I met yesterday with my two partner third grade Math teachers. We got the first week of school lessons planned. We don't go back to work until August 15, and the kids come back August 26 so we are feeling organized and ahead of the game. One of my partners is a new first year teacher and the other is one of our Reading teachers that will be self contained for the first time in 10 years, so both of my partner teachers are a little nervous about teaching Math this year. We start the year off with Place Value, which are some of my favorite lessons to teach. We discussed in detail the vocabulary we use and different ways to make sure the kiddos are understanding Place Value. Color Coded Place Value is my favorite way to teach reading and writing large numbers.
Our school has a built in 45 minute small group time called Eagle Time. Three days of the week are for reading, and two are for Math. We group our third grade and have two high level groups, two mid level groups and a lower group of ten students. This is a wonderful way to get some extra needed time in a small group setting with our low babies plus we get the added bonus of getting to know and work with each others students. I love that our campus really does have a belief in "our kiddos" and not "yours or mine". One of the things we will be working on to start out the year is mental math. There is nothing like mental Math to start sweeping out the cob webs of summer and getting the students to using their math muscles. I have several different activities I use in Eagle Time to help with mental math practice, but one of my favorites is called Flex Those Mental Math Muscles, and is free in my TpT store. This is something I will be definitely be using in the first several weeks of school, and I hope you find it useful too.
What are some of the ways you practice mental math or place value with your students?