The Ultimate Guide to 1st Grade Math Intervention

When I first became a math interventionist I'll admit, I was a bit over my head! I was set to plan for six different grade levels alongside interventionists who had been doing the job for much longer than I had. I was so, so excited for my new position but moving from the classroom into an interventionist role was like stepping into a whole new world.

Previously, I had been given a full year curriculum and all of the materials I needed to teach my students- now, I was flying solo. Previously, I had been given my class list with the students I was working with already determined- now, I was tasked with setting my roster. Previously, I had taught all subject areas- now I was somehow feeling like one was an even bigger job!

It wasn't long before I had settled into my new position and was loving every single minute. Over the years as an interventionist, I found the routines, lessons, and philosophies that resonated with me and helped my students to learn, grow, and close the gap between themselves and their classmates.

The 1st Grade Math Interventionist Bundle has everything you will need to walk into your classroom feeling calm and confident. You will know you are prepared to reach and teach every single one of your 1st-grade students. Let me walk you through what is included in this incredibly comprehensive resource.

5 Day Focus Lessons 

You will find 14 units of study, each including 5 lessons focused on one very specific topic. Each unit includes:
  • A pre and post assessment
  • Five days of incredibly detailed lessons
  • Independent practice activities
  • Daily tickets out the door
These units are the heart and soul of the bundle and will anchor your year. Because there are only 14 units (listed HERE) you are able to take your time. There is nothing more frustrating than a curriculum that is jam-packed so you feel like your students are chasing the pacing guide. The exact opposite is true here. Spend a day (or two) on a lesson if you need and at the end of a unit if you have any students who need more support you can take the time and give them the help they need. Don't worry, I have plenty of important work for your other students to do!

Seasonal Math Centers

You may think that in an intervention setting the idea of math centers goes out the window. For me, that couldn't be farther from the truth! Math centers will give your students the opportunity to practice, practice, practice until these skills become second nature. Each set of seasonal centers includes centers for every single 1st-grade math standard. This means no matter what month of the year you are in, you will have the perfect math center to meet any and all skills your students need to practice. 

Fact Fluency 

Fact fluency instruction is very much embedded in the skills 1st graders are learning in math. That doesn't mean that you should neglect fluency instruction as well. You will find 40 Print & Go math fact games (20 addition and 20 subtraction). When your students are playing math games they are practicing an abundance of addition and subtraction facts in a short period of time. They are applying the skills they have learned in their lessons and refined in math centers and they are moving their facts to long term memory. 

I have also included a Fact Fluency Strategy & Assessment Guide as a bonus file. This file gives you everything you need to understand how students learn math facts and to assess your students in an efficient and effective manner. 

Word Problem Notebooks 

Word problems are embedded in every 5 Day Focus Unit. You may wish to give your students more opportunities for practice with word problems and that's where the WP Notebooks come into play.

Each themed notebook comes with 25 word problems- that is 5 of each of the problem types in the Common Core Standards. 

I recommend using these notebooks as a warm-up, for assessment, in math centers or even as homework. 

The Planning Guide

I know I promised to help you feel calm and confident and then I described a HUGE bank of resources! No worries, I have also included a planning guide. Within an hour of starting the planning guide, you will have set your full year at a glance. You will have a plan for quick and effective monthly planning and you will set yourself up for success creating weekly plans in just minutes. I am a fan of systems that work for me and this planning guide helps you to take this bundle and use the pieces to "work smarter, not harder" when it comes to your math planning. 

Right now you may be feeling like you are flying solo but that won't always be the case. If you are ready to jump into your next school year feeling calm, confident and ready for your students, head over and grab the 1st Grade Math Interventionist Bundle

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How to Prevent Teen Number Reversals With One Easy Activity

I cringe when it happens- a student brings you a piece of work they are so proud of. They have figured out a tricky story problem or have used blocks to add two numbers together. Their thinking is exactly correct. But their answer? It's written in reverse. Thirteen has turned to 31.

You want to praise the student for their work and their thinking, but that pesky teen number is sticking out like a sore thumb and you are stuck wrestling with whether or not you should say something *right now* even though it may crush their little spirit.
Don't crush her spirit... help her understand! 

I'm not being dramatic. I know you wrestle with the same. exact. problem. Your students can count teen numbers but what you need to do is to help them understand teen numbers. 

If this sounds like you, I have an easy-as-can-be teen number activity you need to try immediately! Grab a double ten frame, some fun counters, and a whiteboard and you are on your way to solving this problem once and for all!

THIS Activity Will Solve Your Problem!
Teen Number Ten Frame Activity

  1. Start by giving each student a double ten frame and ask each of your students to build a teen number such as 14 on the ten frame using counters. 
  2. Ask your students how many counters they see on the top ten frame (10) and how many they see on the bottom ten frame (4). 
  3. On the whiteboard, record what your students have built as a number bond. Do a think-aloud as you are writing telling your students "We had 10 in the top and 4 on the bottom and together that made the number 14". 
  4. Next, ask each of your students to record the same number bond on their own whiteboard. 
  5. Ask your students to state an addition equation that matches the number bond you completed together. As you are writing the total, tell your students "I had 1 ten and 4 more ones" as you write. 

And That's All I Need To Do? 

The real secret to this activity is repetition. For some of your students, one time through this activity is enough. They will see the ten, they will see "some more ones" and they are good to go! 

For other students, it will take many days. Many days before they truly notice each teen number has a group of ten and some more ones. 

One More Tip

While the activity itself is important, the way students to transition from one problem to another is so important for you to notice! Consider these different approaches to building the number 18 after number 14 and what they tell you about the students.
  1. Student #1 clears the entire board and builds 18 by counting out individual counters starting at one. 
  2. Student #2 keeps the top ten frame but clears the bottom and counts out 8 counters. 
  3. Student #3 doesn't clear their board at all and adds 4 counters to make the number 18. 
  4. Student #4 clears the bottom ten frame but doesn't appear to count as they place 8 new counters in the bottom ten frame- they "know" what 8 looks like in a ten frame. 

I Love This... But What Will I Do Next? 

This is a very concrete activity using individual counters. Your students still have room to grow! Moving forward try activities that: 
  • Use a pre-grouped model of tens and ones. 
  • Use a different representation than a double ten frame. 
  • Move from concrete materials to a representative model 
  • Move towards fluency with 10 + facts resulting in a teen number total. 

AND, the next time your student comes to you beaming, ready to show you their math work, you won't have to wrestle with yourself- you'll be jumping for joy because they understand! 

Related Resources

Teen Number TPT Unit
This 5-Day Unit has EVERYTHING you need to lead a successful unit on understanding teen numbers to a small group of students. Assessment. Daily Lessons. Independent Activities. Tickets Out The Door. EVERYTHING

Research-Based Strategies 

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