I'm at a brand new school and want to make a good impression so they keep me (best school ever). I teach kindergarten and here's what I'm trying to decide between:

1. Roll and add dice game: Students work in partners with a game board. They take turns rolling the dice, adding the numbers, and putting a cube on the spot that had their number. If they both land on the same number and there's no more spots left, they bump the other person off. When all spots are filled, the person with the most colors on the board wins.

Pros: Engaging and fun and involved partner work, potential for math talk Cons: potential for a lot of NOT math talk, Can be crazy/difficult to manage every group to make sure they're all on task, more difficult addition (up to 12), what do they do when finished and bored of the game?

2. Whole group block addition practice then worksheet. Each student would have 10 blocks. We would take turns telling story problems and students would act them out with blocks. Then we'd do a math worksheet.

pros: Super easy to manage, we've done it before, kids are still engaged during it, built-in assessment, gives a sample of whole group teaching. cons: Can be boring, not a lot of chances for talking and interacting, worksheet might not relate to the actual blocks, just the concept of addition.

3. Using pictures to add. Students would get a half sheet of paper. They would draw pictures then make an equation using the pictures.

pros: Kids do well with this. We've done it once and they did great. Good built-in assessment. If they finish early they keep getting papers. You can see who does 5 in the time, versus who does 1 sheet. Engaging, kids love drawing the pictures. Even my lowest can do. Easy to manage, walk around, and not be worried about voice level and off task behavior.

cons: No partners work, no whole group teaching minus showing how to do it and doing a few sample problems.

I'm trying to decide between those three. Right now I'm elaning towards #3 because that would be the least stressful and easiest to manage. If it matters, our math time is an hour block (which I think she's staying the whole time) Here's the schedule

12:00-12:15: Number talk (Hoping to stretch it 15 minutes but might not be able to)

12:15-12:20: Show how to do the work/game/etc.

12:20-12:40: Kids doing work

12:40-1:00: Centers or counting collections (haven't decided which)

#3 sounds good to me. When a student finishes one, could they explain it to another student before getting a new sheet?

And maybe have some manipulative on the table for the use of any child having trouble moving from concrete to abstract. That would show more differentiation.

I always lean towards more hands-on, manipulative based lessons, so #3 would be my last choice. I know my kids love anything with dice, so I'd probably go that route. Do a quick addition mini-lesson using students or objects as examples, and then show them how to play the game. You can differentiate a few ways - use lower/higher number dice, dice with numerals instead of dots, and dice with number words instead of numbers.

Have them do one on their own, then draw another but not solve it and switch with a partner who would solve?
That builds in more partner time and potential math talk.

I would do a mix of all three. Do the whole group lesson from 1, but have them do 2 for independent practice instead of a worksheet.

If your concern is harder addition, go to dollar tree. They have make your own dice in the teacher section. You can change the dice to 0-5 instead of the traditional 1-6.

Number 2 also gives you the opportunity to show off some great classroom management. You need to actively monitor (one of my admin’s favorite phrases) and it shows your routines and procedures are solid.

You are assessing as they play. Johnny, Suzy, and Billy come to my table when you’re done playing. Everyone else does activity 3 when they finish while you take Johnny, Suzy, and Billy to your table for a quick reteach.

SO I actually asked the kids which one they wanted to do. I'm hoping that since they have some buy-in, they might really rise to the occasion.

I think I've decided on this:

1. Number talk
2. Math songs
3. Roll and Cover math game
4. Come back to carpet and remind them how we've been doing addition with pictures to show our work (so I can hint to AP that we've been doing a lot of whole group too)
5. Send students off to do their own pictures and equations.
6. Clean up, review, and centers with extra time