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Other Math Books by the Muschlas

Teaching the Common Core Math Standards with Hands-On Activities, Grades K-2

Judith A. Muschla

Gary Robert Muschla

Erin Muschla-Berry

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About This Book

The Common Core State Standards Initiative for Mathematics identifies the concepts, skills, and practices that students should understand and apply at their grade level. Mastery of these Standards at the primary level will provide students with the basic concepts and skills essential for future success in math.

Teaching the Common Core Math Standards with Hands-On Activities, Grades K–2 offers a variety of activities that support instruction of the Standards. The Table of Contents, which contains a complete list of Standards and supporting activities for these grades, is divided into three sections:

The book is designed for easy implementation. The activities build on concepts and skills that you have already taught and expand the scope of your instruction through reinforcement and enrichment. Each activity is preceded by the Domain, which is a group of related Standards, followed by the specific Standard that the activity addresses. For example, “Operations and Algebraic Thinking: 1.OA.2” refers to the Domain, which is Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Grade 1, and Standard 2. Next comes background information on the topic, the title and a brief summary of the activity, special materials needed for the activity, and any special preparation that is necessary. Icons highlight activities that include cooperative learning, geninfo, or that incorporate the use of technology, geninfo. All of the activities include specific steps for implementation, and many include reproducibles.

At least one activity supports every Standard for kindergarten through second grade. The typical activity can be completed in one class period and focuses on application of concepts or skills, demonstration of understanding, or communication about math. Students may be required to solve problems, create mathematical models, conduct investigations with manipulatives, play mathematical games, or explain their reasoning. While many of the activities are open-ended, answer keys are provided for those that require specific answers.

Because many of the activities may be developed through various methods, we encourage you to modify them in ways that best meet the needs of your students. For example, rather than presenting an activity in one session, you might decide to present it in two or three. In some activities where we suggest that students work in pairs or groups of three, you may feel that your students will gain the most from the activity by working individually. Conversely, for some activities, instead of having students work individually, you may find it more practical to have them work with a partner. For some activities that require the use of special materials, spinners for instance, you may substitute another item, such as dice. You should present each activity in a manner that meets your objectives, is appropriate for your students, and is easy for you to manage.

To enhance your instruction of the activities in this book, consider the following:

We hope that the activities in this resource prove to be both interesting and enjoyable for you and your students, and that the activities help your students master the math concepts and skills of the Standards at your grade level. We extend to you our best wishes for a successful and rewarding year.

Judith A. Muschla
Gary Robert Muschla
Erin Muschla-Berry

About the Authors

Judith A. Muschla received her BA in Mathematics from Douglass College at Rutgers University and is certified to teach K–12. She taught mathematics in South River, New Jersey, for over twenty-five years at various levels at both South River High School and South River Middle School. As a team leader at the middle school, she wrote several math curriculums, coordinated interdisciplinary units, and conducted mathematics workshops for teachers and parents. She also served as a member of the state Review Panel for New Jersey's Mathematics Core Curriculum Content Standards.

Together, Judith and Gary Muschla have coauthored several math books published by Jossey-Bass: Hands-On Math Projects with Real-Life Applications, Grades 3–5 (2009); The Math Teacher's Problem-a-Day, Grades 4–8 (2008); Hands-On Math Projects with Real-Life Applications, Grades 6–12 (1996; second edition, 2006); The Math Teacher's Book of Lists (1995; second edition, 2005); Math Games: 180 Reproducible Activities to Motivate, Excite, and Challenge Students, Grades 6–12 (2004); Algebra Teacher's Activities Kit (2003); Math Smart! Over 220 Ready-to-Use Activities to Motivate and Challenge Students, Grades 6–12 (2002); Geometry Teacher's Activities Kit (2000); and Math Starters! 5- to 10-Minute Activities to Make Kids Think, Grades 6–12 (1999).

Gary Robert Muschla received his BA and MAT from Trenton State College and taught in Spotswood, New Jersey, for more than twenty-five years at the elementary school level. He is a successful author and a member of the Authors Guild and the National Writers Association. In addition to math resources, he has written several resources for English and writing teachers, among them Writing Workshop Survival Kit (1993; second edition, 2005); The Writing Teacher's Book of Lists (1991; second edition, 2004); Ready-to-Use Reading Proficiency Lessons and Activities, 10th Grade Level (2003); Ready-to-Use Reading Proficiency Lessons and Activities, 8th Grade Level (2002); Ready-to-Use Reading Proficiency Lessons and Activities, 4th Grade Level (2002); Reading Workshop Survival Kit (1997); and English Teacher's Great Books Activities Kit (1994), all published by Jossey-Bass.

Erin Muschla-Berry received her BS and MEd from The College of New Jersey. She is certified to teach grades K–8 with Mathematics Specialization in Grades 5–8. She currently teaches math at Monroe Township Middle School in Monroe, New Jersey, and has presented workshops for math teachers for the Association of Mathematics Teachers of New Jersey. She has coauthored six books with Judith and Gary Muschla for Jossey-Bass: Teaching the Common Core Math Standards with Hands-On Activities, Grades 3–5 (2014); Math Starters, 2nd Edition: 5- to 10-Minute Activities Aligned with the Common Core Standards, Grades 6–12 (2013); Teaching the Common Core Math Standards with Hands-On Activities, Grades 6–8 (2012); The Algebra Teacher's Guide to Reteaching Essential Concepts and Skills (2011); The Elementary Teacher's Book of Lists (2010); and Math Teacher's Survival Guide, Grades 5–12 (2010).


We thank Jeff Corey Gorman, EdD, assistant superintendent of Monroe Township Public Schools, Chari Chanley, EdS, principal of Monroe Township Middle School, James Higgins, vice principal of Monroe Township Middle School, and Scott Sidler, vice principal of Monroe Township Middle School, for their support.

We also thank Kate Bradford, our editor at Jossey-Bass, for her guidance and suggestions on yet another book.

Special thanks to Diane Turso, our proofreader, for helping to finalize this book.

We appreciate the support of our many colleagues who, over the years, have encouraged us in our work.

And, of course, we wish to acknowledge the many students we have had the satisfaction of teaching.