Now that everyone is back from your winter break, I am sending you a short article on ways to build reading fluency with your students as a way to say Happy New Year! Click here for a FREE copy of it:  Building Fluency Guide

Addition and Subtraction Part 1: Numerical Fluency

To be able to add and subtract, students normally pass through several phases as they build readiness for these operations with numbers.  As teachers, we know oral counting does not necessarily indicate an understanding of numbers and sets, just like reciting the alphabet doesn’t necessarily mean a child can recognize letters and sounds. Read ahead for freebies in the Part-Part-Whole section.

Numerical Fluency Continuum:  There are 7 steps to numerical fluency. If a child gets stuck on any of these steps, it may very likely halt their progress. Hopefully children move through these by the end of 2nd grade, but many students beyond that level have a breakdown which is likely because they missed one of these stages. Can you determine which of these stages your students are in?

1. One-to-one correspondence: The ability to count objects so each object counted is matched with one number word.
2. Inclusion of set: Does a child realize that the last number counted names the number of objects in the set? A child counts 5 objects.  When you ask how many, can they state “5.” If you mix them up after they just counted them, do they realize there are still 5?
3. Counting on: If a child counts 5 objects and the teacher then puts 2 more objects for the child to count, do they start all over or continue counting from 5?  5 . . . 6, 7.
4. Subitizing:Recognize an amount without physically counting (ie on dice, dot cards, fingers).
5. More Than / Less Than / Equal To:  Can a child look at two sets of objects and tell whether the second set is more, less, or equal to the first set. Can a child build a second set with one more, one less, or equal to the first set?
6. Part / Part / Whole: Compose and decompose sets by looking at the whole and the parts that make up the whole.
7. Unitizing: The child is able to move from counting by ones to count by sets / groups: fives, tens, etc.

Literacy Stations

What is the purpose of having literacy work stations in your classroom? If you answered, “To provide meaningful, engaging, rigorous, differentiated opportunities for students to learn” then you are on the right track!! Aside from the task of deciding on the literacy station procedures and routines you want for your classroom is the problem of actually providing and organizing those quality activities.

Literacy Station Activity

I know most of you regularly visit the TPT store and Pinterest for ideas.  There are a TON of great things out there. However, not everyone has a color printer or has the means to drain their bank account to pay for these items.

So, here is a resource I think you will like which is FREE, does not require a color printer, and addresses pretty much every literacy skill you need to teach and/or provide practice for (KG-5th grade). It is the Florida Center for Reading Research (www.fcrr.org). Click on this link: Student center activities which takes you directly to the K-5 reading center activities page.  The following are available — all for FREE!!

• Sections clearly labeled Phonological Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Fluency, and Comprehension — with multiple activities for each sub-skill
• One page overview for each activity (objective, materials list, and directions with illustration showing the activity in use)
• Flexibility options to use materials as a teaching tool and/or as a practice or review activity

These are some of the types of activities:

• Tons of letter and picture cards for sorting, matching, pocket charts, concentration, rhyming, word work, etc.
• Game boards
• Recording sheets – to record results of activities when appropriate
• Graphic organizers – especially for grades 3 and up. These can be used with any book.

A teacher’s guide is also available with more detailed directions, background information, and literacy station organizational ideas.

I also bookmarked this site in my Resources section (top of the blog in the black band) should you need to refer to this site often. Enjoy!!! Let us know about your favorite FCRR activity or how you are using them in your classroom! Just click on the comment speech bubble.