity, students play Coin Compare again, but this time they’re playing level two! We’re going to be mixing in quarters to make this a little bit more challenging for students as they’re counting and comparing with a partner.

**Focus:** 315: Equivalent Fractions / 316: Equivalent Whole Numbers as Fractions

**“I Can” statement: **I can identify, generate, and locate equivalent fractions. / I can find fractions, and whole numbers that are equivalent.

**Extension Activity:** Equivalent Fraction Roll / Same, But Different

As we move into 315 for third grade, we do a Mystery Math Mistake with Springling, where she is using the strategy of multiplying up. We’ve covered this strategy extensively in previous shows, but now, we want kids to look with a more critical eye to see where Ms. Askew maybe went wrong. The problem is 48 ÷ 4 and so we’re asking the question *How many groups of 4 go into 48?* We have to find out where the error is in what we’re doing. We also introduce the idea of using the inverse operation here when one of the students says, “I know that 14 x 4 = 56 and we’re trying to get to 48.” I think it’s important for kids to know about that concept as they’re analyzing to see if an answer is correct.

The “I Can” statement is: I can identify, generate, and locate equivalent fractions. We’re spending a lot of time here looking at equivalent fractions in different ways – fraction tiles, fraction strips, area model papers, as well as shading in different bars – to demonstrate how we can tell if a fraction is equivalent.

I think it’s really important, when teaching equivalent fractions, NOT to teach students the “butterfly method” or other really quick tricks because, you don’t want to teach them a procedure with a concept they don’t understand. So give the example of a person that ran 3/6 of a mile and somebody else that ran 1/2 of a mile, asking *who ran further on the track?* Well, really looking at the equivalencies on a number line is really important to be able to compare those fractions.

The number line work that we do in third grade is such an integral piece. Kids really struggle here, and so we give them a variety of fractions such as ½, 3/8, 6/8, 7/8 and so forth, and we want them to be able to locate and label them on the number line. Then, once we have these plotted, we look at having a number line that’s in fourths and then another long number line in eighths. Can we find one that is equivalent on the number line because we’re looking at the same point?

In the extension activity, we play an equivalent fraction roll, where students play different rounds and create fractions, trying to find an equivalent fraction to the one that they created.

In show 316 in third grade, we do another Mystery Math Mistake. Again, it is a very similar problem that uses multiplying up – 63 ÷ 3 – and Springling has made an error somewhere in the groups. Maybe she didn’t count all the groups of three? Let’s see if we can discover where her error is!

The “I Can” statement is: I can find fractions, and whole numbers that are equivalent. We spend a lot of time on this show talking about fractions that are larger than one. A lot of times, we call those improper fractions, but I always say, *If I wanted to eat three halves of a pizza, and I was super hungry, does it mean that it’s improper?* Not necessarily. We still have to use the word “improper” because we do see it on tests, but it’s really important to make sure that, when you say improper, you make sure third graders know what that means. Ask them! A lot of kids will say it means the numerator is larger than the denominator, but we want them to say that an improper fraction is a fraction larger than one. This make sure that we’re always going back to the number sense within fractions.

Most kids know that we label one on a fraction number line. We know it’s 3/3, we know that equals one. But what happens if a fraction number line doesn’t have any fractional parts in it? How else would you label one? Well, the fraction for a one would be 1/1. If you have a fraction number line that just goes to two, it would be 2/1. So we talk about the idea of looking at what fraction might be equivalent to the whole. If you have 3/1 and 4/1 are all equivalent to a whole number, but so is 3/3, and so we want kids to look at that in depth.

Then we look at different number lines and decide what fractions are equivalent to whole numbers. We have a variety of fraction number lines that are in halves, fourths, and thirds, so that kids can look and say things like, *I know that half is not equal to a whole, two halves is equal to a whole. Three halves is not, but four halves is equal to a whole number – it’s two.* We want kids to look beyond just what a whole number is.

Then, we want to bring in D.C. I love using D.C.’s strategies to show fractions that are larger than one! He smashes with his hammer to decompose and pull out the whole! When you and I were younger and we had 12/6, we always said *how many groups of 6 go into 12*? But a lot of times, this is difficult for kids. So, instead, we can take a fraction and decompose it by pulling out the whole. If I have 12/6, I can pull out 6/6, and another 6/6, and almost make a number bond.

We do that with several examples, especially when it isn’t a nice and even decomposition, like 12/8. In that example, D.C. is going to smash that and pull out 8/8, and then 4/8 so we know that it is 1 4/ 8. If DC were to have 10/3, he’s going to pull out 3/3, 3/3 and 3/3, which is going to total 9/3, and then he’s going to have an additional third. That makes it easy for kids to look at the wholes and say, okay that is 3 1/3. It’s really awesome, I think, to use D.C.’s strategy here and I really love the idea of that in this show!

In the extension activity, they’re going to play a game that’s called Same, But Different. In this game, students are first going to choose the denominator (in third grade, we want to use halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, and eighths), then they spin a spinner to find out what the numerator will be. Then, students will work on finding equivalent fractions, like we do in the show.

I think your students are really going to like our Mystery Math Mistake! It’s a really fun spin on math that helps kids really get interested in trying to find the error. If you want to take it a step further in your classroom, have the students create their own Mystery Math Mistake! If you want to check out more on Mystery Math Mistakes, visit our SIS4Students page to see a whole week’s worth of problems that we did during the beginning parts of COVID. See if you can spot the mistake and let us know!

M³ Members, don’t forget to download the PowerPoints and get your very own Mystery Math Mistake animation!

(valid M³ Membership login required)

**Mystery Math Mistake** for each grade level. Then, in third grade, this week begins a run of four shows on number lines, which will be really helpful. Second graders will begin making the super cool connection between fractions and telling time this week, and we’re going to keep going on counting with 10 in Kindergarten and measuring in first grade.

Episodes 313-314

**April Focus: Mystery Math Mistake**

In the Mystery Math Mistake, our warm up for April, the Math Mights get their strategies all mixed up! Students have to be detectives to see if they can find the mathematical error as we work through the problem. You’ll have great fun watching the shows as students start to look with a critical eye to see if they can spot the Mystery Math Mistake!

**Focus: **313: Make 10 / 314: Hidden Cubes

**“I Can” statement:** I can find numbers that make 10 when added to a given number. / I can figure out how many cubes are hidden.

**Extension Activity: **Make a 10 / Kids in the Tent

For episode 313, our Kindergarteners will be doing a Mystery Math Mistake with another story problem. There were 10 fish for sale at the pet store, and someone bought five fish. How many were left? Our friends Simon and Orlando are going to help Mrs. Gray try to figure out how she can correct her problem!

The “I Can” statement is: I can find numbers that make 10 when added to a given number. To start this concept, we look at fingers – in the picture, one hand has five and the other hand has one. We ask questions to get students thinking: *How many do you see?* *How do you see them?* *How many more will it take to get to 10?* Using something like fingers helps students visualize, and fingers are so convenient! They’re never far away (they’re attached to the students’ bodies!) and students can use their fingers to count up to 10. Fingers on hands will help students understand how many more they’ll need to get to 10 as well. Then, we look at different combinations of hands to give students practice figuring out the missing part.* If I have eight fingers up, how many fingers are down to complete that 10? *

A game called Math Fingers comes next. Students draw a card showing a certain amount using fingers on hands, which they have to create on a 10-frame with one color. With another color, students then have to complete the 10-frame, and then write a number sentence: 10 = ___ + ___. There is also a sentence stem to complete: *If I have ____, then I need ___ to make 10.*

For their extension activity, the students play Make a 10 with a Counting Buddy, filling in the parts of 10 as we did in the show.

