New York State has a Lottery game called Daily Numbers. Jane Lytle, a third grade teacher in Syracuse, decided to use a lottery theme in her morning “bell-ringer” activity. The owner of a local store provided a Daily Numbers sign to hang above the chart on which she posted the Daily Numbers math exercise. Miss Lytle uses Daily Numbers to reinforce the math skills students are learning throughout the year.
As soon as students arrive in class, they get out their Response Whiteboards and pads of scratch paper. Then they get started on the ten math exercises that are posted on the Daily Numbers chart. They use the scratch paper to perform math calculations and they write the answers on their Whiteboards.
The ten problems that Miss Lytle posts always include a variety of skills. For example, she might post at least one addition problem that involves carrying (renaming) and one subtraction problem that involves borrowing. At least twice a week, she asks students to do problems that relate to other skills she is teaching. For example:
- Determine the cash value of several coins pictured in the assignment.
- Write in digital format (XX:XX) the time shown on the pictured clock face.
- Draw a line depicting a specific measurement, such as 2 1/2 inches or 12 centimeters.
Daily Numbers can generally be completed in ten minutes after which each problem is quickly reviewed. Miss Lytle asks one student to solve each problem. When the student finishes, everyone who has the same answer raises their Whiteboards.
Once every two weeks, Miss Lytle has students do their Daily Numbers work on paper for a grade. Because Daily Numbers is review work, she expects each student to solve eight of the ten problems. Students who are not succeeding at this level are candidates for extra help.
“Daily Numbers offers great dividends when state testing time comes around,” says Lytle. “Thanks to Daily Numbers, the math tasks that students find on the test are fresh in their minds.”
What a great way to reinforce math skills!