If you aren’t using small groups in your classroom, you are missing out on some prime teaching moments! Practically all lessons can be adapted to fit in a small group setting, and teaching the multiples of ten is no different. There are certain strategies, practices, and games you can use to make your small group time fun and effective!
Teaching in Small Groups
In my classroom, we only have limited time for each small group. I like to break it up and work with different students for around 20 minutes each time we meet! This also helps me work closely with students and learn where they might be individually struggling with a subject.
In my blog post about 15 simple and powerful small group strategies for addition and subtraction, I share some of my favorite ways to use small group time for math! These strategies are perfect for a range of addition and subtraction subjects, and they work for adding multiples of ten as well!
I like to follow the same pattern for each of my small groups, although the amount of differentiated help may differ depending on the students. Typically, the first thing I like to do some review problems before jumping into a new concept. Next, I model some problems for the students. Then, they practice along with me before moving into individual practice while I watch the group.
How To Teach Multiples of Ten
Small groups are all about going beyond what you discuss in class. You could introduce the topic in different ways to the whole class and then work with your students in small groups for extra practice and to go into more detail about the subject.
You could introduce adding multiples of ten in many fun ways. For example, this song from Numberrock has a catchy tune and shows how students can count by tens up to 100 and then back down to 0. You could show studens how to do this on a number line, with a hundreds chart or using base-ten blocks.
Or, you could use a book like One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab. This fun story starts by counting 1-10 like normal and then introduces skip counting by counting by 10s up to 100. Not only does this teach multiples of a number, but it also provides a nice way to introduce the topic using students’ previous knowledge of counting!
Classroom games that teach multiples of ten
Additionally, there are many fun ways to teach this concept with classroom games!
First, you could get a large piece of butcher paper and draw a number chart on it. Students could then toss a small object (like a bean bag, counting cube, eraser, etc.). Next, they would have to put their skills to use and call out ten more than the number they landed on.
Another fun way to teach multiples of ten is to divide your class into two teams. First, each team would line up at the board. Next, the teacher would put a multiple of ten on the board in front of each team. Then, the teacher would call out something like, “add 20 to your number” or “subtract 30 from your number.” The person at the front of the line would have to erase the number and write the answer. The first team to write the correct answer gets a point! Finally, that answer would stay on the board (and if a team didn’t get the right answer, they should correct it) and the person goes to the back of the line so the next two students can go!
Making Small Groups Fun
When it’s time to move to small groups, you want to make sure that the content is engaging and fun! This is the time for students to practice what they are learning with additional help and guidance from you… but that doesn’t mean that you simply have to give them a math problem to answer over and over again on their personal whiteboards!
First, a good review or warm-up for multiples of ten is reminding students about place value of a 1-digit number and a 2-digit number. Since adding multiples of ten means they will be working mostly with the tens place and not the ones place, this is a good reminder of how it works!
Then, as you start to practice this new concept with your small group, make it fun by playing some games! The five games and activities in my Adding Multiples of Ten bundle are perfect for both individual practice and small groups. There are plenty of ways students can practice this, including bingo, tic tac toe, solving riddles, worksheets, and more!
The best part about using fun activities in small groups is that you can differentiate them for each group depending on their levels of understanding! Groups that need more practice with multiples of ten can do more group-focused practice and play games together with more visual support, while students who have a higher level of understanding can work on the Robot Escape games while you are there to assist when needed.
Focusing on Students’ Needs is the Goal!
The best part about using small groups is the focused attention students get. It is hard as a teacher to get to every student each day, so small groups allow you to meet with a few at a time and really get to know how each student is doing! Teaching the multiples of ten can be made easy through small group practice, especially because this concept builds on many other concepts students have already worked on!
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