Moving on to episode 314, we’re going to be doing another Mystery Math Mistake. This was one of the most fun shows for us to create – watch it and you can probably see why! The Mystery Math Mistake is another story problem where there are seven marbles on the table and three rolled away. How many marbles are left on the table? Simon and Orlando help Mrs. Gray to get that straight!

The “I Can” statement is: I can figure out how many cubes are hidden. Kids in this episode are going camping! We set the scene and explain that, when you’re camping, some people might be in the tent and some might hang out by the campfire. In our scenario, 10 people are camping. Some are in the tent, and 5 are by the fire. We ask *How many are in the tent?*

On the show, we use a bowl to represent our tent and we have a picture of a fire, which is really fun! If we have 10 friends, and we know that 5 are by the fire, we can figure out that the other 5 are in the tent because 5 + 5 = 10. We use a comparing tower with 10 cubes in it to help students see the missing part. We can put our 5 friends next to the tower and see how many more we need to make 10.

The same concept can be applied using a 10-frame as a tool. If we have a certain number of friends that are in the tent, and a certain amount of friends that are by the fire, can we use the 10-frame to help us solve it? Students then start to do different number sentences. If they know there are 4 people by the campfire, then 6 must be in the tent, so 10 = 4 + 6.

We then talk about how making 10 with connecting cubes is the same as making 10 with a 10-frame. Mrs. Gray shows the two manipulatives side by side, so students can see 4 red and 6 yellow counters in a 10 frame and then see how the same combination looks with 4 snap cubes of one color and 6 of another.

Of course, students have a fun game to play called Kids in the Tent, where students are going to see the different people that are by the fire, and they have to figure out how many kids are in the tent.

**Focus: **313: Measuring with Tools / 314: Measuring with Different Units

**“I Can” statement:** I can measure length with tools. / I can measure the same object using different units.

**Extension Activity:** Measuring with Tools / Measuring with a Tool

In show 313, we’re continuing our measurement unit in our first grade shows. We have a Mystery Math Mistake using a two-digit plus a two-digit number from a previous show talking about the “make a 10” strategy, or making the next decade number. Students are going to have to find an error in how D.C. is decomposing numbers.

The “I Can” statement is: I can measure length with tools. To open the show, we show snap cube towers of two different lengths and a pencil. We ask our two engagement questions: *What do you notice? What do you wonder?* This gives students an opportunity to use some of the vocabulary and the words they may have learned before to create descriptive statements comparing the three objects. For example: The purple tower is longer than the yellow tower – or – It looks like the pencil is the same length as the purple tower. As students look at the objects, they’ll arrive at a lot of this vocabulary. We also ask the students to describe the length of the pencil based on the two other comparison objects – a purple cube tower and a yellow cube tower that are different lengths.

Next, we start working on measuring the length of creepy crawly friends. We have lots of different creepy crawly things like a beetle and a dragonfly, and we have a line showing the length from endpoint to endpoint. This allows students to see how we measure that length for those different creepy crawly critters.

We’ve always talked about lining things up from endpoint to endpoint when you’re about to compare, but what happens if you line something up, say with a length of snap cubes, and you were to push the pencil so it may not be at the endpoint of the snap cubes? We talk a lot about that in this show! Students have to know that, as long as you’re looking at the unit that you’re measuring with, and you can see that full unit being measured, you can count that idea.

But what about paper clips? This measuring tool is a little more tricky. We talk about how paper clips should be lined up if we’re using them to measure an object. Paper clips move a lot because we don’t have them hooked together, but we can talk about what is the same and what’s different between measuring with paper clips versus snap cubes.

Finally, on the show, we then have a Math Might notebook that some students have measured, but we see that some students’ measurements aren’t lining up. There might be spaces or gaps between the paperclips, sometimes the paperclips overlap, etc. This gives kids an opportunity to see if they’re able to figure out how to measure the notebook most appropriately.

Our extension activity gives students more practice measuring with tools.

As we move into show 314, students are going to continue with this measurement concept after another Mystery Math Mistake, once again featuring D.C.

The “I Can” statement is: I can measure the same object using different units. To kick this off, we do another *What do you notice?* *What do you wonder?* This time, we have two rows of cubes matched up to a marker, but you have to look carefully because some are centimeter cubes and some are larger snap cubes. We can see that we have the same length of an object but we have two different units that we’re measuring by.

We bring this into the show by talking about three different measurement units – small paper clips, large paper clips, and small or connecting cubes. In our show, we have a shoe that we’re measuring and we set up scenarios which will prompt kids to think about the accuracy of how someone is measuring. Can you mix small cubes with large cubes to measure? That probably isn’t very accurate because they aren’t using the same unit of measurement. This is the big idea we’re trying to get at in this particular show.

To help kids practice seeing accurate measurement, as well as critiquing the reasoning of others, we show different objects being measured in different ways. Kids have to decide if they agree or not, and give their own reasoning. This is also the extension activity, and students will be measuring with different units and then they can compare how well they’re measuring one unit based on another.

**Focus: **313: Tell Time with Halves and Quarters / 314: Read, Write and Tell Time

**“I Can” statement:** I can tell time with halves and quarters. / I can tell time, read and write time using A.M. and P.M.

**Extension Activity: **Time Match Up / Tell Time with A.M. or P.M.

In second grade, as we start episode 313, we’re moving away from fractions and using our new knowledge to transition into telling time. For our Mystery Math Mistake, Springling needs everyone’s help! She’s trying to hop on the open number line, like we’ve done in previous shows, but she’s really struggling.

Our “I can” statement is: I can tell time with halves and quarters. We brainstorm what students already know about clocks and telling time. Of course, most students know that you can measure time in minutes and hours. Students will also make note of different kinds of clocks – some are a circle with numbers 1 through 12 around it, but some just show numbers. We will look at the analog clock versus a digital clock, helping kids to make connections and draw parallels. Students might also point out different words they may have learned for time, such as *half past* for 30 minutes past the hour.

In this show, we address a common error that students might make with time, especially with the hour and minute hand, by looking at two clocks that look really similar. But we help students see why both clocks don’t actually read the same time (4 o’clock). For a time like 4 o’clock, students can see the hour hand needs to ON the hour you’re showing, and the longer minute hand needs to be on the 12. That is pretty straightforward, but as time goes on, and when it’s *half past four*, for example, the hour hand won’t be directly on the four, but a bit past, in between the four and the five. This is certainly a more difficult concept for second graders to grasp!

We use a Judy clock on the show to help students see how the hands move, and to help students put the hands where they would go for certain times.

Then, we play a sort game where students organize essential vocabulary (o’clock, half past, quarter till, quarter past, etc.). We bring in the concept of fractions to help students make the connection from previous shows to think about the clock divided into quarters.

For the extension activity, students get to play Time Matchup, where they’re going to be taking the digital clock, matching it to the words of *half past* or *quarter past*, and then show the time on an actual analog clock.

Show 314 opens with a Mystery Math Mistake, again with Springling. Did she hop on the open number line correctly??

The “I Can” statement is: I can tell time, read and write time using A.M. and P.M.

We continue in the show having kids relate to the numbers around the clock, not just in half past or quarter till or quarter past, but also now in the five minute increments. To help with this concept, we bring in what students have learned from the number line, asking them to notice what things are similar between a clock and a number line and what things are different.

We also address the idea of why the times, as we go around the clock, have two numbers – :05 or :00. We then talk about showing different times on the clock, and being able to show where we see 4:15 and why that equals :15. How would you look at something like 12:55? Many students think that that is 1:55 because the hour hand is oh-so-close to the 1. We do a good job of using the Judy clock to help students line it up and see that maybe it’s not quite matched.

Next – a vocabulary lesson! A.M. stands for ante meridiem, and means before midday or before noon. P.M. means post meridiem, or after midday or the afternoon. To get students to apply these new words to their own lives, we have them match up different activities that they would be doing in their daily life at a certain time, and decide if it’s an A.M. or P.M. activity.

