Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Math Monsters in Room 208!

     As an extension to several Everyday Math lessons that have focused on skip counting, doubles facts and touched on the relationship between multiplication and (repeated) addition, the kids have been hard at work creating Math Monsters.  To create their monsters, the kids flipped a card and recorded groups of four based on the number they flipped.  For example, if a child flipped the number 3, they recorded the fact, 3x4, and then recorded 3 groups of four.  They solved the fact by using repeated addition, 4+4+4=12.  Finally, the kids looked on the class Math Monster poster to determine what body part to add to their very own monster.  It was so exciting to see how completely engaged the kids were in this spooky activity!  Be sure to check out these wonderful creations displayed in our classroom, and on Seesaw!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Reading Workshop

     The kids are reading up a storm here in the classroom!  Each day, we begin Reader's Workshop with a minilesson that instructs around a skill the children can draw upon when working independently.  I am continuously impressed by the kids ability to immediately apply these newly learned skills to their own work.
     Our first reading unit is divided into three parts: Taking Charge of our Reading; Working Hard to Solve Tricky Words; and Paying Close Attention to Authors.  We recently wrapped up the first "bend" of this unit, "Taking Charge of our Reading".  In this bend, children learned that growing up doesn't just mean getting taller, it also means growing to be stronger readers.  As second grade readers, they get to make lots of decisions about their reading, such as how their reading will sound, how much they will read, and how to make sure their reading makes sense (that reading is thinking).
     Our minilessons have focused on taking charge of our reading by choosing what to read (book shopping) and by deciding how the books we choose want to be read.  The kids learned that when second graders preview a book, they think, "How does this book want to be read?"  Is this a funny book?  A sad, serious book?  The children learned that by studying the cover carefully, reading the back blurb, and by exploring the table of contents, they are able to predict what the characters might want, what might get in the way, and how the problem might be solved.  Learning to preview in encompassing ways now will help lay the groundwork for the larger thinking of synthesizing later in the year.
     Our beginning of the year literacy assessments are complete and I am using this valuable information to create a reading goal with each student.  I have begun meeting with children one-on-one for goals conferences.  During these conferences, I begin by talking with each child about how they are feeling about themselves as a reader.  I next share the things I notice that the child is doing well in their reading - strengths.  We end the conference by working collaboratively to establish their first reading goal of the school year, a skill that will help the child grow stronger in their reading.  I will use these goals to individualize instruction moving forward, as I plan for strategy groups.  I plan to complete these conferences by the end of the week.  Be sure to ask your child about their own personal reading goal!