- '5 Little Speckled Frogs'
- '1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Once I Caught a Fish Alive'
- '5 Little Monkeys'
- '10 Fat Sausages'

I've made drama/activity props for each of these songs, which has increased engagement and excitement about the activity. The '5 Little Men' activity has a flying saucer with (funnily enough!) 5 little alien men. Either individually or in small groups, children listen to the song, removing the men at the right time (when 'One man flew away').

I've also made full page aliens, which we use as a whole class. When we are acting out the song all together, the children sit in a circle, with 5 'aliens' standing outside the circle (with their alien pictures). As we sing, the 'aliens' walk around the outside of the circle, with one alien coming to sit inside the circle each time 'One man flew away'. This is such a fun way to reinforce early numbers to 5, and the children ask to play again and again!

If you want to try this activity with your own class, click either the picture above, or the resource cover to the left...you'll then be able to download this resource for FREE. The file also includes 2 simple printables for reinforcing numbers to 5 (as well as colouring/pencil control skills/etc). My class has loved this activity so much, that I've adapted it for Christmas (which will be here before we know it!). Instead of aliens, for Christmas we will have '5 Little Deer Pulling Santa's Sleigh'. If you are interested in having a look at that resource, click the bottom resource cover on the left. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving (if you celebrate it), then full steam ahead for Christmas.... Happy teaching, and I'd love so much to hear from you if you use this resource in your own class and find it helpful! |

Imagine a simple resource that, in the right hands, can greatly increase your class's deep understanding of multiplication. Something that will make your multiplication Number Talks even more effective. It would be worth trying out! When children are learning to use the four operations, they need concrete experiences with manipulatives. A LOT of concrete experiences with manipulatives! And this concrete experience deepens their understanding of multiplication. During whole class Number Talks, however, it often isn't possible for children to use manipulatives. So how can you, as the class teacher, best support children's understanding when they are not yet at the abstract (equation only) stage? |

To solve this problem for multiplication Number Talks, I made multiplication dot cards for each of the times tables children need to memorise (1-12). I made sets showing (for example) '2 groups of x', as well as sets showing 'x groups of 2'. Both sets are important - while these 2 equations might give the same answer, they represent very different pictures!

Arrays are also an important visual for children who are beginning to multiply. So I made dot card sets that showed both the '2 rows of x' array and the 'x rows of 2' array. My favourite visual set was the one to the right. Because both versions of the equation are on the card along with the array, you can easily turn the card on its side to illustrate how '4 rows of 2' looks different than '2 rows of 4', even though the number of 'candies/dots' stays the same. The second picture to the right shows how I put my sets together. For each times table, I had 5 sets made up. For the 2 times table, the different sets showed the following visuals and equations for all equations from 0 x 2 to 12 x 2 : |

1) 2 groups of x

2) x groups of 2

3) 2 rows of x

4) x rows of 2

5) Cards showing both 'x rows of 2' (equation at the top of the card) and '2 rows of x' (equation to the side of the card).

You can easily print and use only 3 sets (the 2 'groups of' sets, and the set showing both equations along with the correct array) if printing is an issue. I liked having all 5 sets, however, as I often had children use these as a math station. Once children are familiar with how these cards are used during Number Talks, 3 children can work together. One child can be the 'teacher', while the other 2 solve the equation and explain their mathematical thinking to the others (recording sheets for this are included in the 2 and 10 times table files you can access through this blog post). My classes always loved this!

So - how do you use these cards during Number Talks to deepen understanding?

When I put up an equation for children to solve, I also showed them the accompanying visual. This immediately supported children who were still functioning at a more concrete/ representational mathematical level.

Then as children defended their answers by explaining the strategies they used, I could use a white board pen to mark the card to show how children were thinking about the equation. If a child was using 'Partial Products' (you can get multiplication posters showing this strategy here), for example, I could put in dividing lines to show where the child was splitting the larger equation into 2 smaller (easier) equations.

Try these sets out in your classroom during multiplication Number Talks. They will make your Number Talks, and your class's mathematical reasoning, more accessible for all of the children.

To get these a FREE set of dot cards for the 2 times table, click the 4x2 / 5x2 ARRAY visual in the middle of the post.

