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Exploring Numbers to 120—Concrete, Representational, and Abstract

First Grade standards indicate that students should compose numbers to 120 in “more than one way, as so many hundreds, tens, and ones.” This leads to thinking flexibly about numbers—helping students to realize that numbers can be decomposed in ways other than along traditional place value lines.

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This activity takes students through the concrete (manipulatives), representational (pictorial), and abstract (numerals and symbols) stages of learning. This sequence of instruction is commonly referred to as CRA. Use this activity at your small group table before moving it to a math workstation. For workstation accountability, students can record their work in their math journals. All you need for this workstation is the instruction card, base-10 blocks, and some number cards.

If you’d like some cute, themed number cards for your classroom, check out my Numbers to 120 sets. This Friendly Frogs set is just one of many themes! Looking for more workstation activities? Check out my Workstation Activity Cards–Print and Digital, Numbers to 120.

Grab your free workstation activity here. Enjoy!

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  1. Donna- What anonymous said is probably what a lot of us are feeling. I am a first grade teacher who loves the way we teach math now, (less worksheets-more concrete practice), but my team mate and I are struggling to find curriculum. Our year, so far, has been made up of looking at the standards and then finding ideas online or creating lessons our selves. I feel like my students are learning, but my math program is scattered. Have you seen any programs/publishers you would feel comfortable endorsing? So far we have used a combination of Bridges and Engage New York.. I so appreciate any advise you can give me.
    Julie heyjbales@sbcglobal.net

    1. I have to be honest, Julie, and tell you that I don’t have a great deal of knowledge of all the different programs that are out there. Like you, we’ve been piecing ours together for years. That’s why my bookcase is so full of books on best practices! I do know that both Bridges and Engage NY are great resources.

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