I have survived one of the longest, most stressful, and emotional starts to the school year. Unfortunately, the stress continues, but I continue to find positive and sometimes funny moments in my classroom each day.
Last week I was teaching a mini-lesson on how to pick just-right books. I was using the I-PICK strategy. When I was talking about how I like a book to grab my interest, I started to give an example from home. I mentioned that I have a stack of books I like to read, but my husband doesn’t really want to read them. Then I mentioned that he has a stack of books he likes to read, but I don’t want to read them. I asked the students if they could think of reasons why my husband doesn’t want to read my books. A student tells me it’s because my husband can probably read those books all by himself and doesn’t need me to read them to him.
Another student was disappointed when coloring in his behavior chart today. He mentions aloud that his mother isn’t going to be very happy that he moved his clip down. The little boy next to him says, “It really isn’t something that your mom can be too mad about. You made the choices in class and it’s already happened. There really isn’t anything your mom can change now. Tomorrow you might have a better day.” I just wanted to hug that little guy for being so wise beyond his years!
To see a little sneak peek into our school day, I wanted to share a couple of things we have been doing in math. My district uses Everyday Math. It is a spiraling curriculum where you don’t spend lesson after lesson on a particular skill. For example, Lesson 1.1 is finding the missing number on a number line. Lesson 1.2 is counting coin combinations. Lesson 1.3 reviews the calendar. You get my point. My grade level team gave a pre-assessment to see where our kiddos were. Needless to say identifying coins and counting coin combinations was not my a strength. So, I pulled this coin sort out of my files (I cannot track down the original idea/source so if it’s yours, please speak up).
First, I just asked my kiddos to cut the pieces. If you notice in the picture, there are 20 pieces. If you teach second graders, you’ll be thrilled to know there was only one lost piece in the entire class! While cutting, I had several students raise their hands. They wanted to whisper that they already knew that some of these pieces were coins and that one was the heads and one was the tails.
Next, I asked the kiddos to sort their papers into groups. One kid separated them into coins and not coins. Another sorted them into pictures, words, numbers, and numbers + words. I should also mention that one kiddo had them sorted correctly during the cutting phase.
Finally, I asked them to sort into four piles: pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. Here is a picture of one student’s final product:
Another one of our learning targets for the first unit is to solve addition math facts to 10. I already made fact sorting activities over the summer in anticipation of this skill. This sort (along with sorts for facts up to 18) can be found in my Math Mania pack. Most of my kiddos could do this independently, but a few lacked confidence. As I checked the student sorts, I noticed some differences: some students had 4 cards in the first column and 6 in the last (first picture) while other students had 5 cards in each column (2nd picture). One of the cards (0 + 6) when turned upside down changes to 9 + 0. The good news is no one was copying off their neighbor and figured it out 🙂
If you have other math sorting activities I would love to hear about them!