**UPDATE**: I've finished getting all of the other Multiplication Dot Cards ready and uploaded to TPT. They make multiplication Number Talks so much more accessible to all of the children in your class, and you will be so pleased at the progress your class makes with multiplication strategies when you use them. You can find the BUNDLE of all of the other Multiplication Dot Cards by clicking on the picture below. If you only need multiplication dot card sets for one or two other times tables, you can find the links you need in the Bundle.

]]>2) x groups of 2

3) 2 rows of x

4) x rows of 2

5) Cards showing both 'x rows of 2' (equation at the top of the card) and '2 rows of x' (equation to the side of the card).

You can easily print and use only 3 sets (the 2 'groups of' sets, and the set showing both equations along with the correct array) if printing is an issue. I liked having all 5 sets, however, as I often had children use these as a math station. Once children are familiar with how these cards are used during Number Talks, 3 children can work together. One child can be the 'teacher', while the other 2 solve the equation and explain their mathematical thinking to the others (recording sheets for this are included in the 2 and 10 times table files you can access through this blog post). My classes always loved this!

So - how do you use these cards during Number Talks to deepen understanding?

When I put up an equation for children to solve, I also showed them the accompanying visual. This immediately supported children who were still functioning at a more concrete/ representational mathematical level.

Then as children defended their answers by explaining the strategies they used, I could use a white board pen to mark the card to show how children were thinking about the equation. If a child was using 'Partial Products' (you can get multiplication posters showing this strategy here), for example, I could put in dividing lines to show where the child was splitting the larger equation into 2 smaller (easier) equations.

Try these sets out in your classroom during multiplication Number Talks. They will make your Number Talks, and your class's mathematical reasoning, more accessible for all of the children.

To get these a FREE set of dot cards for the 2 times table, click the 4x2 / 5x2 ARRAY visual in the middle of the post.

With the beginning of our Spring Break, I've been able to update the Multiplication Strategy Posters I made for my classes, and get them ready to put on-line. If you click the pictures above, you'll be taken to Teachers Pay Teachers, where you can download these posters FREE (just like the subtraction and addition strategy posters).

There are 3 different sets to choose from, depending on where the children in your class are with their understanding of multiplication. I often had 2 sets displayed simultaneously. It's rare to have a class where all of the children are working at the same level, which is why I ended up making 3 different versions.

These posters provide visual support for children as they develop their understanding of different strategies for solving multiplication equations. They can also support your own understanding (this was my own experience!) which will enhance your ability to transcribe children's mathematical thinking for the rest of your class during Number Talks.

It can be particularly tricky to help children understand what is happening when they use 'Factoring', 'Partial Products' and 'Double and Half'. Often, children will use these strategies without completely understanding why they work. These posters provide a visual representation of what is happening when you use these strategies - I've always found that these types of representations help both me AND my class to deepen our understanding of the mathematical processes we are using.

There are 3 different sets to choose from, depending on where the children in your class are with their understanding of multiplication. I often had 2 sets displayed simultaneously. It's rare to have a class where all of the children are working at the same level, which is why I ended up making 3 different versions.

These posters provide visual support for children as they develop their understanding of different strategies for solving multiplication equations. They can also support your own understanding (this was my own experience!) which will enhance your ability to transcribe children's mathematical thinking for the rest of your class during Number Talks.

It can be particularly tricky to help children understand what is happening when they use 'Factoring', 'Partial Products' and 'Double and Half'. Often, children will use these strategies without completely understanding why they work. These posters provide a visual representation of what is happening when you use these strategies - I've always found that these types of representations help both me AND my class to deepen our understanding of the mathematical processes we are using.

2 different 'Partial Products' strategy posters from the most advanced set of posters (example equations in this set ask children to multiply 2 digits by 2 digits). Children often become confused by which numbers to multiply by each other when they split one factor versus when they split 2 factors. These posters provide clear pictures of what is happening mathematically when children use these strategies. The posters also give a context (a farmer's field!) that helps the children to remember how and why the strategy works.

Another tricky distinction children need to understand is the difference between 'Partial Products' and 'Factoring'. The 2 posters above are taken from the easiest poster set (all example problems in this set are taken from within the Times Tables that children are asked to memorise), but they illustrate the difference between these 2 strategies. With partial products, one or both factors are split using addition. Smaller/easier multiplication sums are completed (in the example above, 4x5 and 4x4), and the resulting answers are added together to get a final answer. This can be explained using an area model (or my 'Farmer's Field').