It’s then the students’ turn to tell time with A.M. or P.M., based on the scenario that we’ve given them, for the extension activity.

**Focus: **313: Locate Non-Unit Fractions / 314: Fractions and Whole Numbers

**“I Can” statement:** I can locate non-unit fractions on the number line. / I can work with fractions and whole numbers on a number line.

**Extension Activity: **Guess What Fraction is Labeled / Find the Fraction

Episode 313 for third grade begins with a Mystery Math Mistake, but this time, we’re bringing in Springling, similar to how we did in second grade. Mrs Askew makes an error somewhere, and Imani and Elise help her figure out where that error is.

Our third graders are now moving into fractions. Previously we talked about unit fractions, but now we’re going to look at the idea of non-unit fractions on the number line. Mrs. Askew shows you how to play the game called Number Line Scoot, which is a great game to be able to use in your classroom! It helps students “scoot on the number line” and understand how they can move faster, based on the parts of the fractions.

We do a lot of work here on number lines – locating and labeling fractions such as 3/4 and 6/4. This really helps students understand the common denominator of fourths as we plot those two fractions on a number line from 0 to 2. Students need to understand that, when you see the numerator is larger than the denominator, that fraction is going to be larger than one. We do several examples with common denominators, such as 7/8 and 12/8, to help students discover where to locate and plot them on the number line.

Students also need to be able to create their number lines, so we talk about how to divide up a number line that goes from 0 to 1. If I’m dividing it into eighths, I’ll have 1/8, 2/8, 3/8, and so on until I hit 1, which will be 8/8. If I wanted my number line to go to 2, I’ll need to continue with 9/8, 10/8, 11/8, and so forth.

In the episode, we play a game called Guess My Fraction, where we give hints to see if students can figure out what fraction we have plotted on the number line. The extension activity is similar, called Guess What Fraction is Labeled. The students have to figure out how to label the partitions on their number line to then discover what is actually labeled on that number line.

As we move into show 314 for third grade, a Mystery Math Mistake with Springling on the open number line opens the episode. We want to see if kids can critically look at how the problem is solved and find the error.

The “I Can” statement is: I can work with fractions and whole numbers on a number line. We do something that’s called an Estimation Exploration (which I do believe ended up on the cutting room floor – check out the deleted scenes on the Math Mights website!), where we talk about how an estimate of a fraction that might be too low, just right or too high. Again, we want to see if kids can apply their number sense to what they’re doing.

Then, we have a number line that we want the kids to use to locate and label the fractions. It starts at 0 and ends at 5. Students are now going to see fractions that are larger than whole numbers that they have to plot. We start with halves, and there are also examples of thirds and fourths.

We also talk a lot about which fractions locate the whole numbers. We might know that a whole number is two halves, but do you know what the number two represents? It’s four halves. Three is six halves, and so on. We also want kids to see a pattern – with halves, the whole number is every other fraction. When we look at thirds, every third number is a whole number, with fourths every fourth number is a whole number. Sometimes students don’t get a chance to really slow down with fractions to study them, but allowing time for students to make connections like this is valuable. To help students apply this concept, we look at different number lines to see if students can locate one based on the fraction they see partitioned on the number line.

The extension activity is Find the Fraction. Students have number line A and number line B, and the students are going to have to locate where they see the fractions, just as we did in the show.

I think your students are really going to like our Mystery Math Mistake! It’s a really fun spin on math that helps kids really get interested in trying to find the error. If you want to take it a step further in your classroom, have the students create their own Mystery Math Mistake! If you want to check out more on Mystery Math Mistakes, visit our SIS4Students page to see a whole week’s worth of problems that we did during the beginning parts of COVID. See if you can spot the mistake and let us know!

M³ Members, don’t forget to download the PowerPoints and get your very own Mystery Math Mistake animation!

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Episodes 311-312

**Focus: **311: Match Equations to 10-Frames / 312: 10-Frames Different Ways

**“I Can” statement:** I can match equations to 10-frames. / I can fill 10-frames in different ways.

**Extension Activity: **Represent the Equation with 10-Frames / 10-Frame Shake

In Kindergarten, we start with our Mystery Math Mistake, which features a delicious word problem about a plate of cookies. If there were 6 cookies on the tray, and someone ate 2, how many were left? You’ll have to be a detective to see if you can figure out where Mrs. Gray made an error while solving this. I bet Jordan and Carly, the two kids on this show, are going to help steer her right!

As we start getting into the main part of the lesson, we do a lot with those great phrases: *What do you notice? What do you wonder?* We show kids three different modalities of numbers put together to match equations. There are 10-frames, but we also have snap-cube towers, as well as the Counting Buddy Jr. that has five beads of one color, and five of another. We start off with what students notice within these three different types of models that they’re seeing. At the end of the day, all of the models equal 10, but they are composed of different numbers – 7 and 3 on the 10-frame, 8 and 2 on the snap-cubes, and 5 and 5 on the Counting Buddy.

We then start working with students being able to see an equation and see if they can match it to the 10-frame. We can do a process of elimination for students, but they see the equation with 10 = 7 + 3 and they have to decide if that 10-frame matches. This really helps students with their part-part-whole understanding, getting them to understand that 10 is the total, and it’s made up of two parts that are denoted by red or yellow counters.

We then flip over to a different tool by using our Counting Buddy Sr., which is one of my favorite tools that you can use to show different parts to numbers. Some people clear it by pushing the beads up to the Counting Buddy’s head. But another option is to put half the beads towards his head (10 beads) and half of the beads towards his feet (10 beads). This way you can pull the beads into the middle to come up with different combinations, which we do in this episode. Then, you can draw in the two parts of the 10.

We’ll show different equations on the Counting Buddy Sr. – 6 + 4, 3 + 7, and so forth. In the end, we want kids to talk about what they see is similar or different about the tools that we’re using in the show compared to a 10-frame, or even a Counting Buddy.

For the extension activity, it’s the students’ turn to represent the equation with the Counting Buddy Sr., so we actually have a spot on the extension page where students can fill in their different combinations as they’re looking at it, and then matching the Counting Buddy to the equation that they’re working on.

In show 312, we’re also leading with a Mystery Math Mistake. This time, however, we take a story problem that’s very similar to the one in the previous show about cookies. In this problem, there were 4 cookies on the tray and 2 more came out of the oven and were added to the tray. How many cookies are there now? I wonder if you can see where Mrs Gray’s mistake is…Did she add or subtract to find out the answer? Our friends on the show, Jordan and Carly, are going to be a great help for that.

Our “I can” statement is I can fill 10-frames in different ways. We have four different pictures (A, B, C and D) that we’ll show students to ask them which one doesn’t belong. These all are different structures of 10-frames with a different variety of red and yellow counters, some filling the whole 10 frame, some not. Kids will talk about which one doesn’t belong.

The best part of this activity is that each 10-frame, as they look at it deeply, might not belong for one reason or another. We pay particular attention to a 10-frame that looks like a 10-frame, but is actually two 5-frames. Students should be able to see how two five frames really does represent seeing 10, even though it’s two separate parts.

We then play a really fun game called the 10-Frame Shake. Students are going to shake 10 two-sided counters and spill them onto the table. They have their 10-frame mat and a really great recording sheet where students can write in their 10-frame, write in their number sentence and then write in their number bond.

In the last portion of show 312 for Kindergarten, we work on* how many more* counters are needed to fill the 10-frame. So we show 7 on the 10-frame and students can see that there are three empty. They get to match it to the equation 10 = 7 + 3, 10 = 8 + 2, or 10 = 5 + 5. As students work through this with Mrs Gray, they’ll start to see that they can look at the empty spaces to help them to be successful with this concept.

