We start everyday with the counting circle. Currently, we are counting forward to 100, backward from 20 (wow is that hard to do), and counting on to 20 starting from numbers other than just 1. I also use this time to go around the circle and flash subitizing (1-5) cards to the kids. They love the counting circle.
We have been using life-size 5 frames to make sets of 16-20 objects and to determine how many groups of 5 are in the set. We are also working on cardinality (knowing that the last number you count is how many are in the set). I had students help me model on the large five frames, while everyone else used their towers of cubes.
We talked about how we knew each filled 5 frame equaled 5 objects and why. We also started counting on at 5 and 10 because we knew that one 5 frame made 5 and that two 5 frames made 10.
After students made a set of cubes they broke them into groups of 5 to see how many groups of 5 were in the number.
We used some activities from Deeanna's Snowman, Common Core Literacy and Math Activities unit. We used q-tips and white paint to count and make sets of "snowballs."
We used the snowman poem in the unit for adding, joining, and counting. We added one more to make a new set and we figured out what the number would be if it was one less.
My favorite activity from the unit was a snowball fight where we compared sets of snowballs to determine which side had more or less. I can't seem to find the pictures from this though. My kids had tons of fun with it and it was something different for working on greater than/less than.
We made sets of snowflakes using ten frames and recorded the numbers. We glued down the first ten snowflakes and added on and counted up each time.
To switch things up, we used the ladders from Kim's Fire Fighters unit as 5 frames. I modified her buckets of water math game. We made sets of "buckets" on the ladders and recorded the numbers on dry erase boards. We also made two sets and compared them to see which number was greater.
I enlarged Kim's recording sheet so we could fill it in as a whole group. For each set of buckets we made, we determined how many groups of 5 were in the set. Then we figured out how many more buckets we needed to make another set of 5. For instance, if we made a set of 17 objects we determined there are 3 groups of 5 in the number 17 and that if we added 3 more we could make another group of 5.
We used these numbered hearts from Deeanna's We Love Math, Valentine Math Activities Aligned with Common Core to practice counting on.
We started with a different number each time. Students had to be able to recognize the number on their heart and know when they needed to line up. The unit contains a recording sheet for this activity, but we need to get a little better at it before we start trying to record.