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# TCNJ Lesson Plan

## Growing Train Math

Student Name: Danielle Hutchinson

## Guiding and/or Essential Questions:

How can we concretely and symbolically model addition through a game?
How can we use objects to represent numbers?
Pre-lesson Assignments and/or Student Prior Knowledge
The students prior knowledge consists of knowing how to count numbers 0-100. They
also understand basic addition concepts, including the meaning of the + and = symbols.
Some advanced students may have a knowledge of mental math addition, while other students
may be struggling with the practice. This will be assessed as the teacher asks what they
Standards:
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.B.5
Count to answer "how many?" questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a
rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a
number from 1-20, count out that many objects.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.OA.A.1
Represent addition with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings1, sounds (e.g., claps), acting
out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.OA.A.5

## Learning Objectives and Assessments:

Learning Objectives

Assessment

## The students will accurately model addition by

placing connecting cubes on a numbered
rectangular array.

## Students will place the appropriate amount of

connecting cubes on the Growing Train game
board. Teacher will assess for the correct
amount of cubes based on the number rolled.

## The students will orally describe addition

sentences by accurately articulating the events
of each turn in the Growing Train game.

## Students will state what has occurred after each

turn of the Growing Train game in the
cars. Now I have __ cars. Teacher will assess
for accurate descriptions based on the number
rolled.

## The students will write addition sentences by

accurately referring to the connecting cubes on
the Growing Train game.

## Students will write number sentences on white

boards according to what has occurred after
each turn of the Growing Train game.
Teacher will assess for correct use of the +
and = symbols and correct number positions.

Materials/Resources:
Growing Train game board, specifically a numbered rectangular array. One per student.
Modified dice, each side labeled +1, +2, or +3. One per student partnership.
Connecting cubes. At least 20 per student partnership.
Handheld white boards and markers. One per student.

## Plan for set-up/distribution/cleanup of materials:

No materials will be placed before students until they understand the directions and expectations
for the game. Then, each partnership will be handed the Growing Train game board, one die,
and at least twenty connecting cubes. When they are ready, students will be given the white
boards and markers.
Lesson Procedure:
1. Lesson beginning:
The class will be divided into three groups for the usual center routine. Each group consists of 67 students divided by ability. This lesson will be administered three times during the allotted
time, as other groups complete Fundations activities or independent work.

The lesson will begin once each student partnership is seated on the rug. The teacher will ask the
the addition symbol represents the action of putting together, joining, or adding to. The teacher
will write this and other student responses on a handheld white board. A verbal story and
demonstration of the Growing Train will follow.
2. The teacher use the connecting cubes as a model while reciting a verbal story, as follows: This
is my train named Thomas! He is making a trip to New York, but is too small to fit all of the
people that want a ride! What will we do? The numbers on this dice here have addition symbols,
I wonder if they can help him grow! At this point, the teacher will introduce the assembled
Growing Train game board.
3. The teacher will place the cube dubbed Thomas on the first blank square of the Growing
Train game board. The teacher will then model rolling the die and adding the indicated number
of connecting cubes to the blank squares on the board. The teacher will point to each cube on the
board and ask the children to count along. The teacher will state: I had one train car. I added __
train cars. Now I have __ train cars! The teacher will ask the children to repeat this phrase. The
teacher will play one more round of the game as a demonstration.
4. The teacher will state, I have ___ train cars, but I think Thomas needs a lot more cars to carry
everyone who wants a ride. We are going to play a game with our partners to see who can reach
20 or more cars first! At this point, the teacher will pass out the game boards, dice, and
connecting cubes to each partnership.
5. The following instructions will be given to students: Take turns rolling your dice. After you add
the dice to your own board, remember to describe it: I had one train car. I added __ train cars.
Now I have __ train cars! When one partner reaches 20 cars, or goes beyond, then you win!
Remember to be good sports, good mathematicians, and most importantly, good friends!
6. Students will play the game in their partnerships. Teacher will observe, assist, and model as
needed.
7. As the group or partnerships show they are ready, each student will be given a handheld white
board. The teacher will model how to record a turn of the game by writing the number sentence.
The teacher will restate the meaning of the + and = symbols. The teacher will ask the
following questions:
What does the first number show? (The number of cubes at the
beginning of the turn.)
Why did I write + __? What does it mean? (The student rolled
___, so they added ___ cubes.)

Why did I write =__? What does it mean? (After the student

___ cars, you had ___ cars. The first number and the second

number
is the same as, or equal to, ___.)
8. The pairs will continue playing the game, but will be encouraged to write each turn on their
9.

i.
ii.

board.
Lesson ending:
Long closure:
Students will be asked to return their game boards, white boards, cubes, and dice to the teacher.
Teacher will use one partnerships number sentence as a model. A discussion will take place in

which the teacher will review what each part of the number sentence means.
iii. The teacher may connect back to the verbal story, explaining how Thomas is now long enough
to carry everyone who wants to ride.
Short closure:
i. Students will be asked to return their game boards, white boards, cubes, and dice to the teacher.
ii. Teacher will use one partnerships number sentence as a model. The teacher will review what
each part of the number sentence means.
Key Questions:

## What does the first number show?

Why do we write + __? What does it mean?
Why do we write =__? What does it mean?
Why do you think its important to place the connecting cubes above the numbers on our game
board?

Logistics:
Timing:
The lesson will last approximately fifteen minutes. 3 minutes will be allotted for the
introduction and directions. 5 minutes will be allotted for playing the game while orally stating
what has occurred during each turn. 5 minutes will be allotted for playing the game while writing
the number sentence on the white board. The two versions of the game will be modified
depending on student readiness. Remaining time will be dedicated for the concluding discussion.
Transitions:
The first group will be told to remain on the rug for the math activity. When it is time to
switch stations, each group will line up on the red or blue lines. The children will rotate
stations according to Ms. Bradshaws cues. To transition from the introduction to the playing of
the game, materials will be passed out. To transition from the game to the conclusion, students
will return the materials.
Classroom Management:

Materials will be given to the students only when they understand the directions and are
showing respect. The teacher will be sure to make my expectations explicit and clear from the
beginning of the lesson. The teacher will remind them to continue showing respect to their peers,
to the materials, and to me for the remainder of the lesson. Students will be warned that they will
be dismissed to Ms. Bradshaw if they misbehave. In order to call student attention, the phrase,
hands on top, that means stop will be used.
Differentiation
The groups participating in the rotation are not leveled. Rather, each group includes
students of mixed abilities. Students who struggle to play the game to 20 may play with just the
1-10 game board and use only the +1 and +2 portions of the dice. These students might
include S and C, as they have had difficulty with math activities in the past. Students who are
advanced, such as S and M, may be given the white boards to record their turns from the start of
the game. Most other students are of grade level math ability and therefore should be able to
proceed simply with teacher support when needed. Student partnerships will be asked to help
each other when needed.