As with most of our classroom materials, I introduce a new tool using the Guided Discovery method. The lesson begins with a mystery - a box wrapped in butcher paper and covered with stickers.
"What is it?" they beg to know. Inside my head I hear my teacher voice cackle with glee - they are already hooked.
"Unifix Cubes!" they declare with excitement.
"Have you ever used these before?" I ask. Hands shoot up, and I start a poster full of their creative ways to use our new tool.
We leave 15 minutes at the end of the lesson to reflect on our projects. The children use their improving presentation skills to share their projects.
After taking a gallery walk around the room, I ask the Magical Minds to quickly estimate how many cubes they think they used in their project.
Then, while they count exactly how many cubes they used, Mr. H and I roam the room, listening to their counting skills and asking them to explain how they got their estimation. We are looking to see how their number sense is. Are their guesses reasonable? Can they count what comes after 59?
The children want to know when they can do it again.