**Focus: **311: Compare Lengths / 312: Compare Indirect Lengths

**“I Can” statement:** I can compare and order objects by length. / I can use a third object to find longer and shorter objects.

**Extension Activity:** Compare the lengths of objects / Create comparison statements

We start episode 311 by working on the Mystery Math Mistake, but in first grade, we’ll look at it a little differently than in Kindergarten. For this problem, we’ll be revisiting a topic from a previous show (310) where we added 10s and 10s and 1s and 1s. Value Pak is helping with this problem, but is all upside down, confused and turned around, so he solves incorrectly. Students have to use their magnifying glasses to study the problem and see if they can figure out where Value Pak has gone wrong.

As we begin this length unit, students are going to be presented with three different pencils. The pencils are actually the same length, but they are positioned to start at different places. By asking students what they wonder and what they notice about the pencils, we give them a taste of what the lesson will be about. The students in our show, Dennis and Han, talk about why they think the pencils might be different lengths based on how they look. We also ask which pencil they think is the longest (trick question, remember!). This leads into a conversation about measuring things from endpoint to endpoint, and why that will help you be more accurate when you measure.

Next, we look at a pencil and a crayon and we create comparison statements about the two objects. Students will learn to use phrases like “longer than” or “shorter than” to describe different objects of length. Then, we add in a highlighter and snap cubes to spark even more conversation. For example, “Comparing the highlighter to nine connecting cubes, which one is shorter?”

We had so much fun comparing things that there’s a deleted scene from this part of the show! You can watch it here to see even more examples, show it in your class to let someone else do the talking for a few minutes, or even send let students watch it at home for extra practice! In the scene, Mrs. Markavich talks about how we can look or think about the size of your foot and your pointer finger and make comparison statements about objects that are shorter or longer.

In the episode, we continue to look at different objects, like scissors and a hole punch and a stapler, and decide if we can order them from shortest to longest. Then we take fettuccine noodles, a straw, and one base 10 block, and see if we can order it from longest to shortest. We also talk about those words of “taller” and “shorter” as we turn things around differently, and it helps us to think about those descriptors that show length.

Mrs Markavich does a great job talking about the idea of a starting line, like you’re going to start a race, but you’re going to start at the endpoints and everyone is going to begin in the same place.

For the extension activity, it’s the student’s turn to compare the length of different objects, just like we did in the show.

As we move on to episode 312, we do another Mystery Math Mistake, again with Value Pak. This is similar to the previous episode, but we want to see if kids can apply the strategy of Valu Pak to find errors.

Continuing our unit on length, we show two sets of objects, and ask *What do you notice? and What do you wonder?* The same green pencil is used in both comparisons as that length to measure. Students talk about the pencils being different lengths and that they’re lined up by endpoint, but they have lots of wonders about those objects. We want to hear statements like “The purple pencil is longer than the green pencil, but the blue pencil is shorter than the green pencil.” or “The blue pencil is shorter than the purple pencil.” These types of statements that can compare to a third object are really important.

Then start to compare objects that we might not be able to measure or physically put next to each other, but we can use with yarn or string to help us compare these large objects. For example, we figure out the length and width of the dry erase board we use on the show, and ask *which is longer?* By using the string to measure one of the sides, we can compare it to the other to see which is shorter or longer based on the comparison piece, which is the string.

This idea can apply on a larger scale too. We talk about different ways that kids get to school – bus, riding in a car, walking, etc. So, using this idea of a third object to compare, by looking at the map, we try to decide if Clare or Maya’s house is closer to school. By using the same string to help us measure the distances, we can figure it out.

We do a lot with the extension activity, where students can compare objects using yarn or string to help them to figure out how to create some of those comparison statements that we talked about in the show.

**Focus: **311: Halves, Thirds, and Fourths / 312: Fractions with a Whole

**“I Can” statement:** I can partition circles and rectangles into halves, thirds and fourths. / I can make halves, thirds, and fourths different ways, and discover a whole.

**Extension Activity: **Split the Shape / Split the Shape, Version 2

In episode 311 for second grade, we also do a Mystery Math Mistake, bringing in an upside down, all turned around D.C. He’s really struggling with decomposing numbers to make a friendly number, and so we want to see if students can look at this in an inquiry-based way and discover the error. Xanda and Kelly are the students on this show that help us to see where that error might be.

This show begins our look at fractions! As we’ve done in different episodes before, students will look at four different images and decide which one doesn’t belong. The important part to notice here is that the shapes are partitioned in different ways, but they’re not always in equal ways. As we introduce fractions, we want kids to understand the idea of equal parts. In the show, we take a rectangle and fold it into two equal parts. We take that same rectangle and show how we could fold it into thirds. Then, we also do a non-example of thirds, which I think is really important for students see. As you’re folding something, especially into thirds, students’ spatial awareness skills are really a struggle, and so even if they’re folding something like a letter, it might not be into equal parts. Then we talk about folding something into fourths.

The second grade standards want kids to know that halves represent two equal parts, thirds represent three equal parts, and fourths represent four equal parts (which we can call quarters, another vocab word to work on!).

Then, we take this idea into circles and talk about which circles are not examples of halves. Students will see three different pictures of circles that are fractions, and students have to decide which ones are not examples of halves, fourths, or thirds. Kids must be able to look at the way things are divided and decide if they are equal. In the show, Clare and Diego are asked to divide a circle into three parts, and we have to evaluate whether their circles are partitioned equally.

Split the Shape is the extension activity for students to play with a friend. They’ll have a spinner and rectangles, squares and circles that must be partitioned into halves, thirds, and fourths, depending on what the player rolls.

As we move on to 312, you guessed it – another Mystery Math Mistake! Our friend D.C. has gone wrong in his arithmetic, and Xanda and Kelly have to find his problem!

The show begins with two rectangles and the request for them to be partitioned into quarters, or fourths. Then we ask students to shade in 1/4. The girls in the show are thinking of partitioning the rectangles in two different ways, so we talk about the different ways that you could partition a rectangle that would still be equal, but would be able to allow 1/4 to be shaded. We go through the same process with squares – looking at how to partition and shade one half of a square in different ways. The goal is to get kids to really understand why equal parts are important, especially as we look at fair shares.

We try to give scenarios to help students understand that, even though the size of the piece looks different, it still could be equivalent or equal to the fraction that we’re talking about. In our scenario, Diego’s dad makes two square pans of cornbread and slices it up for the family. Diego’s little brother feels that his piece is smaller than his brothers’ – his brother has a perfect square, where Diego has a long strip. It’s still divided into fourths, but the size of the piece looks a little bit different.

Of course, you can’t really talk about fractions and dividing things equally without dividing up a pizza! If you have a pizza, and you have friends over, how many pieces is each person going to get? Obviously, we have to know how many friends there are. If we were to have a pizza and share it with three friends, with each person getting a slice, they would get ⅓ of the pizza or the pizza would be cut into three equal parts. We would do the same thing if we had four friends coming over. We might cut the pizza into four slices and each friend would get 1/4.

Pies are another classic fractions visual, and in this episode, we match word problems to pies. Some of the pies are full and cut, some parts of the pie are empty where somebody has eaten part of it. If Noah ate most of the pie, but he left a quarter of the pie for Diego, can we find the pie which represents the problem to apply what we’re learning in the show?

For the extension activity, we play Split the Shape, Version 2! In this version, students are going to partition circles, rectangles and squares into different parts, based on the spinner that they’re using, and see who can get their parts shaded first.

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**Focus: **311: Fraction Number Lines / 312: Locate Unit Fractions

**“I Can” statement:** I can learn about fractions using a number line. / I can partition number lines to locate unit fractions.

