# Home-school: Morning Meeting

Starting off our home-school day with a morning meeting is the best way to get everyone organized and informed about my expectations for the day’s learning. I have three children in three different grades–one first grader, one third grader and one sixth grader. Each of them will need my undivided attention to address skills and questions at some point during our learning time so it is very important to give a list of assignments to each child and explain my expectations for independent work. After assignments are given, my sixth grader sets off to work on her independent work while I do a calendar and math routine with my other two children.

When I work through our morning calendar and math routine I do a weather chart, a daily math chart, hundreds board, and a calendar. I think you probably already know how to do a weather chart and the calendar so I will focus on our daily math chart and hundreds board activities.

The Daily Calendar Math uses this laminated worksheet ==>Download and print it here. Using the date for the day we direct our focus on the day of school. There are 180+ days of school so eventually we will practice the hundreds place value.

First we use our base ten blocks (find them here) to symbolically represent the number. For example if it is the 15th day of school I would ask the children to find one ten block and five ones blocks. Then we write a ‘1’ on the line below the ten block picture and a ‘5’ on the line below the ones block picture on the Daily Calendar Math chart. Representing numbers this way really helps when addition and subtraction get more complicated with multiple digit numbers.

Moving through the Daily Calendar Math chart we then focus on creating tally marks for the number. If the number is 15 we would find that 15 equals 3 groups of 5. Multiplication skills of grouping and remainders are practiced here.

Next we take a look at odd or evens. For younger children it is important to teach them how to determine an odd or even number by looking at the number in the ones place and practicing which of those numbers represent odd or even. For older children the classification is key here. Again drawing conclusions about numbers and making sense of them are a primary keys to advanced problem solving.

Writing the number word is next. You would be surprised on how many adults struggle with writing the words for numbers. Also, tying math to language is important for whole brain learning. Which ties nicely into our next part of the Calendar Math Chart–>’Yesterday was’, ‘Tomorrow Will Be.’ We simply write the day of the week here. If today is Monday then yesterday was Sunday and tomorrow will be Tuesday. But I can see this also as a spot to record the entire date like Monday, September 14, 2013 for the ‘yesterday was’ section of the chart and Wednesday, September 16, 2013 for the ‘tomorrow will be’. (By the way I know these are not accurate dates for the 2013 calendar.)

Finally the last portion of the chart is the money representation of the day of school. My children come up with at least one way to make the amount for the day of school. So if today is the 15th day of school, five pennies and one dime would be one way to make 15cents. But we always challenge ourselves with finding other ways to make the amount. I also use real money to tie concrete materials to the abstract concept of what each coin is worth.

Next we move on to the hundreds board. You can find one here==>Hundreds Chart. Why use a hundreds chart every day? Mental math happens everyday in life and if children can visualize the hundreds chart and how to interact with the numbers from 1-100 quickly their mental math skill improve drastically. I have the write and wipe chart so I have written ‘odd’ with a green marker above all of the columns that contain odd numbers and in red marker I have written ‘even’ above the even number columns. We count off the days of school by crossing off days passed and circling the current day in yellow marker. (I use a light color so we can still see and interact with the numbers for other exercises.) After we determine the day of the school year on the chart we interact with that number. Let’s say our number is 15. Some questions may be: What is 15 plus 5? minus 5? plus 10? minus 10? What is 15 plus 15? How many groups of 5 are in 15? in 30? After questioning about the number of the day is complete I move onto one or two mystery number questions.

Here’s an example of a mystery number question set:
The mystery number is less than 16.
The mystery number is more than 12.
The mystery number is even.
What is the mystery number?

My children use the hundreds board to help solve the problem. Questions become more complicated as the year moves on and my children are more familiar with how the game works. And sometimes I pull my 6th grader into the game so she can get some mental math practice too! Here’s a link to a book on Amazon with 100’s Chart Activities==> It Makes Sense! Using the Hundreds Chart to Build Number Sense, Grades K-2

I have used the Daily Calendar Math and the Hundreds Board with my children for a few years now. (AND I used it as a public school teacher for many years before I had kids.) I have noticed their mental math skills are very speedy. (Sometimes they come up with the answer to a mental math question and they don’t even realize how they got it.) I hope that you will try doing a daily calendar math routine with your children too.