120 Club

Just another manic Monday...that song describes my day, but I am now all cozy and set to watch The Bachelor (I know bad TV, but I enjoy it).  So before I share what's going on in math in my class, I have to tell a what first graders say story.  Going to lunch today, I hear a girl telling a boy that her dog has to get a shot.  The boy asks why and the girl says that her dog got her period.  At this point my ears perk up and I am ready to intervene and change the subject.  The boys asks, what's a period?  The girl answers, "you know that dot at the end of a sentence."  The boy was satisfied and said, "oh yeah."  I was trying so hard not to laugh, it was just too cute and they didn't even realize it!

So onto math, place value to be specific.  This is such a hard concept because it is so developmental, yet it's expected so we teach it.  We have always done something the '100 Club' but with the Common Core adoption we changed it to the '120 Club'.  We use beans and sticks to build numbers to 120.  


We start as a whole group to add one bean at a time, then write the number.  Once we make it to 10 beans, we get a popsicle stick and make a 10 stick.

Once we make a ten, we place it in the 10's column on our workmat.  We continue until I feel they understand what they are doing and then I set them off on their own.  It really helps them understand numbers as 10's and 1's.


Once they make it to 99, they trade beans and sticks in for one 100 piece of paper and place in their 100's column.  


They continue this process until they reach 120, and then we celebrate!  I have a loud and obnoxious cow bell that I ring.  Each time someone reaches 120, we stop and cheer for them.  They are so proud.  Now don't think that I do this in one day.  The 120 club lasts about 2 weeks, or until every student reaches 120.  Every one becomes a 'member' of the 120 club.  At the end of each math time, we fill out a daily check-in.  This is a great way to apply what we are learning.

Their favorite part is taking their rolled papers home and unrolling them.  They are really long, depending on how high they reached.  Once they reach 120, I let them keep going.  Some of my fast students make it to 500.  

Wow, that was a long post!  If you are still reading this, enjoy your week.  If you are interested in the 120 club, click the picture below.








2 comments

  1. I love your 120 club idea. I do something similar, but I like yours better. I recently put a story on my blog about my daughter asking for birth control pills when she was in first grade. When I asked her why she told me that with Seasonique you only have to make four periods a year and her teacher wanted her to make them everyday! (Somebody watches too much TV!) I am your newest follower. You can visit my blog -although it is just getting started! readingticket.blogspot.com

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  2. We love using beans and sticks to teach place value! it's something we are still working on with my son who every now and then tells me things like "1 + 3 is 13!" LOL! But it's getting better!

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