Ahhh you had two weeks off for Winter Break and you are returning refreshed and ready to kick off the 2017 school year! Pretty soon 18 little minds will reenter your classroom! 17 days off of school means that it is an excellent time to reestablish classroom norms and expectations.

One way to review expectations while reinforcing number combinations is through the “Give me” strategy. Many teachers are familiar with the “Give me 5” strategy where students freeze and place their attention on the teacher or speaker.

A twist on this activity is for the teacher to say “Give me 5” but only hold up 3 fingers like in the image below.

Students think about what other number combined with 3 makes 5. Since 2 is the addend that when combined with 3 makes a sum of 5, students should put 2 fingers in the air like in the image below.

***Note at this point in the year students have explored different combinations for making numbers, they have not formally been introduced to the idea that these number combinations are addends***

To reinforce the number combinations ask students questions such as:

Why did you put up ___ fingers?

How did you know to put up ___ fingers?

How do you know your answer is correct?

This strategy could be extended to any number combination.

The teacher could say, “Give me 10” and hold up 1 finger in the air.

Students would respond by holding up 9 fingers because the addends 1 and 9 make ten.

***Teacher Tip for managing materials: If you want students hands to be free of materials, select an addend that requires them to use both hands (any addend 6 or greater).

Another twist on the strategy is for the teacher to hold up a sum and the students create the addends with their hands in the air. For example, a teacher might say, “What two numbers combined make 3 ?”

If the sum is 3, students would hold up the addends 2 and 1

Be creative!!! Think about different ways you can reinforce behavior and math at the same time!!!