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How Many Am I Hiding: Introduction to Algebraic Thinking

November 11, 2020 | Becca Brasser

For the next few weeks, the first grade students will be exploring the concepts of combinations and missing addends in math.

Several math games are introduced in the course of this investigation to help students practice these concepts.

Students can play these games with an adult, an in-person classmate, a friend on Zoom, or independently.

Ask your child about: 

Counters in a Cup

How Many Am I Hiding?

Peas and Carrots 

In our math sessions, students engage in math problems and activities and discuss the underlying concepts. They are asked to share their reasoning and solutions. It is important that children solve math problems accurately in ways that make sense to them. At home, encourage your child to explain his or her math thinking to you!

Here are the directions to “How Many Am I Hiding?”, the game pictured here:

Put 5–12 small objects in your hand. Give your child a chance to determine how many you have. Then hide some in your other hand and show your child what is left. Now ask, “How many am I hiding?” Encourage your child to explain his or her thinking. After playing a few rounds with the same number, you can change the total number and start again.

Becca Brasser

Teacher, Grade 1

Becca Brasser has been teaching first grade at Mustard Seed School since 2002. She’s passionate about teaching children to read, write, experiment, and take risks as they explore the world around them. Her own studies (including a Master of Arts degree from New Jersey City University) have given her expertise and experience in the area of literacy education.

Ms. Brasser especially enjoys taking her students on field trips all over the New York Metropolitan area, traveling on foot, subway, bus, commuter train, and ferry. Some favorite trips: the Hudson Hike, the New York Transit Museum, and the Central Park Zoo to study penguins.

Although she lives in the city, Ms. Brasser loves escaping to nature and finding it in her everyday life as well. She loves to explore rivers and lakes, woods and mountains with her husband Matt, their daughter, Annika, and son, Theo.

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