CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.A.1 Count to 120, starting at any number less than 120. In this range, read and write numerals and represent a number of objects with a written numeral.
Math trick for first graders: Children to show how smart they are with this trick, to parents and older siblings, as they will “win.” This is a free printable that has children circle numerals in order from 1 to 120 and there is a way to do this quickly and in order. The printable has four pages of options, explained on page 2. So using any one of the pages, children learn the secret of looking for one number in each quadrant at a time, going in order, and in a clock wise circle. The video below shows one person working quickly (reaching 44) while the other gets to a lower number. One knows the trick, but the other doesn’t! This can be fun for students of all ages, or even at a party.This video helps teach the trick with one child knowing the trick before the other one knows it. It is so interesting the boy figured out that it was counting by 4’s and not a more simple method of going in a circle. The young girl knows what quadrants are!
And here is a quick demonstration YouTube video.
I present this as a challenge and there is always someone who tries to just circle the numerals, not going in order. Not allowed! I circle numbers myself and say things like, “I’m on 25 what number are you on?” The children might be on 6 or 7. They will complain and say it isn’t fair (favorite first grade saying). Then I ask if they want to learn the trick so they can try it on other people. Of course, yes! We fold the paper in fourths, but the first fold is tricky (the hot dog fold) as it can only go up to the words as they aren’t part of the quadrant. The second fold is just in half, not tricky. Later, the children learn just to visualize the divisions.
Start with 1 to 100 as shown in the video as it is fairly obvious and the children will be successful. Then try the 1 to 120 page, which again is obvious. Pages 3 and 4 have numbers in a somewhat random fashion, so those are harder. The children will want more copies of everything so tell them one thing they can do is use a different colored pencil each time and reuse paper. They can play blue or red games, for instance. A real challenge is to play any of the pages backwards.
Organizing thinking in math is important for children to learn and this really makes a point! Ask the children what they notice about the numbers in each quadrant as their are some good observations they can make.
Carolyn Wilhelm is the author of The Wise Owl Factory site and blog. She has an MS in Gifted Education, an MA in Curriculum and Instruction K-12, and has completed the KHT Montessori 12 month program. She makes mostly free resources for teachers and parents. Her children's books are available on Amazon. She was a public school teacher for 28 years, three of those in a desegregation school, five in schools with the Minneapolis Choice is Yours program as a Wayzata teacher. She has been trained in numerous areas such as CGI Math, the National Urban Alliance, reading strategies, writing workshop, and others listed on her about page.