Whew!  I'm finally feeling like we're getting into the routine of second grade.  It has taken me a bit to find out what really works for my kiddos this year, and math has been no exception.  My class this year is pretty active - but very hard working and is enthusiastic about EVERYTHING.  They also seem to go with the flow pretty well, so I've tried switching things up every now and then to see how things go.  I think I've finally hit on how my math time will run this year so I thought I'd share it with you.


 I am lucky enough to have a full hour for my math instruction - and then another half hour after that as a math intervention time.  (I'll tell you more about that later!)  Let's take a closer look at each part.

I do A LOT of math during my morning calendar time (on the Smartboard).  But I always want to make sure we are reviewing everything and touching on things to come.  I've been using two things each day for our warm-up

I put the daily Number Cruncher problem on the board (smartboard) as my kiddos are transitioning from snack to start math.  This gives everyone something to do while everyone gets settled.  They know their job is to talk with their math buddy (assigned by me and stays the same for a few weeks) about the problem and HOW you knew the answer.  We briefly talk about it once we're all set and then move on to the Daily Math. 

Again, I've found it easiest to project it onto our smartboard and work through the problems together.  We move fast so all my kiddos stay involved.  We've only done a couple weeks of them, but I'm seeing lots of engagement and great progress so far!

Next comes the mini-lesson.  This is the skill or concept we are focusing on for the day.  I do a combination of Smartboard activities, manipulatives, partner work, etc.... whatever works to get the point across!  My objective is to keep this short and engaging - I know I'll be able to follow up with everyone in the next part of math and provide any support or enrichment needed.
I'll share what we did this week to review doubles facts.  (We are working on addition strategies so we can "see it and say it", rather than count all the time!)  I started by asking what doubles were, what the word meant and we listed the facts on the board.  We had a quick discussion about what we noticed - counting by 2's, even sums, etc.  This was really a review from last year, so I didn't send much time with the introduction.  In the past I have used this book to kick start our discussion.
What I really wanted to was to have them add their doubles facts to the math notebooks for future reference ("future" meaning tomorrow when we did near doubles :-)  I love using interactive notebooks and I have to say, we are getting pretty fast at cutting and gluing!
These come from Ashley at Lucky Little Learners.  I also use these created by Blair Turner.
Ok, after the mini-lesson, it's time for my favorite part!
I think I like his part the best because my kiddos get to apply and work with what we've been learning - and I get to see how it goes!  Sometimes I have a partner game to do, sometimes it's independent (task cards, maybe a sheet to do...) and sometimes we do small groups (well, maybe not SMALL groups, since it's just my IA and myself so there are 10 kids in each group - but it's better than a group of 20!)  Sometimes my IA or I will pull a small group during this time to enrich or support, while the other person monitors the activity.  It all just depends on what we've noticed during the whole group part. 
When we did doubles, I created a quick doubles race game for some practice.  I paired students up and each got a 10-sided dice, game board (in a sheet protector) and dry erase marker.  They took turns rolling the die, saying the doubles fact and then putting an X on the graph to show the sum.  The idea was to see which sum won by reaching the top first. 

Simple? Ridiculously so.  Did they like it?  They still ask to play it in the morning for morning work - and we know our doubles pretty well now!
You can download the game by clicking on the image.  I also included a gameboard with just 2-12, if you want to use a 6-sided dice.  I copied the boards back to back and had some of my kiddos start on the 12 board and then work up to the one up to 18. (There are 2 other activities, too - one for near doubles and one for making 10.  Enjoy!)
Finally, we spend a few minutes reflecting on what we've learned.  This week we've begun adding strategies to our anchor chart each day, then working together to explain HOW each strategy works and helps.  I've found my kiddos are not yet ready to explain their thinking in writing just yet.  By doing it together, I can model how to be clear and explain what goes on in our heads.

That's it!  This model seems to work well for my kiddos.  It gives them the right mix of whole group, small group and independent work.  The activity time gives me a chance to work with small groups and/or see how each student is doing and allows me to differentiate, as needed.  We're starting our "official" math centers this week, so I'll be back later to share how that goes!
post signature
Hi again!  Just a quick little post today to link up with the girls at Teaching Trio for their Sunday Scoop.  It's a great way to catch a little glimpse into everyone's lives - which of course right now is all about school and teaching!  Here's my scoop -
I'm sure some kind of planning is on everyone's list for today.  I know I shouldn't wait until today to plan, but I was never able to feel comfortable getting everything ready by Friday.  I tend to change things on a whim and I'm always way happier with my plans on Sunday night than I was on Friday!

Now, the laminator.... oh the laminator.  Would you believe that a few weeks ago I actually bought a second laminator to use, thinking it would be so much faster to have two going at once.  Little did I know that the SECOND laminator would soon be my ONLY laminator, seeing as I didn't follow the directions.  I know you aren't supposed to cut the sheets before you feed them through, but I only had one little thing left to laminate and I didn't want to use a whole sheet just for that.  And I've done it before.  I cut it, slide it in, and help it come out the other end.  Only this time it never came out he other end.  Not even after I ran a piece of cardstock through there to push it out.  I have a feeling that it melted to the roller.  I'm not willing to give it up though, so I'm going to take it apart and see if I can save it.  Ugh.

