Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ah the day of love has arrived. :-) I'm happy to say that our class parties were done with a couple days ago due to parent-teacher conferences this week. That is enough of a Valentine's gift in and of itself!!!

One of the things we've really been working on with Common Core ELA is having students justify their answers and thinking. It's been fun seeing how well our students are doing with this. The kids are really growing and maturing in their thinking, and they are truly rising to the occasion. So much so, that justifying their answers has kind of carried over into everything else, and the students are now in a bit of a habit! Take a look at this cute drawing one of my students made for me:
How sweet is it that he not only said he loves me and called me the best teacher - instant A - ha, but he explained his answer and said WHY I'm the best ever (because I SOMETIMES fix problems - gotta love that)! Love that justifications are carrying over into everyday explanations. :-)
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Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Simplest of Things

Well, we've finally finished up our units on double digit addition and subtraction with regrouping (a HUGE part of 2nd grade math) - YAY! Here is one of our math anchor charts:

Common core has actually made teaching regrouping just that much easier, as students are really delving deep and making their own understanding and connections. I love having "math talks" in the classroom and hearing students explain their thinking and reasoning. We are always discussing various strategies, and it's fun to see students hear other kids and how they may have solved a problem in a different way. 

Anyway, we've started our unit on place value to 1,000, and our lesson yesterday was focused on having students find number patterns and skip count by 5's, 10's, and 100's. At the end of our lesson time, we played a little game. First, I had a 5's/10's/100's spinner on the board. 

After having a kiddo come up and spin the spinner, I would make up a number pattern based on what the spinner showed. The students would then have to either continue the number pattern or find the missing number. They would write their answer in shaving cream on their desk, and then they'd discuss with a partner and justify their answers (love that my 2nd graders are using that word and know what it means!). 

 Such a simple activity I know, but it was motivating, fun, engaging, and it got the students talking and discussing. Sometimes we as teachers need to remember that it can be the simplest of things that can be the most effective. :-)

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