Math and Movement

If you want first graders to love math, try linking math and movement. We teach math at the end of the day so my firsties are usually a little fidegty, especially at the beginning of the year. I try to embrace that movement and incorporate our hands, bodies, and voices into a lot of our lessons. I use a lot of whole brain teaching strategies so we always look like we are talking with our hands!

If you are teaching common core math standards, you understand how important it is to master addends of ten.We use the making ten strategy to help with problem solving and addition and subtraction throughout the year. We do this Adding to Ten chant every day during our Number of the Day (aka calendar) time and sometimes during math too. My firsties last year helped to come up with all of the motions to match the words. (The Addition to Ten poster is available in my store if you want to see the words).
We also practice making tally marks during Number of the Day. Each day we add a tally to our sign and then we practice making tally marks with our bodies. We stomp with one foot for the numbers 1 to 4 and then we slide on the 5th one. We slide back and forth so that we don't travel the whole way across the room by number 30! By the time we get to tally marks in our curriculum, we are pros! 

Another one of our favorite math movement games is Counting On Red Light Green Light. Here are the directions to play. It's a great math warm-up! I like the idea of telling someone they get a ticket versus making them sit down. If everyone keeps playing, everyone keeps practicing! 

I hope these ideas will help you had a little more movement and fun to your math lessons. I would love to hear how you use movement in your math lessons too! 

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