Students learning to add and subtract 2-digit numbers must rely on a solid foundation of place value understanding. Few resources emphasize place value as well as the hundred chart. It allows for more advanced 2-digit operations, which can become cumbersome with manipulatives such as base-10 blocks. Adding this tool to your shed will give you one more way to reach learners in your class — we’ll show you how…

Continue reading

Research shows that using multiple representations of an idea is a powerful approach to promote deeper mathematical thinking and conceptual understanding for your students. We recently blogged about the teaching potential of base-10 blocks and of the number line. Now, we would like to share with you the power of the hundred chart and how you can use it to create meaning with your students…

Continue reading

In an effort to meet our goals of building conceptual understanding, we at Happy Numbers look for ways to provide students with multiple representations of mathematical ideas. One often-overlooked representation of equations is the pan balance. Like other tools we’ve written about in our blog – real objects, base-10 blocks, number line – the pan balance is a great concrete visual that helps primary students “see behind the veil” of complex math problems.
Wondering how? Then keep reading!

Continue reading

Ring in the New Year with a fresh twist on some tried-and-true math skills. We’re wishing you a Happy 2015 with this FREE set of engaging winter-themed math puzzles.

Put these 15 pages to work as:

– A guided or independent center activity
– A challenge for students who finish work early
– A quick filler for those in-between times

Stretch your students’ ability with some think-outside-the-box challenges! To encourage critical thinking, we’ve dusted off some geometry and number sense skills that are fun to explore no matter what unit you’re teaching…

Get My Copy!

This holiday season, we’d like to thank you for the important work you do teaching children. As our gift to you, please enjoy a FREE download of fun holiday-themed math puzzles.

This 15-page set is great for:

– An independent center (freeing you up to craft, set up, or clean up!)
– A meaningful filler activity (when that holiday concert ends earlier than expected!)
– A take-home activity during winter recess (to keep students and parents sharp!)

All this with very little preparation or instruction – just print and go! Our engaging puzzles encourage critical thinking and strengthen basic math skills – from recognizing patterns to representing numbers to performing operations…

Get My Copy!

A common misconception about math, held by children and adults alike, is that it’s about knowing formulas, methods, and procedures. Indeed, these aspects of math are important, but what’s much more important – even essential – is an understanding of the meaning behind those formulas, methods, and procedures. Regrouping and exchanging in two-digit addition and subtraction is one such procedure that is often used without understanding the underlying concepts. At Happy Numbers, we aim to resolve this misconception by designing activities that are visual, concrete, and coherent. Here, we would like to share with you some ideas we use to approach this challenging topic…

Continue reading

According to the Grade 1 Common Core State Standards, math instruction should focus on four critical areas, one of which is developing understanding of whole number relationships and place value, including grouping in tens and ones. Getting there doesn’t happen by accident: it starts with building a solid understanding of 2-digit numbers (which is the 1.NBT.B cluster) together with the ability to use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract (1.NBT.C cluster). It’s an extremely important goal (and not the easiest one) as fluency with multi-digit numbers will build upon this knowledge.

Some time ago, we released our Numeration 21-100 topic, which is aligned with goals of the 1.NBT.B cluster. It is a sequence of 22 exercises covering how 2-digit numbers are composed, how to compare them, place value, and round numbers. These skills prepare students to successfully begin adding and subtracting 2-digit numbers, which is what our latest topic, Plus & Minus 1-100 (part 1) designed for.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the sequence of 16 exercises that comprise Plus & Minus 1-100 (part 1) to give you an in-depth view of the learning behind it…

Continue reading