**Extension Activity: **Create and partition number lines / Partition, locate, label fractions

Episode 311 for third grade begins with a Mystery Math Mistake on a concept students have studied in a previous show. D.C. is looking at 18 x 9 and is a bit confused with his decomposing and composing as he’s making his area model with partial parts of partial products. Trevor and Marcus are going to help Mrs. Askew figure out where the mistake is and get D.C. back on his feet!

For this episode, we’ll continue our work with fractions that we began a few episodes ago. In fact, we have 16 shows on fractions for third grade because it’s such an integral part of the students’ success as they move on to fourth grade.

Our “I Can” statement for this episode is: I can learn about fractions using a number line. For the beginning of the show, we’ll have two number lines for students to look at. One of the number lines is partitioned starting at zero and then going to 10, and the other one begins at zero and goes to 1, with a tick mark in the middle. Students notice different things about these two number lines – one of the big things we want them to see is that the quantity of the number line differs based on how it’s partitioned. We look at what we think that tick mark might represent as it’s halfway in between zero and 10 and the other one is halfway between zero and one.

We then take different number lines, and find different ways that we can sort them. This just gets kids comfortable with the idea of taking a number line and separating it into fractional pieces. One student says that the number lines have tick marks at the whole numbers, so they might look at sorting those where they see a number line start at zero and end at six, and there’s no actual fractional parts in the middle but they’re actually looking at just whole numbers. The other ones are a fraction number lines that have just fractions in them at the tick marks.

A common point of confusion for third graders is being able to make a number line proportional. It goes back to the spatial awareness thing! So we spend time in the episode looking at how students can create their own number lines. We look at where half should be labeled on a number line, or how a person might think of half as a number line divided into two half parts, just like you would with fraction strips. Many of the common misconceptions are addressed while we’re creating number lines in this segment.

We spend the rest of the show really looking at number lines and figuring out how to fold them so we can make different number lines. We make a number line that’s in halves, fourths, eighths, thirds and sixths. Then we compare those to the fraction number strips that we made in the previous show.

For their extension activity, students are going to create and partition number lines. It’s really important to make sure that kids go slow here to make sure they understand the parts. Many students, if they’re trying to divide a number line into fourths, will put in four tick marks. In the show, we stress that the fourth tick mark is usually on the whole number, depending on how you’re dividing it. So, if you want to partition your line into fourths, you would only need to add three lines. This helps them make that connection that’s needed.

In show 312, we get another Mystery Math Mistake! We’re doing 15 x 3, and D.C. just cannot seem to get it right. The boys help set him straight to make sure he has all the parts in his area model to do his multiplication.

Our “I Can” statement is: I can partition number lines to locate unit fractions.

Unit fractions? What are those?? Often, math books talk about unit fractions, but students don’t really understand what they are. We know that a unit fraction always has one in the numerator, and then it has a denominator. Think of a unit fraction as a fraction that describes the pieces that we’re talking about. If I have something divided into thirds, the unit fraction we’re talking about would be ⅓. If I had something divided into six parts, the unit fraction would be 1/6.

To get students thinking about this, we start with four images to figure out which doesn’t belong. Students have to look carefully at the number lines and fraction strips to see where things are labeled and have them pay attention to the details in these. We really want to make sure that students can clearly locate and label fractions on a number line, because there are important things to include: partitions of equal parts, a dot, a label for the fraction.

To apply this concept, we have three friends that create a number line – Clare, Andre and Diego. We want to have the number line partitioned into fourths. It is really helpful when kids can look at things that maybe aren’t perfect and bring their reasoning to why they agree or disagree with the way somebody has partitioned the number line. We have some people that feel that the number lines are done exactly right. A lot of these number lines are no longer ending at one but they’re extending to two. And so we go through and kind of have an evaluative look to see how these number lines are really created.

We then start practicing partitioning number lines, locating and labeling the fractions. We label 1/3, we label 1/2, we label ⅛. Sometimes, a fractions number line might end at four, not just at one. Students should know where 1/8 is and how you’re not going to find 1/8 appearing between one and two, and two and three, because 1/8 is only between zero and one. This will help the kids to get that relationship.

Since we represent fractions three different ways – fraction strips, area models, and number lines – we want to ask students *which way do you like to look at fractions?*

Of course, the extension activity is to partition, locate and label fractions on the number line, so that students will have lots of great practice with their new skill!

I think your students are really going to like our Mystery Math Mistake! It’s a really fun spin on math that helps kids really get interested in trying to find the error. If you want to take it a step further in your classroom, have the students create their own Mystery Math Mistake! If you want to check out more on Mystery Math Mistakes, visit our SIS4Students page to see a whole week’s worth of problems that we did during the beginning parts of COVID. See if you can spot the mistake and let us know!

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Episodes 309-310

**February Focus: Word Problems**

In these warm-ups, we’ll use a step-by-step visual model process, which will vary slightly depending on the grade level and what type of problem that we’re working on. Professor Barble helps students slow down, think about what the word problem is asking, and organize the information it conatins before they jump right into solving it. Yes, we even do this in Kindergarten! See sections below for more specific information about how word problems and model drawings are used in each grade.

**Focus: **309: Unknown Addend Word Problems / 310: More Than One Way to Solve

**“I Can” statement: **I can solve word problems with both addends unknown. / I can solve word problems more than one way.

**Extension Activity:** Solving Word Problems

In episode 309 for Kindergarten, we warm up again with Professor Barble, looking at a word problem using our Kindergarten Journal. We want to see if students can do a quick draw, fill in the 10-frame, complete a number bond, and finish the number sentence. We take students through the step-by-step process on a very appropriate Kindergarten level to prepare them for what first grade is going to look like.

In the main part of the show, we start by looking at four different images created with linking cubes and two-sided counters and asking *which one doesn’t belong?* Javier and Miguel have a variety of different reasons for why they think each image might not belong. Some images are just in one color, some have two colors. In some, the total is five, but one is six. Asking inquiry-based questions really helps students go deeper with images like this.

Then, we look at different ways of breaking apart six, using different math tools to show the combinations. We have three and three, one and five, two and three, five and one and then two and four.

Next, it’s time for a treat! Paletas are a popular frozen treat in Mexico which are usually made with fruit. They look a lot like a fruit bar that you might see in the frozen section at the grocery store. When we do story problems like this, we really want kids to dive in and experience that real world connection. In our story, Jaida and her brother make six paletas. They made two different flavors – lime and coconut. How many of each flavor did they make? Well, the hard part here is that there are a lot of different possibilities! They could have made five lime and one coconut. Or maybe they made one lime and five coconut, and so on. We want kids to do a quick draw for this problem that shows a partition line. So if we think Jaida and her brother made five lime paletas, we would draw five circles, draw a partition line, and then one more circle for the last coconut paleta. We even can label those sets of circles to be a little bit more specific.

We practice the same idea with another problem. We bought seven pomegranates. We put some on the shelf and the rest in the basket. How many are in the basket? As we draw circles to represent the fruit in the two locations, we can also add “sh” for shelf and “b” for basket. This problem will help students understand the importance of labeling their drawings.

When it’s their turn for an independent activity, students are going to solve problems like we did in the show where they’re given a scenario and they have to figure out all the ways to come up with the total. They’ll have to break apart the number to come up with all the different combinations.

As we move into episode 310, we do another Professor Barble problem. This time, we are doing a subtraction problem using the same process and journal page. Students will act it out in their math work mat, do a quick draw, use the 10-frame model, complete the number bond and finally, finish that computation.

Our first scenario is pretty juicy! We have freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and freshly squeezed orange juice, and we have some pictures that students have drawn of word problems. What we have to decide is which picture matches our problem. In one picture, we see three orange juice and six grapefruit. Another student shows seven orange juices and two grapefruit. The idea here is to help the kids see that we’re working with the number nine as a total, and that BOTH of the drawings might match the story because we just said that there was a total of nine different fruit juices.