When students 'factor a factor' to solve their equation, they are re-arranging the multiplication groups. They are NOT splitting the factors by addition - they are reducing the factors in their original problem to smaller factors. So - instead of having '7 rows of 8' (in the poster above), that can be turned into '7 rows of 4' (as 8 = 2 rows of 4). Once you have found that '7 rows of 4' is 28, you have 2 groups of 28 (2 x 28), which gives you your final answer of 56. When you factor the original factors, all of the factors are then multiplied by each other BECAUSE you are re-arranging the groups/rows that you are working with in multiplication. This strategy is tricky, and younger students are unlikely to use it. But as children get older, if they can begin to understand and use this strategy, they will find it extremely helpful as they move into working with algebraic equations.

These files also include easier/more straightforward strategies (which the children in your class may be more likely to use):

When students 'factor a factor' to solve their equation, they are re-arranging the multiplication groups. They are NOT splitting the factors by addition - they are reducing the factors in their original problem to smaller factors. So - instead of having '7 rows of 8' (in the poster above), that can be turned into '7 rows of 4' (as 8 = 2 rows of 4). Once you have found that '7 rows of 4' is 28, you have 2 groups of 28 (2 x 28), which gives you your final answer of 56. When you factor the original factors, all of the factors are then multiplied by each other BECAUSE you are re-arranging the groups/rows that you are working with in multiplication. This strategy is tricky, and younger students are unlikely to use it. But as children get older, if they can begin to understand and use this strategy, they will find it extremely helpful as they move into working with algebraic equations.

These files also include easier/more straightforward strategies (which the children in your class may be more likely to use):

I hope you find some (or all) of these poster sets useful. In the first set, the example equations are all taken from the times tables (2-12) that children are asked to memorise. In the second set, the example equations are all '1 digit x 2 digit'. In the final set, the example equations are '2 digit x 2 digit'.

Happy Multiplying!

]]>Happy Multiplying!

Along with Addition strategy posters, I have also made Subtraction strategy posters. I found that these posters supported children's understanding and use of the different mental maths strategies for subtraction. Most children find subtraction more challenging than addition, so there was a definite need for visual support during our whole class Number Talks. These posters helped all of the children more easily access their classmates' mathematical thinking (although it's important to remember that in Number Talks, the best resources your class has for supporting and enhancing their strategy understanding is you, as their teacher).

The posters are differentiated, and I used different ones, depending on the stage I was teaching, as well as the individual children in each class. Occasionally, I would display 2 different versions of the posters. All of the strategies are essentially the same, and they are presented in the same format - I have just used different equations (easier/more challenging) to illustrate each strategy.

These posters coordinate well with the addition posters - I've used a different background, and the word 'Subtraction' is in red at the bottom of each of these posters, to help your children easily identify whether the poster is addition or subtraction, when they are looking at them for visual support.

If you click on each picture above, you will be taken to Teachers Pay Teachers, where you'll be able to download the files you are interested in. All of the posters are free. I hope you find them useful and that they encourage you to establish Number Talks as part of your own classroom routine!

]]>The posters are differentiated, and I used different ones, depending on the stage I was teaching, as well as the individual children in each class. Occasionally, I would display 2 different versions of the posters. All of the strategies are essentially the same, and they are presented in the same format - I have just used different equations (easier/more challenging) to illustrate each strategy.

These posters coordinate well with the addition posters - I've used a different background, and the word 'Subtraction' is in red at the bottom of each of these posters, to help your children easily identify whether the poster is addition or subtraction, when they are looking at them for visual support.

If you click on each picture above, you will be taken to Teachers Pay Teachers, where you'll be able to download the files you are interested in. All of the posters are free. I hope you find them useful and that they encourage you to establish Number Talks as part of your own classroom routine!

If you read my blog, you'll know that I love Number Talks. They are one of the best ways I know to help the children in your class develop number sense and confidence in talking about their mathematical reasoning.

Once you start Number Talks with your class and establish them as part of your routine, you will find them easy and love them as well - I promise! But adding anything into a classroom routine is always a challenge, I know.

