Sunday, May 8, 2016

Hidden Gems: A Fair Bear Share

I found this month's hidden gem in a little book called "A Fair Bear Share" by Stuart Murphy. Murphy weaves counting beyond ten, adding groups of ten, adding 2-digit numbers using place value, and making new groups of ten, all while telling a cute story that also teaches the value of working hard.

Mama Bear is known for her Blue Ribbon Blueberry pie, and her four cubs LOVE it! Mama promises to make the bears her famous pie if they work together to gather the needed ingredients. If they can get enough nuts, berries, and seeds, each will get their fair bear share! To teach a lesson to young readers, Murphy tells of a slacking off little bear not doing her share, which of course results in Mama not having enough ingredients to make the pie.

After a day of gathering ingredients, the cubs must count them up. They quickly find that pilling their hoards together and counting groups of ten is the fastest and simplest way to find the totals. They add up their groups and count by tens, then add up the remaining piles, to come to totals such as 37 and 28.

When the youngest cub realizes she must do her part for all to enjoy Mama's famous Blue Ribbon Blueberry Pie, she gets to work, and collects enough of each ingredient. BUT, the cubs must add her collection to theirs, and thus we find a new strategy of adding, making new tens!

Since I have several first and second graders who are working on these skills right now, it was a fantastic find to come across this little gem of a math mentor text! It even inspired me to create a follow up activity for my students. I decided I'd share a sample of it with you for free, the complete set is in my store now (and 50% off for the first 10 buyers)!

Click HERE to grab: A Fair Bear Share Math Center Free Sample

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