Once we have a total, we can look at all the different possible solutions: three orange juices and six grapefruits, which would be 3+6=9. We also could do seven orange juices with two grapefruits, which is 7+2=9. Showing the different combinations here really helps the students to decompose and understand the number.

Then, it’s snack time and dates are on the menu! Dates come from palm trees and sometimes, people like to stuff them with different things. Andre and his older brother had eight dates to make into snacks. They stuffed some of them with cheese and some with almonds. For this problem, we make a chart that will end up showing a pattern. If we had seven dates stuffed with cheese, then one date would have an almond. And then six and two, and five and three, and four and four – ultimately helping kids see how those combinations can go from one side to the other, creating the pattern.

The extension activity is very similar, just with pets that live in cages vs houses. This will help students be able to decompose numbers in lots of different ways so they can understand the different combinations really fluidly.

**Focus: **309: Add 2-Digit Numbers / 310: Adding with 10s and 10s and 1s and 1s

**“I Can” statement: **I can add two-digit numbers within 100. / I can add two-digit numbers by adding 10s and 10s and ones and ones.

**Extension Activity:** Addition with Value Pak

In episode 309 for first grade, we’re doing a Professor Barble problem using a non-proportional bar. Some frogs were in the pond, three jumped out, and now there are five frogs in the pond. How many frogs were in the pond at first? These story problems can be really confusing if you just start to solve it, but by following Professor Barble’s step-by-step process, students will be able to figure out what it is actually asking. We have a sentence form and a non-proportional unit bar on the journal page, and we are now starting to leave more spaces for students to fill in information from the problem on their own.

The “I Can” statement is: I can add two-digit numbers within 100. We start with the problem 17 + 36. We want students to show their thinking using drawings, numbers and words, and in the show, we wonder together if there’s more than one way to solve this problem. One of the students decides that they can solve this with Value Pak, decomposing by place value, but another student points out that they could also use D.C. and decomposing to make another decade. We go through different ways to solve two-digit plus two-digit numbers using the strategy of D.C., looking at it with place value.

We then play a game called Grab and Add, where each partner grabs a handful of base-10 blocks. They have to determine how many cubes they have, how many cubes their partner has, and how many they have all together. This really highlights the idea of Value Pak and being able to add 10s and 10s, and then ones and ones.

It’s the students’ turn at the end to play a game where they are trying to find the missing number. They’re going to add different pieces to the numbers to determine what the complete sentence is and add the two-digit numbers together correctly.

In episode 310, we continue with Professor Barble. This time, we’re really trying to let go of some of the scaffolds and we’re doing a two-step problem. Ten snowflakes fell on Sam’s mitten, and 6 fell on his coat. Nine of the snowflakes on Sam’s mitten melted. How many snowflakes are left? Multi step problems are often difficult for first graders, so Mrs. Markavich uses two non-proportional unit bars to help us walk through Professor Barble’s step-by-step model drawing process to solve the problem.

The “I Can” statement is: I can add two-digit numbers by adding 10s and 10s and ones and ones. Jose shows his work for 37 + 26. He’s showing it in base-10 blocks and he shows how he grouped the 10s and the 10s together, and then grouped the ones together. We certainly have Value Pak talk about why this is a great way to solve.

We go in depth with the idea of Value Pak by showing how we can decompose numbers, such as 28 + 56, which can be decomposed into 20 + 8 and 50 + 6. Then we can add the 10s and then the ones. We love using Value Pak with this concept, and it’s really important to use place value strips with students so they can understand it visually.

Of course, in the extension activity, we’re going to have students use Value Pak to solve addition problems by adding 10s and 10s and ones and ones.

**Focus: **309: Solid Shapes / 310: Compose Shapes

**“I Can” statement: **I can identify and describe solid shapes. / I can compose and decompose shapes.

**Extension Activity:** 3D Match-Up / Describe the Shape

In second grade, episode 309, Professor Barble has a problem for us using a comparison bar. Additive comparison bars are often difficult for second graders. The key is to draw in a line for each character first, and *then* start to figure out who has more or less. Using Professor Barble’s step-by-step process is a really integral way to help second graders master this concept with harder word problems.

This episode has a classic Math Mights beginning! We show four different images and ask students our famous questions: *What do you notice? What do you wonder?*

Some of the shapes in the images are flat and some of the shapes are three dimensional. Students notice things like a cube that is made up of a bunch of different squares, a T-shape that is made up of six squares. They also wonder things like *how many little cubes make up a big cube? *The cube looks a lot like a Rubik’s cube, so they wonder *how many cubes or squares might be in there?* Then, they talk about the differences between the different shapes and we look at how they are alike, and how they are different.

In the main part of this show, we study attributes of different shapes such as cubes, cones, spheres, cylinders, rectangular prisms, and pyramids. How many faces does it have? How many corners? Does it have equal sides? Does it roll? What does it remind you of? A cone looks a lot like a party hat, a cube looks like a box, a sphere looks like a baseball, and so on.

Then, we talk about what shape is missing. By listing the attributes of a shape and giving different descriptors, we see if students can figure out what parts are missing and what the shape is.

Guess my 3D Shape is up next, where we have a flat shape that folds into a 3D shape, and students have to visualize what it will create. For their extension activity, students will continue matching up 3D shapes.

In show 310, we continue warming up with Professor Barble, again working on comparison bars. This a really difficult concept, but remembering to put in the bars as a starting point and taking time to chunk and check will really help students focus in on what’s being asked.

This is a fun show where we’re looking at decomposing and composing shapes! We present a picture to the students that is made of pattern blocks and ask them: *What do you notice?* and *What do you wonder?* Students might notice the different quadrilaterals and hexagons in the different pictures that they’re seeing.

They end up looking at a butterfly made of hexagon pattern blocks, and are asked if they can recreate it without using a hexagon? This helps students be creative and see different ways that they can make a hexagon, such as with a trapezoid, a rhombus, and a triangle. After doing that, we talk about how many different ways you can compose a hexagon with the same pieces or multiple pieces.

Then we look at things that are the same and different using just triangles and squares, and we work on composing three different shapes using two, three or four of the same shape. So with the hexagon, we were using different shapes to create it, but now, can we put three rhombuses together to make a hat? Or can you do four small squares to compose a large square?

We also talk a lot about being able to describe our shapes using a sentence stem: The ___ is made up of _____ _____. For example, The party hat is made up of three trapezoids.

For the extension activity, students will describe the shapes that are created using the same shape.

**Focus: **309: Non-Unit Fractions / 310: Build Fractions from Unit Fractions

**“I Can” statement:** I can understand non unit fractions. / I can build fractions from unit fractions.

**Extension Activity:** Fraction Match-Up / Secret Fractions

In episode 309 for third grade, we’ll warm up with Professor Barble and one of his word problems. This particular problem will involve more than one step. *There are 12 tables in the cafeteria. Five students sit at each of the first 11 tables, three sit at the last table. How many students are sitting at the 12 tables in the cafeteria? *Using Professor Barble’s step-by-step process will help students really think through what is being asked. To solve this problem, students could create multiple bars and do it in multiple steps, or they could create one bar where they show all the lunch tables that have five students, and the extra one with three. There are several ways to solve it – multiple steps, such as multiplication and addition or some kids could do a really long addition.

The “I Can” statement is: I can understand non unit fractions. In the previous show, we talked about what unit fractions are, but in this show, we’re talking about non unit fractions, which represent all those fractions that don’t have one as the numerator. We see a square that’s cut into four pieces. In the first image, one piece is shaded, in the next picture, two are shaded, and then three are shaded, and then we have four shaded. *What do you notice and what do you wonder? *Students are wondering what is happening each time something’s being shaded, and why is one of them shaded 3/4. This begins our examination of non unit fractions as we observe how many pieces are shaded and which one is labeled ¾.