As I've taught in different stages, I've made posters illustrating the mental math strategies that children often use when solving addition equations during Number Talks. Since I posted the Early Years Number Talk starter pack, I thought some people might find these Posters useful. They also provide visual support for children (and possibly for teachers as well!) as a classroom Number Talk routine is being established.

If you click on the links above, they will take you to Teachers Pay Teachers, where you can download the posters for FREE. I'm planning to slowly migrate some of the resources I offer to Teachers Pay Teachers. One thing I like about having my free resources on Teachers Pay Teachers is that they track how many times files are downloaded...something my current blog website doesn't seem to have the capacity to do. This will let me know which resources people find particularly useful and which resources maybe aren't so popular.

I also have 2 daughters getting ready to leave for university in the fall, so I may be adding some paid resources in the future, as we try to cover their expenses for the next few years! But I'll keep offering lots of FREE things as well (I know how carefully teachers often need to budget....).

]]>Once you start Number Talks with your class and establish them as part of your routine, you will find them easy and love them as well - I promise! But adding anything into a classroom routine is always a challenge, I know.

As I've taught in different stages, I've made posters illustrating the mental math strategies that children often use when solving addition equations during Number Talks. Since I posted the Early Years Number Talk starter pack, I thought some people might find these Posters useful. They also provide visual support for children (and possibly for teachers as well!) as a classroom Number Talk routine is being established.

If you click on the links above, they will take you to Teachers Pay Teachers, where you can download the posters for FREE. I'm planning to slowly migrate some of the resources I offer to Teachers Pay Teachers. One thing I like about having my free resources on Teachers Pay Teachers is that they track how many times files are downloaded...something my current blog website doesn't seem to have the capacity to do. This will let me know which resources people find particularly useful and which resources maybe aren't so popular.

I also have 2 daughters getting ready to leave for university in the fall, so I may be adding some paid resources in the future, as we try to cover their expenses for the next few years! But I'll keep offering lots of FREE things as well (I know how carefully teachers often need to budget....).

It's always handy to have a variety of resources available to help children consolidate their understanding of place value. I've made a few things recently that I've been using with some of the children in my class, and thought I would share them here. If you click on the picture to the right, you will be able to download a file that has a 'Teen Number booklet' as well as 6 additional teen number worksheets. |

For the booklet, I print it in the 'booklet' format in the PDF print menu, although you are, of course, welcome to print it full size, if that suits the children in your class better.

In the link on the left below, you will find apple ten frame 'Teen Number flash cards'. In my classes, we've always enjoyed Number Talks, and at early or early first level, 'Quick Images' are one of the easiest ways to incorporate Number Talks into your daily routine. Playing 'Quick Images' with your class only takes a couple of minutes at most (I know it's hard to fit more routines into your day).

For 'Quick Images', I show the class a card with a given number of items for a few seconds, and they have to tell me how many items were on the card (after I've put the card away). My Primary 1 classes always loved the 'Teen Number' images (which also reinforced place value concepts), as they knew instantly that the first 10 frame was full, and they only had to recognise how many extra items were in the second 10 frame to identify the teen number.

There used to be lots of laughter as I drastically reduced the time I gave them to identify the number, while they still got it right every time...a small maths confidence boost for the kids in your class, which is always a good thing.

If you click on the picture to the right, you'll find a file with a variety of teen number games and activities. I created most of these for use in my ASN classroom, but they would be equally appropriate for an early years classroom. I used variations of these types of activities when I taught mainstream P1/2.

]]>In the link on the left below, you will find apple ten frame 'Teen Number flash cards'. In my classes, we've always enjoyed Number Talks, and at early or early first level, 'Quick Images' are one of the easiest ways to incorporate Number Talks into your daily routine. Playing 'Quick Images' with your class only takes a couple of minutes at most (I know it's hard to fit more routines into your day).

For 'Quick Images', I show the class a card with a given number of items for a few seconds, and they have to tell me how many items were on the card (after I've put the card away). My Primary 1 classes always loved the 'Teen Number' images (which also reinforced place value concepts), as they knew instantly that the first 10 frame was full, and they only had to recognise how many extra items were in the second 10 frame to identify the teen number.

There used to be lots of laughter as I drastically reduced the time I gave them to identify the number, while they still got it right every time...a small maths confidence boost for the kids in your class, which is always a good thing.

