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What it is: Plus Happy Numbers is a free kindergarten through second-grade site with monthly math challenges. Teachers can sign up for a free classroom account and assign the monthly math challenge for students to solve. The challenges are designed to tap into higher-order thinking skills and build problem solving cognitive skills like visual spatial thinking. Students each receive their own login so that individual progress can be tracked and reported back to you. Plus Happy Numbers is designed to be used on any device that you have in your classroom including iPad and Mac (via Safari), Chromebook, PC and Andriod (via Google Chrome). Each lesson comes with audio support for early or struggling readers. Students simply click on the speaker icon for audio directions.
How to integrate Plus Happy Numbers into your classroom: Plus Happy Numbers makes for an excellent math center activity for your students. Each lesson comes with visual modeling of a concept, on-screen manipulatives, immediate feedback and remediation of errors, and adaptive scoring that provides just the right amount of practice a student needs to master a concept. Plus Happy Numbers is a great place for students to build mathematical thinking indpendently while you work with smaller groups of students or one-on-one.
I appreciate that Plus Happy Numbers goes beyond computational understanding and seeks to create students who think, and approach, problems like a mathematician by building number flexibility, problem solving, and higher-order thinking. Plus Happy Numbers can be used as a supplement in any k-2 classroom. Each month, a new Challenge of the Month is designed to stretch students’ mathematical thinking and problem solving skills. As students successfully progress through a challenge, the difficulty of the problems increases. Student progress is saved so they can pick up right where they left off. At the end of the month, you can print out a certificate of completion.
Obviously a 1:1 environment is ideal, each student can work on these challenges simultaneously. If 1:1 isn’t your reality, fear not! The individual student login means that you can bookmark plus.happynumbers.com on classroom devices so that your students can login to their account. In this scenario, use Plus Happy Numbers as a math center rotation in your classroom. The challenges are broken down so that students can complete a challenge in as little as 2-8 minutes. If you have a projector-connected computer or interactive whiteboard, you could also complete challenges as a class, discussing each challenge as your students progress through and giving students turns to solve at the board.
Tips: If you already have a Happy Numbers account, you are already on your way to using Plus! Just use the same login information and you are ready to start assigning challenges.
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