We then look at lots of different things with different shaded pieces. We want students to understand that the number of shaded parts gives us information about the fraction, as does the size of each part. Together, those two pieces of information create the number that’s represented. For example, we have a rectangle that is divided into thirds, but two parts are shaded. So the number of shaded parts is two, the size of each part (going back to that idea of the unit fraction) is thirds. And then the number that represents would be ⅔.

We do this with several different activities, and then we play a fun game called Fraction Match-up, where students have to look at the non unit fraction, and try to match it to the corresponding image. For their extension activity, students also get to play Fraction Match-up with a friend.

In episode 310, Professor Barble has a pizza problem for us! *Natalie ordered five pizzas for dinner. Each pizza had eight slices. She and her friends ate 35 slices. How many slices are left? *As we know, students that are in third grade really struggle with multi-step problems because you can no longer appeal and say, “Do I add or do I subtract?” because you’ll actually need to both multiply *and *subtract. Using Professor Barble’s step-by-step process, which is really a reading comprehension strategy, will help students to really uncover what the word problem is asking.

The “I Can” statement is: I can build fractions from unit fractions. Now, we start talking about unit fractions moved into non unit fractions, and we want to see if students can build fractions from a unit fraction.

The beginning part of the show presents two things to start our inquiry. We ask: *what is the size of the shaded part of the rectangle?* Students see one whole and then another rectangle that is shaded but unmarked or unpartitioned. Here we want students to make estimations and talk about what’s too low, what’s just right, or what’s too high. How would they know that half would be too low? Because the bar is shaded further than half, and obviously the whole entire bar isn’t shaded, so one whole would be too high. Maybe we could break it up into eighths and it might be 7/8.

We play a game called Secret Fractions, where we have a stack of unit fractions, such as 1/2, 1/4, 1/3, 1/6, and 1/8. Then we have a stack of secret fraction cards, which are going to be non unit fractions such as ⅔ or 3/6, and the idea is to build your secret fraction by drawing unit fraction cards. The first person to be able to compose or put together their three secret fractions, wins!

Of course, for the extension activity, the kids get to play Secret Fractions!

This ends the first set of shows that we have created! We have done a solid 16 shows for each grade level so far! After we take a small break, we’re going to continue creating 48 more shows – 12 for each grade level – starting up again on April 5! I sure hope you’ll join us!

M³ Members, want your very own animated Professor Barble to use in your warm-ups? Don’t forget, to download the PowerPoints and save them! He pushes his button, the bar pops out, and your students will be ready to go! Plus, all the work of drawing the visual models is already done for you!

(valid M³ Membership login required)

Thanks for joining us for our last blog from our featured guest blogger, Kristin Marczak, who is teaching in the trenches in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. I’ve worked with Kristin for the last several years as a Molding Math Mindset teacher who has gone through our training, and has implemented so many of the great things we’ve been doing in the area of math. She’s an expert at doing numeracy talks, being able to really look at students in her classroom and figure out where their needs are best met by bringing in concrete, pictorial, and abstract means.

In fact, I was just visiting her two weeks ago in her classroom and we were modeling some different things, and I’m so impressed with the work that they’ve done at her elementary school, C.J. Sullivan Elementary, and I can’t wait to share her interview with you!

To narrow it down to the one biggest challenge has become nearly impossible even though I have thought about this question so many times over the last year. I believe each teacher faced their own challenges depending on what life is like outside of the school building. The ripple effect of one challenge to the next truly tested me as an educator, as well as a parent guiding my own children through their online learning. We experienced many growing pains, but we adjusted and made it through somehow!

I have two children of my own in elementary school. At times, I would be teaching my own class and have two children on their own Google Meets. It was a challenge to have so many devices on our wifi! That is something I was not prepared for or had even considered when this world of online learning began a year ago. Many times, my Meets would freeze and students would have to shut their cameras off in order for me to just get through the lesson. Teaching first grade and not being unable to see their faces and make that eye contact definitely took the wind out of my sails many times. Being virtual and not being able to have the face-to-face connection during teaching made me feel like I was failing as a teacher. At times I felt the Meets were chaotic and I would end them earlier than anticipated just to ensure I kept my composure and didn’t break down in front of my students.

We all know the “teacher look” and after 14 years of teaching, I have perfected mine! Once we moved to completely online learning the “teacher look” was no longer something that worked as classroom management strategy. I had to come up with new ways to keep students engaged. Whether this meant wearing funny hats, changing outfits between Meets, or just sharing a funny video clip or meme, I had to be flexible and allow room for change.

At the beginning of virtual learning it felt like complete chaos, and I truly felt defeated. I was not sure how I was going to be while teaching through Google Meets and Google Classroom. I think at some point, most (if not all!) teachers felt the same way. Teachers have this gift of adapting and making split second decisions to better their lessons and give their students what they need. The last year has been something none of us could have anticipated, but teachers and students alike are resilient, and by staying the course we were able to dig ourselves out of the trenches and make it to the other side – hopefully!

Without moving to virtual and hybrid classrooms, I would not have used Google Classroom. I now feel quite confident in it and would be able to move to completely online easily. I am happy my district provided PD to support and help to make us feel much more competent and effective. At the beginning of this school year, we had a hybrid model. At any given time the amount of face-to-face or virtual students could fluctuate. I had to not only keep up with my face-to-face students, but also keep a Google Classroom updated daily and have students join Meets. It was a draining cycle of working all day in the classroom, and then working the evenings on Google Classroom, but the knowledge and experience using Google Classroom will definitely be beneficial in the future.

During one of my Google Meets, my dog, Daisy, joined and completely stole the show! My students were way too excited to return to the lesson and continue. We spent the rest of the Meet asking Daisy to do tricks and be on camera. It was hard for me to let the lesson go, but it gave me a chance to laugh with my students and just enjoy the moment.

When we moved to virtual learning, we were teaching from home without a document camera – which was a challenge! Through Google searches, Pinterest, and scanning social media, I found a great app called iDocCam that uses your iPhone as a document camera. I would set up my iPhone on top of books and pots and pans to reach the right height and use that during our Google Meets. It made my teaching much better and the students were more engaged.

I will always be in favor of in-person learning. I feel that in-person learning offers students so much more than an online classroom can. Being in-person allows me to connect with my students and build trust that I was unable to build while being virtual. There is no better feeling than working with students and seeing them get that smile on their face when they make progress and are full of pride.

Besides personally loving the connection with my student, the students need each other too. First graders are learning how to build friendships and follow rules and schedules. In the classroom, we create a community that not only builds on academic skills, but also on social and emotional skills.

While teaching in the trenches it is very easy to get “stuck” or “lost.” I strongly suggest, first and foremost, to take care of yourself. I know that is easier said than done, but coming from my own experience, when I was not taking time to rest and recharge, all areas of my life were negatively affected. Trying to balance all the different types of classrooms and your own personal life can be too much, for even the most ambitious person. Put the computer away, put the work away, and rest!

Allow yourself to “let go” and try something fun. I run a tight ship and thrive on schedules and routine. I had to loosen the reins once virtual learning happened! It was not easy, but I was reminded that learning can take place in many different forms.

**“If you can stay positive in a negative situation, you win.” **

Kristin Marczak is a Michigan native who studied elementary education at Northern Michigan University, and has a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Western Governors University. She began teaching at L’Anse Area Schools in the summer of 2007, and is now in her 14th year at C.J. Sullivan. Aside from 1.25 years in Kindergarten, the rest of her teaching has been in first grade, which she loves because she gets to watch her students develop so many skills.

