**Just Right Level**. This means that the majority of my math and literacy instruction occurs in small group. My first grade team has been working very hard to create a model that balances targeted small group instruction and meaningful independent activities. This seemed rather daunting at first (and by first, I mean for the entire first year I attempted this model.) However, this year I feel like I have finally found a rhythm that has made this format of teaching manageable and effective.

**Forming The Groups**

__Foundational Activities & Games__I don’t always group students by the “working number,” but in the beginning of the year it was a great place to start. For the first 6 weeks of school, this is where I introduce routines and a variety of activities and games that we will use throughout the year. Similar to literacy centers, the format of these activities stays the same, but they become increasingly more difficult as students increase their “working number.” Here are some of the activities in action below.

__Build A Floor__from Developing Number Concepts

__Flip For It!__Students work to match combinations to the “working number.” For example, if a student’s working number is 6, I would put out a deck ten-frame cards with numbers 0-6. Students would put all cards face down, and, similar to a game of memory/concentration, they flip pairs of cards. If they flip two cards that add up to 6, they get to keep their pair (e.g. 2 and a 4.) However, if their pair does not add up to 6, they must flip them back over. All of my students love this game, no matter their “working number!”

__Number Shapes__from Developing Number Concepts, as it supports the skill of subitizing while working on addition and subtraction. Depending on the student’s “working number,” they will receive their corresponding number shape board. The student above is working with the number 6. The student rolls a 6 sided die, and places that many cubes on their number shape board. Then, they fill the rest of the board with another color shape. Students then write an addition sentence to represent their board on their recording sheet.

__Number Shape__board, but to practice subtraction. Students use unifix cubes to fill their board. This student is working with the number 7. Students can either use a standard 6-sided die, or an 8-sided die with the numbers 0-7. Depending on the roll, the student removes that many unifix cubes from their number shape board. The student records the image of their board on their recording sheet, as well as a subtraction sentence to represent their board.

Next time… I will try and highlight how I determine what to teach in my small groups, as well as strategies I’ve used to organize the independent centers to avoid pulling out my hair!

Sarita says

This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing your work.

The 8 page for number shapes is linked to 7.

Tiffany Jeansonne says

I agree. Love these, except the 8 page link takes you to the 7 page.