If you click on the picture to the right, you'll find a file with a variety of teen number games and activities. I created most of these for use in my ASN classroom, but they would be equally appropriate for an early years classroom. I used variations of these types of activities when I taught mainstream P1/2.

If you aren't already using number talks, it is worth learning about them, and beginning to implement them in your class. Sherry Parrish's book Number Talks is a great place to start. You can also view many examples of number talks in the classroom on Youtube. Number talks are quick and easy - ideally |

only 4-6 minutes at Early level. They hugely enhance the development of number sense in children, who get regularly opportunities during number talks to explain and develop their mathematical thinking.

To help you get started, with Early Level number talks, I've made a 'Number Talks starter pack' (suitable for Primary 1/Kindergarten). In this pack, there are a variety of resources to help teachers get started with Number talks. Click the picture above, if you think this resource could be helpful in your own class.

]]>To help you get started, with Early Level number talks, I've made a 'Number Talks starter pack' (suitable for Primary 1/Kindergarten). In this pack, there are a variety of resources to help teachers get started with Number talks. Click the picture above, if you think this resource could be helpful in your own class.

Here in Scotland, we still have about 6 weeks left of the school year. It will be a bit longer in the rest of the UK, while many schools in the States have either finished for the year, or have only a few weeks left (I'm jealous!).

We are doing a bit of data handling at the moment in maths. My class is finding that a bit more engaging, which we need, now that warmer weather and sunny days appear to have arrived (I hope I haven't jinxed us by writing that...).

Throughout the year, our class has been raising awareness of reading in our school as part of the First Minister's Reading Challenge, and one of our goals has been to raise money to add books to all of the

We are doing a bit of data handling at the moment in maths. My class is finding that a bit more engaging, which we need, now that warmer weather and sunny days appear to have arrived (I hope I haven't jinxed us by writing that...).

Throughout the year, our class has been raising awareness of reading in our school as part of the First Minister's Reading Challenge, and one of our goals has been to raise money to add books to all of the

class libraries. It's much easier to have productive 'Personal Reading' time in classes if there is a wider range of books in each class to choose from.

So, using the theme of adding books to class libraries, I created a Data Handling project for my class. As I have a P4/5 composite this year, I've made 2 differentiated versions of it. The P4 version (available if you click on the picture above) works with numbers to 1000 (although most of the sums are within 200, and larger addition and subtraction problems generally use round numbers).

The P5 version (available if you click on the picture below) works with numbers to 15,000 (and I've modified the project so the class is finding out how many books schools are adding to their school libraries, since the numbers are much bigger).

Both versions are primarily addition and subtraction based, although some multiplication and place value knowledge is reviewed as well. They both also come with Answer Keys, for ease of marking.

In using this with my class, I've printed it off as a booklet, which has worked well. The project file is done in colour, but you can easily print it off in black and white - that's what I do.

I hope this saves a few people some time and keeps your class entertained as we count down to summer!

]]>So, using the theme of adding books to class libraries, I created a Data Handling project for my class. As I have a P4/5 composite this year, I've made 2 differentiated versions of it. The P4 version (available if you click on the picture above) works with numbers to 1000 (although most of the sums are within 200, and larger addition and subtraction problems generally use round numbers).

The P5 version (available if you click on the picture below) works with numbers to 15,000 (and I've modified the project so the class is finding out how many books schools are adding to their school libraries, since the numbers are much bigger).

Both versions are primarily addition and subtraction based, although some multiplication and place value knowledge is reviewed as well. They both also come with Answer Keys, for ease of marking.

In using this with my class, I've printed it off as a booklet, which has worked well. The project file is done in colour, but you can easily print it off in black and white - that's what I do.

I hope this saves a few people some time and keeps your class entertained as we count down to summer!

Cards in this file will help your kids visualise larger numbers.

]]>I've posted about my 'Counting the Days in School' routine already, but I wanted to put the file in the Resources section of the blog, so that it could be found easily by anyone interested in using it in their own class.

This routine is a great way to develop number sense in your kids, and it only takes a couple of minutes at the beginning of your day. My class really enjoys it, and they never let me forget to add another dot to our 10 frame each morning.

]]>This routine is a great way to develop number sense in your kids, and it only takes a couple of minutes at the beginning of your day. My class really enjoys it, and they never let me forget to add another dot to our 10 frame each morning.