Ten Frame Flashcards!

Posted on June 17, 2014. Filed under: During the Guided Math Lesson, Graphic Organizers, Guided math | Tags: , , , , |

Here is a great ten frame resource. Use these for games, subitizing activities  and guided math groups! Be sure to put a set in your students’ math toolkits!


*Click on the link (it’s free but you have to belong to teachers pay teachers (which is free as well).

Happy Mathing,
Dr. Nicki

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Math Fact Practice

Posted on March 18, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Here is a great “twist” on speed and accuracy for math facts!  You make this contraption and then say as many facts as you can before it twirls to the floor.

Go to linked page above…look at the ideas and be sure to click on “Helitimer” the 5th link.  It’s a PDF that you can download!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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4 Must Have Workstations

Posted on June 24, 2013. Filed under: Common Core, Digital Learners, Math Centers, Math Workstations, Problem Solving | Tags: , , , , , |

There are a variety of workstations that you can set up throughout the year.  But, there are 4 must have workstations that you should set up all year long. Why?  Because these workstations allow students to engage in distributed practice throughout the year on the basic skills and content for their grade level.  I am going to list the stations below and during the next couple of weeks. I will write extensively about these stations and how to use them.

Workstation 1:  Fluency – You need a fluency station that is leveled and allows students to review facts they know and practice facts that they are working on.

Workstation 2: Word Problems- Remember in the CCSSM there are specific word problem types assigned to each grade level.  Do you currently take this into account?  Do you know what types your students have proficiency with?

Workstation 3: Vocabulary – Math is a language.  If you want your students to speak it, they must know the words and phrases.

Workstation 4: Digital – Our students are called Digital Natives and we are called the Immigrants by Prensky(2001).  How is this reflected in your math workstations.

I look forward to a wonderful discussion about workstations with you in the next couple of  weeks!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

Reference: http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/prensky%20-%20digital%20natives,%20digital%20immigrants%20-%20part1.pdf

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Primary Fluency Packet

Posted on April 30, 2013. Filed under: Assessment, Common Core, Guided math, Math Centers | Tags: , , , , |

Here is another great primary resource! Great fluency fact sort sheets! And another one!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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More Math Energizers and Routines

Posted on October 2, 2012. Filed under: Assessment, Common Core, Mathematical Proficiency | Tags: , , , , , , , |


  • As part of the do now
  • Before Lunch
  • Before School Ends
  • Before Recess
  • Right after Recess
  • Anytime is a good time!

Remember that energizers are quick!  Here’s one!

Make 5, 10, 20 100, 1, ½, 2/3,

This is a quick number game that gets students to practice their basic facts based on the CCSS Math Fluency levels.  The basic premise of the game is that students have to name the complement.

So, in Kindergarten you say Make 5…then you have someone pull a number card and then the students raise their hands and the student who pulled the card chooses someone…that person has to say what number will make 5 with that number.  For example – John picks 3  (he calls on Josephine)  She says “2 plus 3 makes 5.”

In 1st grade, you play Make 10.  In 2nd grade you play Make 20 and Make 100.  In the upper grades the students have to make fractions and decimals.  For example, if you said 4/6 then the students would have to tell you how to get to the next whole number  but not using sixths.  This forces them to think about equivalent fractions.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

Good Resources:

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Multiplication Kaboom!

Posted on July 23, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Have the students pull a tongue depressor from the cup.  They have to say the fact on it.  If they can, they get those points. When they pull Kaboom plus 10 they get 10 more points.  Whoever has the most points at the end of 5 rounds wins that game.  Students just play until it is time to move on to the next center. Students love this game!

Be sure to play this in guided math groups and note the fluency levels of your students.  Also, have students practice this in math centers!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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A Multiplication Fluency Activity

Posted on July 18, 2012. Filed under: Assessment, Classroom environment, Common Core | Tags: , , , , , , |

Here is a great idea for tracking fluency. Have the students keep track using ice cream cones!  You can either buy the package or make your own!  Check it out.  Whatever you do, please find some way so that students have a motivation and a self-tracking system to learn their tables …not just memorize them but be flexible with thinking about them in terms of strategies.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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Mad Math Minutes: Whole Group and Guided Math Practice

Posted on January 31, 2011. Filed under: Assessment, Elementary math, Guided math, Mathematical Proficiency | Tags: , , , , |

We used to give mad math minutes all the time.  Back in the Day:) Some people still do it. Others don’t.  Here’s what I think.    We should do mad math minutes.  It builds fluency, IF we do it in a way that builds fluency.  Fluency doesn’t just happen.  We plan for it. So, I would give mad math minutes in a scaffolded way.  I would do it by problem sets, working on particular MATH dolch words.  For example, +0 and +1 facts or complements of 5 and then 10, or doubles, doubles +1, doubles +2 or lucky 8 and lucky 9 facts.  I would give no more than 10 -20  problems at a time.  I would give a minute.  AND AFTER, I WOULD HAVE THE STUDENTS GRADE THE TEST.  THEY WOULD CIRCLE WHAT THEY GOT WRONG. TALK ABOUT WHAT THEY KNOW ALREADY AND WHAT THEY ARE STILL LEARNING. COME UP WITH AN ACTION PLAN FOR STUDYING FOR THE NEXT TEST.  THEY WOULD ONLY  COMPETE AGAINST THEMSELVES.  I would start everyone (even our 4th and 5th graders) out with addition, then subtraction, then multiplication and then division, of course mixing them up as they pass each category. I would start giving mad math minutes around the middle of kinder only on +0, +1 and complements of 5 (New Common Math Core says kinder should know up to 5). Let me know what you think.

Here are some mad math minutes:







http://www.webmathminute.com/online.asp (both)

Internet Ones:

http://www.oswego.org/ocsd-web/games/Mathmagician/cathymath.html (personal favorite)



Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki


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