Hello again! I had one of those weeks where I stopped several times and just thought, “Gosh, I love teaching. I just love being here.” I’m really starting to get into a groove with my second graders and we hit the ground running even though we only had a four day week. I taught reading and math and planned lots of activities to fill our four days together. In math, we continued learning about fractions and my kids really started to understand them mid-week. Yay! We started the week by reviewing key vocabulary (fraction, numerator, denominator) and how to write fractions. To practice our skills, we played fraction bingo (thank you Aimee from Primarily Speaking!) and my kids LOVED it. They had to make their own bingo boards before we could play and I love that they were getting lots of practice with recognizing fractions quickly.
On Wednesday, I introduced fraction word problems and I was a little nervous that they just wouldn’t “click” with my kids, BUT I was proven wrong over and over again. We began by going over several word problems together at the rug. We underlined key words/phrases and discusses strategies for solving them. After they had worked several on their white boards with me at the rug, I had them rotate around the room to solve 16 fractions task cards. I created these and used their names in the problems which they thought was awesome!
On Thursday, I introduced the concept of fractions on a number line. This was definitely a tricky concept to teach AND for my second graders to understand, but we did the best we could. I borrowed the idea to use graham crackers from TeachMama and this helped tremendously! We started out by looking at number lines and reviewing how we use them to help us count. Then we zoomed in on the 0 to 1 and talked about how fractions are smaller than 1. At first, we used the graham crackers to demonstrate how we can make fourths. I wanted to slowly ease them into using the graham crackers on a number line.
After we used our first graham cracker to demonstrate that four graham cracker pieces equals a whole, we moved along to fractions on a number line. I showed them how to draw a number line on their paper and divide it into fourths before laying the graham crackers side by side. Using the graham crackers certainly helped them be able visualize this concept!
On Friday, we used food again to celebrate finishing our unit on fractions. This time we did fruit loop fractions! I created a recording sheet for them to identify and write the fraction for each color of fruit loop. They had to show me their fractions and tell me about the numerator and denominator before they could eat their fruit loops. Again, they loved this activity and I loved seeing them learning while having fun.
In reading, we did a week long study on Jan Brett’s The Mitten. I used several activities from Christine Stratzel’s unit on The Mitten. On Tuesday, I introduced the story and we talked about the beginning, middle, and end. We discussed how the beginning always introduces the characters and gives us more information about the setting. The middle introduces the problem and the end covers the solution.
On Thursday, I had my first formal observation from my university supervisor and taught a sequencing lesson using The Mitten. I LOVED teaching this lesson! So. Much. Fun. First, I introduced sequencing and talked about how it’s a skill we use everyday. Since our theme for the week was winter, I played “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and then had them help me sequence a set of pictures of how to build a snowman. They love getting the opportunity to come up the ActivBoard and drag pictures into place. After I knew they understood was sequencing was, I read The Mitten and had them pay special attention the order in which the animals crawled into the mitten. We used the ActivBoard again to have them drag the animals into the correct sequence before they had to sequence the events of the story.
On a completely different topic, I’ve been using classroom timers frequently and my kids get so excited for these. There are different ones to choose from so I switch it up every time and they love waiting to see which one I pick.
I also started using GoNoodle for brain breaks and these are THE best. I love seeing them let loose and dance…I even love dancing and being silly with them. Teaching can be so much fun!