How can you help your primary students make the leap from working with small numbers to becoming fluent with larger ones? One way they can start thinking in larger ‘chunks’ is by counting by tens. More than just an oral exercise, counting by tens is an essential skill that builds number sense, encourages thinking about number structures, and economizes counting and operations. Students with a strong conceptual understanding of round numbers, a ‘ten’, and ‘the tens place’ are better prepared to work with two-digit numbers and beyond. In this post, we will share the ideas behind our exercises in the topic Counting by Tens and some additional tips on reinforcing counting skills using Unifix cubes…

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We’re so glad you are enjoying our website and we’re excited to bring you a new topic to share with your students! Today, Happy Numbers released our newest topic, Numeration 21-100, to help bring young learners to the next level of mastery in numeracy. The 22 interactive exercises build on previous topics to address several important skills…

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Since we released an early version of Happy Numbers, we’ve received lots of input from you, our beloved users, on how we can make it better. Your comments, requests, and feedback are an important part of our development process and we are very thankful to you for that. Among the things you asked for, “a possibility differentiating based on ability groups” is for sure at the top of the list. Today we added this functionality to Happy Numbers…

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While cubes and other manipulatives support learning by representing numbers, the number line actually develops learning by giving students another look at number relationships. Your primary students may find using a number line more challenging for some concepts. However, it’s important to stick with it as number lines provide learning opportunities for later skills that can’t be replicated with cubes, such as negative numbers, decimals, rounding and graphing.

That’s why at Happy Numbers we include the number line early and often throughout our exercises. In this post, we’ll share some of these activities that you can use with your class at different stages of learning…

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As your K-1 students move into addition through 10, they will need to relate the concrete to the abstract to transition smoothly. Using base-10 blocks to represent equations is a great way to provide the conceptual understanding of those equations and the strategies for solving them. In alignment with CCSS goals, it builds a much deeper knowledge of addition than just memorizing facts. Assuming your students understand the basics of place value, here are several strategies for teaching addition through 10 with base-10 blocks…

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Even if your primary students are at the point of knowing number names far beyond 10, this doesn’t guarantee that they can think about and manipulate larger numbers properly, as their knowledge may represent linguistic skills more so than math skills. Early understanding of place value is an important milestone for your students as they advance in numeration and operations. Here are some activities to help your students to move toward this milestone …

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Although your primary students may be just learning to add and subtract small numbers, they can begin to develop algebraic thinking with this fun exercise. We’ve combined simple, familiar equations with helpful graphics to make algebra accessible to even the youngest mathematicians. These challenging but grade-appropriate tasks are a great way to encourage higher-order thinking while bringing depth and rigor to fundamental math skills …

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