Happy President’s Day, teacher friends! Last week we had such a fun week in second grade! In math, we covered double and triple digit addition with regrouping. I don’t know what it is about regrouping, but I loved teaching this math skill. We started the week using popsicle sticks, macaroni noodles, and place value mats to solve regrouping problems. The manipulatives and place value mats really helped my kids understand the concept of regrouping in such a hands-on way.
We practiced solving several problems before I partnered my kids up for a “regrouping lightening round.” During this game, I wrote a problem on the ActivBoard and they had to “race” to see who could solve it the fastest using their manipulatives and place value mats. They loved this!
On Monday, we also learned the absolute catchiest regrouping chant that Amy Lemons from Step Into Second Grade shared on her blog a couple of weeks ago. My kids got SO into singing and doing the moves for this! If you haven’t taught addition with regrouping yet, you must snag this chant to use from Amy.
Throughout the week, I used several other activities from Amy Lemon’s Double Digit Addition unit. One of my favorites was the addition pocketbook where my kids had to solve a handful of problems and then sort them into two categories (“regroup” or “don’t regroup”). This was a simple formative assessment that gave me a clearer understanding of which students understood regrouping and which ones needed more instruction.
On Friday, we moved on to triple digit addition with regrouping. We applied our knowledge of regrouping in the ones place and practiced regrouping in the tens place. They blew me away with how well they made the transition! After modeling for them, practicing as a group, and solving problems independently I had them complete a “scavenger hunt” around the classroom (I got the scavenger hunt from Sun, Sand, and Second Grade). There were task cards taped in different areas around the room that they had to solve. I love having them rotate around the room to complete purposeful activities like this one! They’re up and out of their seats moving while learning…that’s a win-win for me!
In reading/writing, we focused on the theme of Valentine’s Day all week long. On Monday, our goal was to learn about making inferences. At the beginning of the lesson, I used Abby Mullin’s Mystery Box Activity to introduce the concept of making inferences. I placed a mystery item in a white gable box and gave my kids turns to shake the box and guess what it could be. After they shared their guesses, I gave them four clues and had them rethink their guesses based on the new information. Most of them made an inference that there was a valentine in the mystery box and they were correct!
After the mystery box activity, we read Arthur’s Valentine by Marc Brown. In the book, Arthur received notes from a secret admirer and had to make an inference as to who it was. We talked about how Arthur had to use the clues he was given to try and figure out who his secret admirer was. I had them write “secret admirer” notes to me in which they had to give me clues as to who they were (thank you Miss DeCarbo from Second Grade Sugar and Spice for this idea!). They loved this activity AND I loved that they were practicing the skill of inferring!
On Wednesday, we built on the theme of Valentine’s Day by creating heart maps. We talked about how heart maps can be super helpful for the times we feel like we have nothing to write about. We put things on our heart map that we love and could write several stories about. We can refer to our heart maps for inspiration whenever we get writer’s block.
After they completed their own heart maps, they chose one of the topics and used it to write a narrative story. I loved seeing what they put on their heart maps and getting another small glimpse into the things that they value.
In language, we focused on simple and compound sentences. One of my favorite activities they did was a silly sentence scramble. After learning about the difference between simple and compound sentences, they had the chance to create their own. I divided the class into four groups and each group was given a big plate with yellow sentence strips and a small plate of red conjunction strips. First, they had to pull a simple sentence (the yellow strips) to form the first part of the compound sentence. Second, they had to pull a conjunction (the red strips). Finally, they had to pull a second simple sentence to finish forming a silly compound sentence. They had so much fun building their own compound sentences in this activity!
In science, we learned about the phases of matter and did several experiments to solidify our understanding of solids, liquids, and gases. I used many of the activities and experiments from Miss DeCarbo’s States of Matter for Kids unit throughout the week. After introducing the difference between solids, liquids, and gases on Monday, we moved on to talking about how the states of matter can change. We made Jell-O to see how liquids can change into solids when the temperature decreases. They thoroughly enjoyed this edible science experiment!
On Thursday, we did a cornstarch and water experiment and goodness gracious…this experiment was SO fun, but SO messy. The mixture of cornstarch and water is both a solid and a liquid. It is actually called a suspension because the solid bits of cornstarch do not dissolve in the water. The grains of cornstarch spread out and float in the water. My kids learned that when you squeeze the water out of the mixture in your hands it feels like a solid, but when you mix the cornstarch and water together it feels like a liquid. They had a blast with this experiment!
Hope you have a sweet week of teaching!