Posted by: degarcia | November 24, 2008

Mathematical Routines

Mathematic Routines are purposefully structured activities that help children develop procedural fluency, as well as reasoning and problem-solving skills, through meaningful practice. Routines are only 10- to 20-minute activities, depending on the age of the children. They are not intended to be entire math lessons and do not usually tie into the math lesson of the day. Where math lessons tend to be more exploratory, routines tend to be more practical. Instead of isolated events, such as many commercially designed programs, purposeful routines are most successful if they are done in a series, which allows the students to focus on certain mathematical ideas. Initially, the routine may take a little longer, because the goal is to establish the classroom norms in its process and discourse. Once these norms are in place, the focus shifts from the process to the content. (Degarcia, p. 221 )

Interpretation of:

  • Give access to math thinking
  • Math problems for the whole class to do

Planning Routines for the Year

Plan ahead to make sure that certain routines take place at strategic times throughout the year.

Advice: Plan routines to correspond with units and assessments / Curriculum Mapping

(Degarcia, p. 231)

Mathematical Concepts supported by routines

a. development of early

number concepts and the base 10 system

b. algebraic thinking

c. computational

fluency of whole and rational numbers

d. data and graphing

Concept/Routine Grid:

Concept ↓ Related Routines↓

Develop and support

early number concepts

and the base 10 system

(see chapters 2 and 4)

Dot cards

10 frames

Hiding activities

100 chart

Number riddles

Number of the day

Algebraic thinking

In and out boxes

Concepts of equality

Thinking relationally




Computational fluency

with whole and rational

numbers (see chapters

3, 5, and 9–12)

Number talks

Number strings

Number lines




Data and graphing (see chap. 15)

Coordinate grid activities

Interpretation of graphs

Quick surveys




**The blue routines are presented in the website bellow**

(Partially compiled from Kathy Richardson’s early number activities and routines suggested by the San Diego Unifi ed School District.) (Degarcia, p. 222, figure 8.1)

Routines Presented in the following website:

  • Number Talks
  • Number Strings
  • Number of the Day
  • Number Lines
  • In and Out Boxes
  • Concepts of Equality
  • Thinking Relationally
  • Developing Effective Strategies for Multiple Choice Tests
  • Link for the above Routines:

    Why we do Math Routines

    Morning Math Routines

    Activities for Routines websites:

    2nd Grade

    All Grades







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