I have included below a first grade math lesson that I taught last week (It won’t let me upload because I’m a new to the discussion board). We are focusing on computation and estimation, where we are thinking of different ways we can make numbers using addition and subtraction concepts. I would appreciate any constructive feedback or further ideas :smile:

In the first mini-lesson I added “Inquiry Do” instead of “I DO” because I really wanted the students to come up with their own thinking and go through the thinking process instead of me telling them what to do or think. I have found doing a daily “Problem of the Day” that directly relates to what we are learning works well because students are able to think on their own, discuss amongst themselves, and then share out their ideas. From there, I am able to teach new concepts (e.g., in the sample lesson I am introducing ways to organize ways to make 5 and also modeling how to do “switch-a-roos”).

For the “WE Do” component, they are working with pairs to practice making ways to make numbers by using the beans (we pretended they were bears) and placing them outside or inside of a “cave” on a sheet of paper. When I did the lesson, I had them record sets of numbers they came up with on the same sheet as the cave. In retrospect, I could have had them record their sets of numbers on a whiteboard or other sheet of paper so they would have the opportunity to organize their ideas as I had showed them in the “Inquiry Do” part.

For the “YOU Do” part, I had students write out and draw dots to show ways to make 5. I provided the blank boxes because I felt like most of them needed that scaffolding and this helped assess whether or not they could make different sets to make a number.

Also, I am finding it a challenge to find time in my 75 minute math block to implement Math Daily 3. As you can see in the sample lesson plan, I have allocated 10-15 minutes for the mini-lessons and 15 minutes for the Math Daily 3 choices. I have found that setting a timer works well and every day that I do this it gets faster and better. Does anyone have any ideas on how to better or best allocate time to do the full Math Daily 3 with mini lessons when time is limited? Does anyone else only have 75 minutes for the math block, and if so, how do you implement well the Math Daily 3 with mini-lessons?

Thanks for your help with ideas and suggestions!

Michelle in Virginia, USA

NBCT, First Grade

Math Daily 3 Lesson

Math Topic: Computation & Estimation

Enduring Understanding: Joining and separating sets results in different qualities.

Standards of Learning: 1.6 The student will create and solve one-step story and picture problems using basic addition facts with sums to 10 or less and the corresponding subtraction facts.

Objective: Students will make ways to make numbers 5-10 using short story problems or scenarios.

Measurable Objective: (WR: Exit Ticket ) Show four different ways to make 5 by making dots and numbers.

Focus Lesson

Inquiry DO


Problem of the Day 3.1: How can you put 2 groups of cows together so that there are 5 cows in all? (Taken from Investigations, Pearson Math). After you find 1 way, look for another way. Tell how you know your answers are correct.

Have students first work this out by themselves with their own thinking, and then share their thoughts orally with each other, and then have students share out to the whole class by agreeing/disagreeing with each other and explaining the different ways they came up with making 5.

Teacher then demonstrates ways to organize ideas for the ways to make 5 and the examples of making a list, table, or web to organize the different ways are modeled. The teacher also plans to model how to think about the “switch-a-roos” after the students discovered this on their own (i.e., 1 and 4 make 5; and 4 and 1 make 5).

Round of Daily 3 Math & Work with Small Groups/Individual Students

Focus Lesson



Use beans (bears) and make ways to make 6 and 7. Have students choose either 6 or 7 beans and have them place beans (bears) either in or out of the provided cave. Practice. Work in pairs. Teacher works with pairs to give teaching points and guide.

Extra Challenge: For those pairs that already know ways to make 6 and 7 by simply adding 2 sets, give them the challenge to find other numbers that make 6 or 7 by making various sets (e.g., 1 and 2 and 3 make 6; 4 and 1 and 1 make 6, etc). For even more of a challenge, have students start with thinking of a higher number and figure out how to make make 6 (e.g., start with 18 beans (bears) and figure out that you would need to make a set of 12 from the 18 to make 6).

Round of Daily 3 Math & Small Groups/Individual Conferencing

Focus Lesson



Exit ticket (Quick check/assessment): Make 4 different ways to make 5 on the provided half-sheet of paper. The paper has four empty squares on it for the students to make their four different ways to make 5. Students may show these ways with dots and numbers and may use manipulatives if needed.

Student Sharing

Take time to share and discuss what you just learned today in math and how

we might use numbers outside of school (e.g., counting sets of cans of food we might buy in the grocery store; counting sets of coins; counting animals on a farm; or counting the eggs that remain in our refrigerator at home, etc).






Thank you for sharing your sample lesson. I’m going to pass it on to the first grade teachers at my school who are still at the very beginning of initiating Math D3. I like the way you laid out your time.

Michelle Jenkins

Thank you. Great that this can be shared. I am still grappling with the time issue and have started to use a timer. Any other ideas anyone else has would be greatly appreciated!
Also, I’m still playing around with how to best work out the “I do” part. While it should be an assessment on how well they are understanding the content, should it be guided for some students (done with my help) because these students are still working on certain concepts or sometimes have difficulty doing the assignment on their own? Or perhaps I need to differentiate the “I Do” assignment?
One other thing I am trying is to have the students do the “I Do” part of the assignment and when they are finished they may choose to go to their second round of Math Daily 3. Has anyone tried this before to help with time? And this also gives time for others to finish their “I Do”?
Thanks for any ideas!
Michelle in Virginia, USA
NBCT, First Grade

Michelle Jenkins

Update! I have now been using Math Daily 3 much more frequently and have had more practice since my last post. I have found the time issue to be much better now that I’ve had time to practice with the schedule and now that I’ve taken the Math Daily 3 online webinar. The webinar helped a lot and re-ensured that what I was doing was what many others were doing too. I figured out that my time issue was that my mini-lessons were taking way too long and I was taking too much time for calendar time too. The more I continue with Math Daily 3, the more comfortable I feel. Also, I’m noticing the students like the consistency of the small groups. One little first grader keeps saying when we meet for group, “I like math now” and the other day she said, “Math is easy now”. I truly think that my working with small groups more often because of the Math Daily 3 schedule is having a very positive impact on my students and their learning and development! Additionally, with the “I DO” component, I’m keeping it quick and simple (the key word is simple!) and it’s working just great.
If you’re trying Math Daily 3 for the first time, I encourage you to keep practicing and keep trying the lesson format every day. I wasn’t sure how well it was working at first with following the format and had some time issues, but now it’s been working amazingly well. Just wanted to share this update!


Kuddos to you!! You made it work for you and your students. Sometimes we are so anxious for something we’re trying to work that we might get impatient to see results. But you put in all the effort, added new learning, shared with others–and VOILA!! You are reaping the benefits.

Michelle Jenkins

Thank you so much! It is a great feeling and now I feel more confident to share with others what I’ve learned.

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