Monday, August 11, 2014

Math Monday: Resources for Opening Routines

So excited that Mandy began a weekly time for us, as bloggers, to share our thinking about math teaching and learning.  Today is the first Math Monday!  You can find the round up on Mandy's Blog, Enjoy and Embrace Learning.

Last year, our Math Workshop went pretty well.  But not as well as I had hoped. One area I knew I had to work on was Opening Routines.  I had read Number Talks the year before and used the Number Talk routine daily. But I found that it became very rote when it was the only routine I relied on. So I have really focused on new routines and have found some great resources to kick off quick routines and also to build on those routines through the year.

I started in the spring exploring the Howard County website. There is a whole section on routines for 3rd grade so I read about some new routines that would support math learning.

Then I revisited Number Sense Routines: Building Numerical Literacy Every Day in Grades K-3 . This is a book from Stenhouse that I was familiar with but revisited this summer with 3rd graders in mind.  As more of an intermediate teacher, it was helpful to remember all of the math tools that support kids when making sense of number.  3rd is on the upper end of primary but I find so many kids need more support than I think they do at this age. Lots of great ways to support number sense.

Finally, I discovered my favorite new resource for math routines.  It is Minilessons for Math Practice, Grades 3-5 (there is a K-2 version, also) . I bought this book because Mandy had recommended it and I thought it would be filled with mini lesson ideas. But as I browsed through, they seemed more like opening routines to me.  I noticed that the blurb on the back of the book said, "Designed to use during transition times, mini lessons require little or no preparation and take only 5-15 minutes to teach. These activities can be repeated throughout the school year...".  These were the routines I was looking for.

The book focuses on Grades 3-5 and shares 27 routines. Each short chapter focuses on one routine.  Ways to introduce the activity, student examples and ideas for extending the activity are part of each chapter.  This is a great resource! So excited I discovered it!


  1. Number Sense Routines is a favorite! Excellent!

    The other book is new to me! Thank you for sharing about it!

  2. Math Exchanges by Kassia Omohundro Wedekind is another favorite of mine!

  3. Thank you for sharing these titles! I think we sometimes forget about those opening routines to build number sense in upper elementary. Great reminder!

  4. I'm so glad you found the mini-lesson book helpful, it really keeps things the mini lesson mini! I need to look at Number Sense Routines, its in my TBR pile. Thanks for joining our first #mathtalk


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