This unit focuses on several different skills and concepts including counting, modeling subtraction, creating shapes, and using location words. Although the skills and concepts have a different focus, all can be used in conjunction with one another. This idea will encourage deeper understanding of how concepts work together.
Prior to this unit, students counted in a variety of ways, using various manipulatives to help build conceptual understanding. They sorted objects using attributes. They recited number words in order up to 10. They also began to organize and collect data. They verbally identified, without counting, the number of objects from 1 to 5 and began to recognize one-digit numerals, 0 – 9.
During this unit, students continue their understanding that all objects can be counted. As students deepen their understanding that removing objects from a set decreases the number in the set, they begin to develop subtracting skills. Students begin using location words to tell where something or someone is. Students use a variety of materials to create new shapes and solids that reflect images from real world. They also continue sorting objects and shapes.
After this unit, the students return to subitizing, using ordinal terms and understanding of cardinality. They continue to develop their counting skills.
The exploration of shapes and solids provide an opportunity for students to connect real world images. According to Van de Walle (2013), “Students need to freely explore how shapes fit together to form larger shapes (compose) and how larger shapes can be made of smaller shapes (decompose).”
Van de Walle, J., Karp, K., & Bay-Williams, J. (2013). Elementary and middle school mathematics: Teaching developmentally. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.