Meet the 3rd Grade Operations and Algebraic Thinking Standards Players!

Collect them all!

I am a big fan of the common core math standards in general, but let's be honest, they are not written for students. Sometimes the language involved is confusing for teachers as well!

I have been thinking about how to make these standards more accessible to my 3rd graders, and decided to help make the standards come to life by changing the wording of each one.

I found some super cute sports-themed clipart (thank you Scrappin' Doodles!), gave each sports player a name, and worked on translating each Operations and Algebraic Thinking standard into relatable statements.

I then connected each player to a particular standard.

For example, here is the Kid's Math Talk version of 3.OA.A.1-

Now, every time my students are working with word problems or groups of objects that relate to multiplication, I introduce this poster.

We talk about Alex and what we know about Alex and what we still need to work on in order to master Alex.

Talking about a name (and having the picture as a visual) instead of an abstract string of numbers and letters (3.OA.A.1) feels more comfortable, is more kid-friendly and accessible, and is frankly easier to remember.

Along with each poster, I have created mastery tracking sheets for student and teacher accountability.

Click here to download the preview that includes a freebie!

I am going to make each of my students a binder that holds all of the mastery tracking sheets for the Operations and Algebraic Thinking Standards. This way pages can be added as the year moves forward.

At the end of each marking period this will serve as a great reflection tool and at the end of the year students will have a reliable record of learning.

This is by no means the end of the journey to make the standards truly come to life for my students. I am still relying on productive struggles and strong math discourse as well as small group instruction and real world problem solving within math workshop.

Having player names, and characters to "collect" through the school year has, however, created an added layer of interest for my students.

Check out the pack below for all 9 Operations and Algebraic Thinking Standards for 3rd grade. (And a bonus NBT Standard!)

What are your thoughts about this approach? How are you making the standards come to life in your room?