Our first math unit of the year is called "Numbers and Operations in Base-10." During this unit, the students will build a strong understanding of what numbers mean. For example, 351 is not just 3 hundreds, 5 tens, and 1 one, but it is also 35 tens and 1 one, 34 tens and 11 ones, and many other possibilities!
Yesterday we built understanding by playing the game, "Three Other Ways." I wrote a number on the board, and small groups worked to build the number using their base-10 blocks. Then, I challenged the groups to build the same number in a different way (using a different amount of tens, for example).
Being able to see numbers flexibly, to compose and decompose them in different ways, is one of the most important building blocks of number sense. We will continue to do these sorts of activities this week to pave the way for more complex math as the year goes on.
Little people, big minds.