First grade students mark each tenth day of school with special math lessons prepared by “The Queen of Ten” teacher Nancy Smith. Today, the 140th day of school, students worked in small groups with number balance scales to create equations of two, three, four, and five addends to create totals of ten, a project designed and overseen by Ms. Smith and sixth grade math specialist Ms. Adams.
Groups who felt confident with experimenting worked on their own to balance the scales and record their findings. Groups needing a bit of instruction worked with the two teachers. “It is fundamental for first graders to understand the importance of ten,” said Ms. Smith. Ms. Adams added, “One of the greatest strengths of Gillispie math education is the ability of teachers to collaborate to produce challenging, differentiated, and well-organized lessons.”
Ms. Fleming observed the class while giving a tour that morning and was impressed that all the busy students were so “at-TEN-tive.”