Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Formative Assessment for Combinations of 10

The school year is in full swing in my neck of the woods and we have been hard at work doing assessments, setting up groups and even getting some teaching in! 
My second graders have been looking at addition and subtraction strategies for facts to 20.  One of my top priorities for this unit is making sure kids are solid with combinations of 10 by the middle of the unit.  Without being solid with combinations of 10, some of the most efficient strategies for the facts between 10 and 20 are much more challenging for kids to develop.  We talk about the friends of 10 from the first day of the unit and incorporate games like make 10 go fish, flip and write, pyramid,  and popper cups.  My second graders are getting really good at these!  This morning, I was thinking they all seemed fluent but I wanted a quick way to check without another formal assessment. Today I was using One Big Pair of Underwear to introduce the difference model for subtraction.  Kids already had out white boards, makers and erasers.  As I was finishing up the whole group lesson and transitioning to math station and guided math groups, I had kids quickly write down as many of the friends of 10 that they could think of in 1 minute.  This let me see who was really fluent and to make sure there were not kids who were looking at other kids boards to get the answers.  For the most part, kids were very quick and the wandering eyes didn't happen until kids were done or close to it.  It was interesting to see which kids organized their equations and which kids wrote equations in a seemingly random way.  

To finish this up and give kids one more chance to practice combinations of 10, we watched this Friends of 10 song and as each combination of 10 appeared on the screen, they erased that combination on their board.  This made them really pay attention to the song and gave them one more chance to practice.  I am so pleased with the progress my second graders have made in this area and am looking forward to seeing them use this skill to develop other strategies! 

How are your students doing with fact fluency? How are you doing at finishing up those beginning of the year assessments? Please respond in the comments below or head over to my Facebook page to leave your thoughts!


  1. I really enjoyed reading this post! I am a future teacher and mathematics minor, and I found the different activities you used to solidify friends of ten to be very beneficial. I always have had a problem of how to incorporate fun activities for review and solidification of a mathematical concept, so I found that portion of your post very useful. I also agree with you when you discuss how friends of ten is an essential building block for other concepts, like friends of twenty. Without these building blocks, students will struggle later down the road with concepts like friends of twenty. Building blocks like these are what make mathematics so important, so it is important that we solidify these building blocks!

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