Monday, April 29, 2013

Rain, Rain... Ole!

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of your alarm clock going off on Monday. It definitely doesn’t pull rank on my favorite things list, but I am extremely thankful that 1. I’m alive to hear it and 2. I have a job that requires me to hear the horrendous beautiful sound. Did I mention it was pouring and is expected to rain all day today? Needless to say the muumuu/maxi dress stayed in the closet today because long dresses and rain puddles don’t make for a good combo. . .no bueno. Buuuuuut a coconut mocha coffee courtesy of my beloved Keurig was the perfect tropical pick me up to turn my frown upside down && get myself off and on the way to work. As I mentioned yesterday this week is going to be a really, really busy week. It’s crunch time with 5 weeks left until the end of the school year and it’s go, go, go until the last day has ticked off of the countdown.
Today starts the second week of learning about adding 2 digit numbers (with regrouping). I seriously don’t remember learning this mess when I was in first grade—yes it was years ago, but holy moly these kids are expected to know a lot more than I remember having to know. Speaking of years ago, this was me in first grade. ..not learning about regrouping! Despite my worries, my kids are doing pretty well with the concept. They're feeling like rock stars because this is officially big, second grader math.
With Saturday being Cinco de Mayo our math lessons will have some Spanish flavor tossed in with the help of my Piñata Problems unit that I whipped up last year (look for it on TPT later this week).  It follows the same format as my Hang Ten unit. I did this so my kids would be really comfortable with the activities and focus more on the math than worrying about what to do. I have a ton of worriers this year and as a worrier myself I try to get rid of any anxiety that I am in control of.  It also cuts down on the time that I have to model and explain expectations for the entire class which in turn gives me more time to focus on those loves that don’t have a firm grasp on the concept…yet.  Here’s the daily break down…

Monday (Lunes)

We’ll be spending the majority of our math time solving problems TOGETHER as some guided practice. Even though we learned about this last week for five days the weekends have a tendency to erase the memories of even the most studious. We’ll be reviewing the “How To” steps of solving addition problems with regrouping. This handy dandy sign will be hanging up all week for them to reference. For the last portion of our math lesson we’ll be reviewing graphing because let’s be honest kids can’t sit still and work together for 45 minutes…that’s asking too much. Seriously, you would have better luck putting pajamas on a cat…which by the way is not possible. I know this because I tried when I was little and have the scar on my lip to remind myself of how unsuccessful && painful that attempt was.  For the graphing portion of our lesson we’ll be reading the super cute book Chicks and Salsa by Aaron Reynolds. The students will then be in charge of collecting data about which chip dip their friends like best. Of course they’ll also be analyzing the data that they will use to create a tally graph and a bar graph. On Friday we’ll be having a special surprise treat of nachos…but they don’t know that yet!
Tuesday (Martes)
Now that we jump started our memories about regrouping, we’ll be moving on to some independent practice. Of course we’ll review the steps together first to erase any doubts that may be lingering in the air. Next we’ll get the fiesta started with a little Pick & Solve activity. Each student will get a recording sheet and a problem card. They’ll solve their problem at their seat and when everyone is done the fun really gets cranking. There are two ways to go about switching the cards…my kids are fans of both ways so it’s a win, win situation!

Option #1: Partner Swap-find a partner and switch cards with them. Always have extra cards on your desk for those students who can’t find a partner with a card that they haven’t had. This always happens to the same kids -not kidding every time.

 Option #2: Find a New Seat- find a new seat in the classroom and solve the problem card at that seat. Your kids will need to travel with their recording sheets and their pencils to the new seat. I always place a problem card at every seat available in the class regardless of if a child sits there or not just because there’s always that one kid who can’t find a seat that they haven’t already been to.
I’m letting my kids vote on which option they want to use (they really get a kick out of voting)- -nothing fancy just a raise your hand type deal. Of course I’m using Pandora to play some authentic fiesta music during the switching of the cards/seats portion of the lesson. The deal is you walk around until the music stops and then you find a partner or a new seat. It’s an awesome way to get some movement into the day and if you have a wiggly bunch like mine any time for movement is a great idea. This process will continue until all of the spots on the recording sheets are filled up.

Wednesday (Miercoles)
Nada- -we’ll be on a field trip. J

Thursday (Jueves)
After a little reviewing (we start to get a little weekend-itus around this time each week) we’ll be spinning, spinning, spinning! I’ve mentioned before on here about how much my kids live for spinners. Who knew a paper clip and a pencil could make math so much fun?!? Each table will get a spinner card and each student will get a recording sheet. They will work together in a small group to create a 2 digit addition problem that they will need to solve. This is how it’s supposed to work:

1.       One student spins the spinner.
2.       The group then writes the problem created by the spinner (the number in the middle plus whatever number the spinner landed on). Everybody in the group will write the same problem down.
3.       They will then solve the problem independently.
4.       When everyone is done solving the problem, the next student in the group will spin the spinner and the process will continue.

This takes a lot of modeling of patience, but eventually mine got it. To avoid the possible confusion you could always print out a class set of spinners (there are 5 different versions included), but to save paper, ink and lamination I just printed out enough for each of my groups to have a copy.

Friday (Viernes)

Fridays are our assessment days. Each student in first grade takes the exact same test so that we can discuss/compare results as a grade level. We talk about what to do if a student didn’t pass the formative and what to do for the students that did pass the formative. If two heads are better than one, certainly 8 heads are far superior to 1. J After a quick review session, each of my loves will complete the test independently. When all of the tests are handed in, we’ll move on to our final activity from the Piñata Problems pack: Solve & Sort. For this activity my students are getting to work with a partner to solve 2 digit addition problems. You can definitely do this as an independent activity if you would like, but on Fridays I try to add a little bit of fun into the mix and working with a partner is cooler than bread without crust these days. Each student will get a recording sheet and each partner pair will get a problem card. I think you can guess the rest. When they’re done solving they can come pick another card from the sombrero on my desk. You can’t have a fiesta theme without a sombrero right? NERD ALERT, I know, but anything goes in the name of education at this point in the year. As they solve the addition problems they'll need to check off the box next to regrouping or no regrouping- -mine are loving the check off boxes. I've seen some appearing in their writing journals and it's too funny!

So, there you have it. My week of math wrapped up in a nutshell. I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about our read alouds for the week to practice story structure. Until then…live, love, teach!  


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