Sunday, June 10, 2018

Thumbs Up for a First Grade Math Freebie

Hi, Teaching Friends!

Are your first grade students confident of their answers in math? Can they justify their responses if challenged? Do they know if an expression is thumbs up/true or thumbs down/false?

Supposedly, federal agents are trained to recognize counterfeit currency by carefully studying the details of the real thing. The thinking behind this is that they'll know the details of the real money so well that the counterfeit will pop right out when they see them. There are so many ways to counterfeit, but only one way to make the actual bill.

Now, not being a federal agent {I'm thinking that doesn't surprise any of you ;) }, I don't even know if this story is true. But being someone who's been a teacher for many years, I can tell you for sure that the same principle applies in math. There are often a lot of "counterfeit" answers that seem like the correct answer if you don't think hard about it, but there's only one correct answer. {Okay, that last bit is arguable, I suppose, but less frequently in math than in other areas, right? :) 5+5 will never be 11! }

That's the idea behind "Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?" math games. With lots of practice, it gets to be easy to tell the math counterfeits from the true math facts.  Here's a set for second grade.

There are versions available for kindergarten through fourth grade. See them all here!

Each grade level version has ten games, with each game focusing on a Common Core math standard for that grade. There's some great thinking involved, as students evaluate expressions that quite often look like the real thing, but after closer checking are just counterfeits!

The games are also fun to play. Your kiddos will love being silly when they say "Sorry, Charlie!", "No, Sir-ee!", or "You'd better believe it!" as they put their cards on their mats.

So, give me a "thumbs up" if you'd like a sample of the first grade set! This set of cards and sorting mat includes sample expressions from the other games in the set. It would be great to use as an end of year math center review game in first, or a "let's get those brains in gear again" game time at the beginning of second grade.

Just click here to download your copy. Enjoy!

If you're a first grade teacher who's always looking for new ways to help your students be successful, click here to visit my First Grade Math board at Pinterest!

This post was originally published at Teaching Blog Roundup.

Happy Teaching!

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