More Great Math Routines

Posted on October 1, 2012. Filed under: Assessment, Classroom environment, Common Core, Mathematical Proficiency | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

What is a math routine?

A math routine is a whole class math activity that you do overtime.  There are a variety of different types of routines.  You can do routines to:

1) Build Number Sense

2) Build Vocabulary

3) Build Conceptual Knowledge

4) Build Mathematical Modeling Skills

5) Build Procedural Fluency

6) Build Strategic Competence

7) Build a Strong Mathematical Disposition

When:  Anytime (they usually last between 5-10 minutes once the students know them)

How:  Routines are set up in a variety of ways – individual, partner, small group or whole class


1. Half It!  Teacher gives an even starter number.  Kids verbally toss it around the room- each child halving it until you get to the first odd number.  So for example,

Starter number 20 – Trevor says 10 – Mica says 5 – we stop.

Starter number 200 – Michael says 100 – John says 50…they keep going till they can’t go anymore

Starter number 1/2 – Carlos says 1/4 – Trina says 1/8 ….

2. Double It!   Teacher gives a starter number and kids verbally toss it around the room…this time doubling the number.

3.  Number Line It! –  Draw an unlabeled numberline and then have the students plot numbers.

Teacher says…draw a numberline…start it with 500 end it with 1000…write where 650 is…write where 899 is….

Teacher says…draw a numberline…start with 2/3 and end with two and a half…write where one and a half goes…write where 1 and 3/4 goes… write where 2 goes

Other Resources

1) Number of the Day & More

2) Reasoning Routines

3) Count Around the Room

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki


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Numberlines are a great math model: Use in small guided math groups

Posted on December 23, 2011. Filed under: Common Core, During the Guided Math Lesson, Elementary math, Guided math, Mathematical Proficiency, Problem Solving | Tags: , , , , |

The Math Common Core emphasizes the use of number lines to help students understand the math they are doing.  See this site to have a close look at how that looks across the grade levels.  Numberlines are underutilized across the grade levels.  Start using them in Pre-k (by having the students walk a big numberline).  In 1st and 2nd grade they should use big ones that they can walk and little ones that they can use to explore, model and discuss their thinking. In 3rd, 4th and 5th grades students can work on multiplication, division, fractions and elapsed time with numberlines.

Remember that numberlines are models for mathematical thinking.  Whenever students  are using models, they should be explaining their thinking as they work.  Be sure to do some of this in Guided Math groups so that students can spend time discussing the mathematics.  They should not only talk about how they are representing their thinking but what the math is behind the representation.  All students should have time to talk with each other, ask questions and respond, and small guided math groups allow them this time.

Please be sure to let me know how it goes!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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