The grocery shopping is self-explanatory.  I simply cannot survive on another lunch of lettuce, dressing and parmesan cheese.  Time to go shopping.

And hopefully, time to work on blog post #2 about anchor charts.  I got a few really sweet emails about my first post (click HERE) from people who were concerned I was too hard on myself.  It's ok, really.  I know everything doesn't have to look perfect to be important and useful in a classroom.  That was the point of the post, actually.  I'm going to follow up with some tips that have worked for me to make using anchor charts (and creating them) a little easier.

I'm also hoping to finally make the labels for my gradebook.  My school went to standards based report cards so it's important for me to have a gradebook that shows each standard.  I have all the pages done, everything tabbed, but I need to add the labels.  And I know I can just hand write them on the little white piece that come with the tabs... but that just wouldn't look good, now would it? 

I AM looking forward to hitting "publish" on this post and go take out all my fall decorations for the house.  I love the colors of fall, the scents, the activities.... but not the temperatures.  I get cold fast and I tend to be cold from now until next May.  But, fall is just so pretty, and living in New England I get to experience it in all its glory.

Be sure to visit Teaching Trio and get the scoop on what other bloggers are doing this weekend. 

 Have a great week!

post signature

It all seemed so easy.  This year I was going to finally create useful, practical and of course beautiful anchor charts to use in my classroom.  I researched, and read books

I pinned tons of model charts

and I read blog posts and websites and more...

Intervention     Making the Most     Tips & Tricks

I was ready.

And then, this happened
Yes, people... this is my first attempt at creating an anchor chart... IN class... WITH my kids... 

This. Is. Bad.

I obviously need some help.  I need to reread those books... and those blog posts.. and maybe someone should stage an intervention...but wait...

I can't throw this chart away.  I have to hang it up in the room for everyone who comes in to see... why?  Because my kiddos actually LIKE this chart!  They USE it!  One little one told me, "This doesn't have to be a rough draft.  (that was my way of saving face as I saw this going downhill fast.) It looks great and we made it together."

Together.  TOGETHER.  Oh goodness.  It didn't matter to them that the lettering looked awful... that the coloring (they did it) was a mess... or that it wasn't full of cute pictures, bright headings and gorgeous printing... We made it TOGETHER and that's what they remember.

If I had pulled out a ready made chart and just showed it to them, I doubt it would have had the same impact.  No one but me would have been invested in it.  But since we created it together, one step at a time, as we talked about what story elements are, they got it.

And they refer to it all. the. time.  Some still go up to it and read it when we do an activity in which they need to know those elements.... some just look up at it from their work spot and confirm they are on the right track... others don't even need it.  But it is there.  Hanging proudly in the front of my room.

We made it together, you see.

post signature
WHAAAT?  It is September already?  I know many of you are looking forward to pumpkin lattes, football and fall clothes.... I just need to get through this week.  We have had a pretty cool summer - but this week it's supposed to be 90 and humid ALL WEEK!  Ugh.... getting my little munchkins to stay focused is hard enough at the beginning of the year, add in heat and humidity and the hottest room in the school and I'm going to have to get really creative this week!

Ok, on to September's Currently.  Would you just look at this design!  Megan from A New Box of Crayons created it and it is aDORable!  On with the fun!

Right now I'm enjoying my last day at the lake house.. (ok, half day - at some point I have to pack everything I've brought here over the past two months and bring it back home!)... the birds are out, kids are playing and the neighbors are working in their yards... sigh... can't i just have a little more summer??

I really can't complain though - we went back 3 days last week, 4 days this week and next week will be out first full week.  Now THAT is the way to start school... ease them (and me!) into it slowly...

Once tomorrow hits though, it won't feel slow!  My niece and nephews each do a fall sport and I put all the game dates in my calendar yesterday... HOLY WOWZA!  Football, field hockey and soccer will be what I do after school most days from now until November.

Ok, I had to put the "wanting" part.  It would be nice to go to bed on Sundays knowing I have another day to plan and organize.

Those things on my "needing" list are usually always there... I have gotten great use out of my new laser printer... and I now have TWO laminators (yes, it really is worth it!) so I can work twice as fast.  I still don't think I'll ever be able to buy enough for everything I want to print out!

And finally, 3 places I've never been that I would like to vacation at.... (now keep in mind I don't fly, I get carsick and have major motion sickness... not really going to any of these places!).  I'm an East Coast girl and I've never seen the desert - I think it would be beautiful to see the landscape.  And a tropical island vacation on a sandy beach with clear blue water would be nice... and just for fun, how about a safari in Africa... that would be amazing!

I'm off now to enjoy some of this beautiful day... don't forget to stop by Farley's Currently and see what everyone else is up to.

And if you're doing some planning today - make sure you hop around our Who's Who blog hop!  It's filled with ideas for building community and working together - and FREEBIES!

post signature
Back to Top