Grade 1 Overview: Paving the Way to 100
Kindergarten students briefly touch on numbers beyond 20, and then in Grade 1 they expand their knowledge much farther to 120! First, they build fluency with addition and subtraction within 10 in exercises with and without visual representations. Then they learn step-by-step how to add or subtract beyond 10, count by ten, and use numerical notation and number sequence to 120. Students explore comparing, the concept of round numbers, and addition based on number positions, which prepares them for Column Addition (the standard algorithm for addition) in Grade 2. Happy Numbers presents a wide range of visual models to help students reach these learning milestones. They complete exercises with familiar objects such as candies, then move to more abstract models such as the Number Line and Base-10 Blocks. The high-level tasks include numerical equations, in which students need to determine sums, differences, and missing elements.
In this overview, you’ll find the best pedagogy and important milestones from the Happy Numbers curriculum for Grade 1 students!
All exercises mentioned below are part of the Happy Numbers course for Grade 1. Visit HappyNumbers.com to explore our full curriculum and sign up for a free trial.
Grade 1 begins with the consolidation of knowledge obtained by students in Kindergarten. First of all, students review relationships between a number and its parts through number bonds.
Happy Numbers reviews the skills of completing number bonds and recording them as equations.
They complete number bonds based on a model of real objects…
Then complete a number bond without a model of real objects…
… and then record it as an equation.
Fluency within 10
Happy Numbers designed Module 1 of the Grade 1 curriculum so that students get an intensive course including number sequencing, building math scenarios by matching concrete objects with abstract models, and translating those scenarios to equations. The simultaneous use of representations that have a different levels of abstraction makes it possible to transition smoothly to higher math levels.
Moreover, students review addition and subtraction with numbers up to 10, which they practiced a lot in Kindergarten…
… and develop fluency through interactive tasks.
Between 10 and 20
Place value in two-digit numbers is shown using a model of Base-10 Blocks. Students grasp terms and their meaning through the clear visual example, in which blocks are used as manipulatives.
To reinforce the concept, Happy Numbers also uses the ten-frame.
Then, students learn new numbers and their sequence on the vertical Number Line.
Look how Happy Numbers explains that even if none of the addends is ten, it’s better to first make ten and then add any remaining ones. Step-by-step reduction of support helps students smoothly transfer from concrete to abstract. They practice on a visual model of Base-10 Blocks:
Then work out the same math operation on the Number Line:
And finally they solve such equations without visual support.
Students implement the same patterns for subtraction.
Numbers in Length Measurement
In Kindergarten, students became familiar with the length. Here, Happy Numbers reminds them how to determine the shortest or the longest object visually. They practice this with aligned and unaligned objects.
In topic B, Happy Numbers introduces the centimeter and explains the procedure for measuring objects on grid paper.
Finally, students compare lengths indicated by numbers.
Numbers from 20 to 40 & Place Value
Moving forward, Happy Numbers introduces numbers beyond 20. Students start with a basic exercise on counting by ten. They model a rod of ten units using Base-10 Blocks and then count to see how three rods of 10 turn into 30. Magic!
Happy Numbers explains how to build a number beyond 20 using models in which parts of a number are divided according to their place value. Students count rods of ten separately from cubes and compose the answer from tens and ones.
They do the same using the alternative representation of ten-frames:
As students did previously with two-digit numbers to 20, they now model numbers beyond 20 using Base-10 Blocks. The great thing here is not only that tangible cubes are convenient to practice on, but that there’s no limit to the number of elements students can drag into the answer space to find an answer.
Students also study the unit form of a number, which is important to grasp before working with three-digit numbers in the next grade. The goal of this task is for students to decompose a number into tens and ones. The model is used as a visual resource so a student can at least count blocks in each rod to be sure the answer is correct.
At the end of Module 4, students practice numbers they learned using a new model, the Hundred Chart. It combines advantages from both the Number Line and Base-10 Blocks, and it provides opportunities to review number sequencing and place value. Learn more in our featured video about Number Sense with the Hundred Chart.
Happy Numbers offers a game-like exercise based on the model of the Hundred Chart, in which Bunny needs to make a path to his den. Students will enjoy using their new knowledge in this engaging task!
In Module 4 of the Grade 1 curriculum, students also become familiar with the concept of a round number. Dino introduces it in this task with place value cards:
Students examine 2-digit numbers as a sum of tens and ones.
Happy Numbers builds fluency with round numbers to 100 by counting backward by 10 on a Number Line.
Dive into Comparison
Happy Numbers starts off this topic by introducing comparison symbols and applying them to a familiar scenario with birds. It’s not necessary to even count the seeds shown, as the greater amount is made bold for easy understanding.
After students grasp the concept, Happy Numbers gives them various exercises for practice. For example, in one exercise they use numerical notation, a visual model of Base-10 Blocks organized by place value, and the comparison sign all together.
Exercises using train cars introduce another take on comparison by having students build a chain of non-sequential numbers to 20 in ascending and descending order.
Addition and Subtraction from 20 to 40
Addition begins with an exercise in which students add 1 block or a rod of 10 to a visual model and then write the sum.
At the end of Module 4, students are ready to add two two-digit numbers. Happy Numbers presents these tasks with Base-10 Blocks as a visual model, so students can clearly see how it works.
Students then progress to more abstract math with Place Value Cards. Happy Numbers shows how a two-digit number can be split into tens and ones to be added separately. Also important, this topic introduces working with sums of ones above 10. This exercise gradually prepares students for the standard algorithm of Column Addition, which they will study in the next grade.
Numbers to 120
This school year ends with an expansion of work with numbers. As students are already fluent with place value of two-digit numbers to 40, they will easily learn those that are bigger than 40. Happy Numbers helps them by using familiar visual representations such as the Number Line, Base-10 Blocks, and real objects in ten-frames.
Students count tens and ones to build a two-digit number as they did previously.
Numbers change and grow, but the procedure remains unchanged, what allows students to fully master the concept.
In addition, they practice addition but only using a two-digit number and a two-digit round number. This is a little bit easier, isn’t it?
Happy Numbers gradually and logically brings students to the hundred. They learn forward and backward number sequencing on the Number Line.
In the last topic, students get a sneak peek into addition beyond 100. In these tasks, the model of Base-10 Blocks looks very similar to the Area Model students will encounter in Grade 3.
Learn the Ropes First
In Grade 2, students will study numbers up to 1000, work extensively with Place Value, and develop mental strategies for addition and subtraction. Therefore, in Grade 1 they do important preparation: practice operations with numbers up to 120, develop fluency with addition and subtraction, get to know round numbers, and compare numbers. In Happy Numbers, a lot of attention is paid to building conceptual understanding of basic math procedures, as it should become a strong foundation for students’ future education. There are plenty of interactive visual representations, which can both help to display an equation and become a flexible instrument for solving a task. Students gain the skill of working with spatial exercises, which will be very helpful when geometry starts.
Provide your class with a comprehensive and engaging math curriculum that improves academic performance and gives each student an opportunity to attain readiness! Happy Numbers gladly delivers detailed data about your class and suggests curriculum changes corresponding to the best educational practices. Stay tuned!
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