Classroom Routines and Ten-Minute Math Activities

Classroom Routines (K-3) and Ten-Minute Math Activities (3-5) are brief activities, designed to provide practice and review over the course of the year, that require 10-15 minutes of additional daily work, outside of math time. Some teachers do these activities at the same time every day while others vary the time, depending on the day’s schedule. Some always append the Classroom Routine/Ten-Minute Math to the day’s lesson, while others do these activities at the beginning or ending of the school day, or before or after lunch, recess, or gym. When is not critical. What is critical is that students get regular opportunities to practice and review the important content in their grade.

The Classroom Routines and Ten-Minute Math Activities are a crucial part of the practice and review that’s built into the Investigations curriculum. For example, after working with place value concepts in Unit 3, second graders practice representing numbers and determining amounts in the Classroom Routines in subsequent units. In addition, there is some content that is almost exclusively addressed through the Classroom Routines and Ten-Minute Maths (e.g. telling time).

The following videos show a Classroom Routine/Ten-Minute Math Activity in action, in each grade. As you watch, think about:

  • What math ideas are students working on?
  • How might students benefit from regular experience with an activity like this one over the course of the year?

Kindergarten: Today’s Question

Students discuss their responses to Today’s Question – “Do you have a dog as a pet?” They describe and interpret the data, which was collected on a two-column chart with the headings “Yes” and “No.” They count and compare quantities, and discuss what the data tells them about their class.

All K videos.

First Grade: Quick Images

After viewing an arrangement of squares, students draw what they see and then discuss how they visualized it.

All Gr. 1 videos.

Second Grade: How Many Pockets?

Students collect Pocket Data by taking as many cubes as they have pockets. They combine the cubes into towers of 10 to find the total number of pockets in the class.

All Gr. 2 videos.

Third Grade: How Many Hundreds?

In this variation of the Ten-Minute Math Practicing Place Value, the teacher presents a problem and asks students how many hundreds will be in the final answer and then asks them to justify their answer.

All Gr. 3 videos.

Fourth Grade: Counting Around the Class

After counting around the class by 3, this class counts around the room by 6. They pause mid-count to figure out how many people have counted so far, and to discuss students’ strategies for figuring this out.

All Gr. 4 videos.

Fifth Grade: Closest Estimate

In this variation of the Ten-Minute Math Estimation and Number Sense, the teacher presents a problem and three possible estimates. Students choose which answer is the closest estimate, and justify their answer.

All Gr. 5 videos.