I currently teach a small group in a 1st grade classroom. I have the lower level students, and usually I just reteach the days math lesson with intervention sheets. I am going to be observed by my principal on Thursday, and we are going to do review for the test on Friday. We are going to be using Apple trees, and different color counters ( red and green) to depict apples. They will use these to help in creating their addition sentences. What else can I do to add "more," to the lesson. My principal likes seeing different and new things done with the students, for example in reading.....we sang songs to help with comprehension strategies, and we incorporated different hand symbols to represent the strategies as well. I was thinking I could possibly make some sensory materials, like felt numbers for those students who still lack some number sense, or who write their numbers backgrounds. We also usually write numbers in the air to help with this as well... but are there any other "cutesy" things to use with the students that go along with the Apple theme? I also had the thought of the students putting "worms," on the apples to gain that one to one when counting.... Could anyone think of anything else creative, or new to do? Thanks!

I wouldn't say those things are "new" and "different", but rather engaging. I think if you focus on how you can keep them interested and engaged, you won't be so worried about "cutesy" and your lessons will be more meaningful. We do something similar with the apples.. they have a storyboard to practice telling addition and subtraction stories. Your storyboards might have trees in the background. They could make up stories with the apples falling or in the trees. I don't really understand what you'd do with the worms - could just be my fried brain thinking too hard.

Your lesson sounds very good as is. Keep the children working with their hands in math - worksheets are pretty much meaningless at this level, but the hands on work is very meaningful. They need to understand numbers, how to put them together and take them apart. Have you looked at Math Their Way? I have an old copy that I refer to often. I have a team teacher who is sold on this system of teaching. It seems very simple and freaks out some educators, because of all the hands on teaching of math concepts, and the lack of worksheets. Just remember the rule of thumb: in first grade, the more hands on, the more they are really learning. The more worksheets, the less meaningful it is to them. Once they have done a lot of hands on and playing with manipulatives, then you will start transferring the concrete (hands on) to the abstract (worksheet). There is soooo much pressure to have them produce answers on a worksheet. But they will really learn from the hands on.

In my student teaching, in kindergarten, we introduced a lot of addition sentences. For the kinders we would give them a handful of pencils/crayons and a piece of paper. They could use the crayons/pencils to make the math sentence: |||| (4 crayons) + || (2 crayons) = 6 So they would lay out the crayons, add the plus and equal signs, and then add them together to write the sum. They seemed to really enjoy making their own sentences.

In my student teaching, in kindergarten, we introduced a lot of addition sentences. For the kinders we would give them a handful of pencils/crayons and a piece of paper. They could use the crayons/pencils to make the math sentence: |||| (4 crayons) + || (2 crayons) = 6 So they would lay out the crayons, add the plus and equal signs, and then add them together to write the sum. They seemed to really enjoy making their own sentences.