Capitalizing On Math Opportunities

A teacher friend told me a story that I thought I would share with you because of the way she capitalized on a mathematical opportunity.  Her Grade 1 class was responsible for leading a prayer service.  Because of their theme “We are children of light!”, the principal let them purchase a tea light for everyone in the school.

The 300 tea lights they ordered came in 3 boxes of  100 with 4 boxes of 25.  The students were partnered up and responsible for one class.  The task allowed the teacher to observe counting skills e.g., those students who grouped tea lights or those who needed to count out individual ones. Some students discovered they could take a package of 25 and add a few extras or take a few away depending on the class size.

This took place over a few days and there was a lot of math talk about numbers of different sizes including numbers between 200 and 300.  What a perfect opportunity to engage students in such a meaningful math activity that allowed them to demonstrate the efficient counting strategies they had been working on prior to this.  And on top of that these Grade 1 students were lighting the way and learning the school wide prayer service!  I look forward to hearing all about it!

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