Kristin’s dream job would be working with schools on developing and improving curriculum and being a coach for teachers to improve their instruction styles.

Currently, Kristin lives in L’Anse, MI with her two children, Landon and Avery. She loves sports, especially the Detroit Lions, reading, spending time with her two children, and dog, Daisy.

If you’ve watched any of the 1st grade Math Mights shows, then you’ve seen Tiffany at work! She is an amazing teacher! I’ve had such fun working with her on the show, but I also know she is a rockstar in her classroom as well.

I met Tiffany several years back while working on our Molding Math Mindsets project in Romulus Public Schools. She was a first grade teacher, and still is in the first grade classroom today! We worked a lot together in the area of math. In fact, Tiffany was one of the math leaders as she has great leadership skills in her school district, and she has spearheaded a lot of the curricular work that we’ve done in math in first grade.

I’m so excited to have her tell us about her experience with teaching in the trenches.

Obviously, it’s new for all of us, which was a humongous challenge. I would say, on the teaching level, teachers went into this with zero training. No one really had any idea of how to do it, how to be successful, where to start, who to go to – there was just no training.

Additionally, what I’ve found to be *really* challenging is, when I have students in the classroom, I can control that environment. If they’re not prepared and they don’t have a pencil, I can get them a pencil. If they don’t have their homework, I can get a new sheet of homework. If they don’t have something they need or need help, it’s within my control to help them. When they are at home, I can’t control what’s going on. If they don’t have a pencil that day, I can’t just hand them one. I can’t control that their parent is sitting in the room next to them and the TV is on at volume 1000 so they can’t hear the lesson. I can’t control that they have three or four brothers and sisters and, while their parents have done their best at putting them all at the table to learn, my student can hear what’s going on in their sister’s classroom and their brother’s classroom. They can hear the other teachers. *I* can hear the other teachers. I think it’s just really hard, and it made it really hard for kids to focus.

And then thirdly, I would say, you kind of have two different kinds of parents, both of which are challenging. There’s the “too much support” parent who is just a helicopter. They’re not leaving their child to do anything independently – they’re doing all the cutting, they’re doing all the gluing, they’re doing all the clicking on the computer. They’re hovering over their student’s work so you don’t really know if the student is learning anything, you don’t know if the student needs additional support. Even though you’ve gently told the parents “Let them go, I’ve got this,” they don’t want to. And then you have that other extreme, the parent who you’ve never seen one time all year, and it’s obvious that they haven’t been involved at all.

The teachers in my district are teaching in-person and virtual simultaneously. So, in my classroom, I have 12 students in-person, and I have five students that are virtual. It’s really hard on your heart. That first day back, those virtual students were crying. They were super sad because they weren’t at school with their friends, and they want to be there, but for whatever reasons, their parents have chosen to keep them home. It’s particularly hard on the virtual students because they may be feeling like they’re being left out or not able to participate as much because now that I’m managing everything that’s going on. Before, when we were all virtual, I just managed what was going on in front of the screen, but now, I have kids that are needing to keep their masks on, needing to stay in their chairs, needing help with assignments. There’s a lot that goes on in class that the virtual students aren’t a part of.

However, I think the most glaring challenge is that, while I knew that kids were going to be low when they came back and I knew that they weren’t getting everything that they needed, I never realized the severity of it until they came back into the classroom. I have a student who cannot write any letters in her name. She doesn’t know how to form any letters. The severity of what has happened over this last year leaves me not really sure where we go from here or how to adjust to get these children to the next point so that they can be successful and this doesn’t damage them forever.

I have always known that six-year-olds could achieve whatever task you set forth for them. But what I learned going 100% virtual is just how true that is. I was thinking, *how can I teach kids how to manipulate Google Classroom virtually on day one at six years old*? But it can be done! I think that that made me just grow exponentially. The kids did an amazing job with just repeated instructions every day. Everything in my Google Classroom is by date, so every single day there is the topic is by date, Monday, March, 15, and then their assignments for the day are posted under that topic. There’s an icon next to each one, so they know that their red dot is what they do the first thing in the morning, the green heart is for reading, the plus sign is their math assignment, etc. They learned, almost immediately, how to manipulate those assignments, turn those assignments in, get feedback on the assignment and be in a Google document with me at the same time. They learned, when they needed help on something, if they clicked in the box to let me know,, I knew exactly where they needed help instead of them having to present their screen, I can be right in there with them working. I just think that this group of kids, for this whole past year, are going to be amazing at technology because the little ones have just nailed it.

With kids being virtual, you sometimes just can’t get to your mute button fast enough. I have a student who is extremely quiet. She basically didn’t say two words in Kindergarten, and she doesn’t talk a whole lot in first grade. She was very nervous, so anytime that she wants to talk, of course I encourage it. One day, we came back from lunch and she said, “Mrs Markavich, can I tell you something really funny?” Of course, I said yes because I was so excited that she wanted to talk! She said, “During lunch, I was going through my mom’s camera roll on her phone, and I saw a picture of her boobs!” The rest of the class started laughing. I muted her as quickly as I could and then I just said, “Oh, we don’t share that kind of personal information with the rest of the class.” But that was probably the funniest thing that happened to me, all school year while the kids were virtual.

I did 95% of my teaching in my classroom, even though it was an empty classroom. I started the year not having a clue what I was doing, like everyone else. So I have a smartboard, a computer, and I had a Chromebook. I propped my Chromebook in front of my smartboard and I logged in every day to my Google Meet, where I could see my students all day long. They were basically looking through the Chromebook onto my smartboard, and anything that I needed them to see they could see on my smartboard. I could use my document camera that way, I could present videos that way, or anything else that I needed them to see. They saw through my smartboard but then I could see them the entire day as well, and not have to wonder what they were doing.

Another thing that I did, like probably 1 million other virtual teachers, was occasionally create different Bitmoji classrooms or dashboards, where the students could click on different links to get to the materials that they needed for the day. This might be something that some people think first graders, or six-year-olds can’t work with the Bitmoji classrooms, but my kids were pretty successful at it.

I would 100% go back to the classroom.

Of course I would want to teach all day, every day, anywhere that I could, but kids need to be in the classroom. I think that’s where they learn the most, I think that’s where they can show their independence, and I think they can be successful. I think that they need the social aspects of it and how to be in society. While I think I’ve done a pretty good job virtually, being physically in the classroom is where I would pick to spend all day, any day.

**Have grace and be kind to your colleagues.** That has been emotionally draining. It has beaten us down. I’ve had to scrape myself up off the floor and say, *I can go to school today and I can do thi*s when I thought I couldn’t. And so I think if you have grace with your colleagues, and know that they could be going through exactly the same thing that you’re going through or feeling the exact same way you feel. I know that I had never done this before.

I love change and I embrace change, but not in this manner. I knew that I was going to fail.** I knew that there would be days where something would fail.** And that’s okay. The kids will grow from my mistakes and learn, “Oh, even our teacher isn’t perfect! She makes mistakes, or this didn’t go the way she planned.” Don’t dwell on it, and just move on. If it doesn’t work, if you failed, let the kids know that you failed, and just say, “Okay, we’re going to try again tomorrow and hopefully tomorrow is going to be a better day for me as a teacher, and for you as students, based on my mistakes!”

Tiffany Markavich has a B.S. in Education from Eastern Michigan University and a Master’s Degree from the University of Michigan Dearborn in the area of Education. Throughout her 22 years in Romulus Community Schools, Tiffany has taught 1st and 2nd grade and served as the Reading First Literacy Coach. Currently, Tiffany is the Co- School Improvement Facilitator for Halecreek Elementary and the District Wide 1st Grade – Grade Level Leader.

Tiffany is passionate about making every day in her classroom an amazing educational experience, doing numeracy talks, and having her kiddos “kiss their brain”!!