Rm. 202 Kids Take Over–Read Aloud Take 2

I am so excited with what’s happening in our room with Read Aloud lately.  The level of excitement, confidence and pride that is present because of all of these super 2nd grade readers sharing their skills is definitely impressive.  Some kiddos have even signed up more than once on the calendar!!

The only thing I have to say that makes me really sad is that there are couple of kiddos who only have pictures (rather than videos) because my devices were not cooperating on those days.  I HATE that, because everyone of them has done a SUPER job, and you’ll miss them.  Just take my word–every read aloud has been A. Maz. Ing.

Gotta share that chart that she used, too. 🙂  It needs some edits (so please look past the typos 🙂 ), but it was such a great idea that she came up with on her own.  She was very prepared for her lesson. 🙂

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Please take a minute to leave a comment for our brave, super talented, 2nd grade readers! Way to go, Rm. 202 kiddos!

Second Grade Writing Warm-Ups: Week of May 9-13, 2016

This week I used our warm-ups as a means to throw in odds and ends, as well as connect to what we were doing in Writing (which is usually where our questions come from).  And one of our WWUs even served double-duty by leading to a math conversation.  They thought I was pretty clever when I brought that one up.  Ok, so I thought it was clever.  Maybe they didn’t so much care….LOL  Please leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts on our work this week! 🙂

Monday

There’s not much to say about this one except it’s something kiddos need to know, and we’re about to start writing lots of “You’re a great friend because…” messages and it will NOT be ok if everyone says YOUR instead.

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Tuesday

Ava read the book A Chocolate Moose for Dinner to us on Monday, and we heard lots of words that sounded the same, but meant different things.  We worked to find some more that we could talk about.  We continued to find examples to add to this chart all throughout the week in different texts we encountered.

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Wednesday

We are continuing to work on writing like scientists and exploring plants and pollinators in pretty much all of our day; reading ,writing, and science are all connecting right now in a marvelous way.  This warm-up was to help us think of what we’d learned so far, as well as to emphasize the idea that scientists write in a very specific (and different) way depending on what they are studying.  You’ll notice we also discussed how many words can be made from the same base.   Oh, and I may have spelled some of those green words incorrectly.  I apologize if that’s the case.

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Friday

We were WAY over due for a writing celebration for our past fiction unit in Writing, so I had a quick survey for them as their warm-up on Friday.  This is the one that turned into a great math conversation about graphs and data collection.

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Second Grade Math Warm-Ups: Week of May 9-13, 2016

This week was relatively normal, but somehow I only have 3 warm-ups to share.Enjoy! Please comment when you’re finished reading and let us know what you think!

Monday

Yep, we’re still working on subtraction around here.  It’s kind of an all-the-time thing because as soon as you abandon it for longer than a few days everyone forgets how to do it!  This time I gave them the answer and the strategy and had them analyze it for me.  We had a great conversation about why this problem was most efficiently solved by making an easier problem (rather than say, the traditional algorithm or splitting and using a number line to model it) because the second number was close to a hundred.  This made it SUPER easy to subtract in just two easy steps.

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Friday

Um, yeah…not really sure what happened that our warm-ups are just from Monday and Friday.  We must have been really busy this week.  Hope I remember what we did so I can tell you about it here. LOL

Friday we actually had a bonus math warm-up because our Writing Warm-Up led us to figuring out some math and making a graph.  And yes, I ran out of paper.  We improvised. 🙂

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We are also still working on multiplication, including writing an equation and drawing a model.  This one was cool, because as often happens, kiddos thought of a model that I hadn’t: showing the repeated addition on a number line.  This was a great conversation about which number meant what in the problem (the number of groups vs. the number in the group), and we also talked about how you could flip the problem around and have the same answer.

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Second Grade Math Warm-Ups: Week of May 2-6, 2016

I am a little bit late–sorry!  I forgot a few important pictures that I needed in order to properly share.  Hopefully you’ll still read (and learn with us!).  🙂

Monday

There’s not a lot to explain behind this one except that I wanted to continue to focus on the idea of a fraction being EQUAL pieces, not just the number of pieces in the denominator.  As you can see in many of the post-its, most kiddos understand this when they partition the cookie cake for 4 people.

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Tuesday

As I mentioned with a problem or two last week, kiddos are to have a basic foundation of groups and arrays to help them with further multiplication concepts in 3rd grade.  We played a game called Circles and Stars last week, which is basically where they roll a dice twice, once drawing circles and then filling each with the 2nd number’s worth of stars.  Then they figure out an equation to go with the model as well as how many stars there are altogether.  I wanted to build on this idea and see what they’d do with a new problem.  As is seen on their answers, they almost all drew circles with stars (or dots).  I wanted to help them see the same idea as an array, as well, so I connected the equation to brownies (so they pan/array would make more sense).

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Wednesday

Somewhere I had saved a picture of my original problem which looked like this (the purple writing on the chart): If I had a pan of brownies that had 7 brownies on one side and 5 brownies on the other, how many would I have?  When I looked at the answers, I was completely baffled as to why so many had answered 6X2=12.  We had a great decision about how they used 7+5=12 and then made a multiplication equation that matched.  There were also some pretty interesting models/pictures of the equation, too, so I drew an array to show what I meant.  Once they saw it, they could see what I meant, but we agreed that the problem I had written didn’t lead them to that understanding.  I asked them to help me figure out how I could have better written the problem so that they could have seen what I meant.  We worked to revise the question so it made more sense.  This was a GREAT conversation both about math and revision, which is something Rm. 202 friends know happens ALL THE TIME, not just in writing.  They did a super job of helping me redesign the warm-up so that it better matched what I wanted to know.

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Now it reads: If I had a rectangular pan of brownies that had 7 columns of brownies on the long side of the pan, and 5 rows of brownies on the other, how many would I have in the whole pan?  Draw a picture.   Great work on the writing and the math, Rm. 202 friends!

Thursday

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Friday

We’re still working on many concepts all at once, and solidifying our understanding of them.  Love my little speech bubble?  We always talk about how the numbers in the problem scream at us to tell us which strategy is most efficient for them, so it just seemed fitting. 😀

 

Second Grade Math Warm-Ups: Week of April 25-29, 2016

We have been on a roll with warm-ups lately, and maybe since we’re still talking about many different things, they’ve given us a way to keep all the balls in the air.  Love that.  Enjoy! 🙂

Monday

One of the topics we’re working on right now is the foundation of fractions, and understanding about equal parts.  This warm-up led to a GREAT conversation about how 1/5 is always a 1/5, but the actual portion that is being considered changes based on the whole.  Oh, and we were all hungry when we were finished. 🙂

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Tuesday

It seems like addition and subtraction is a never-ending concept with 2nd graders, and we’re still working on it.  Oh well, as long as it takes.  School year’s not over yet and they can get it! Here was another opportunity to practice.

Wednesday

Ok, so I need to explain that that picture is a pizza, not a target.  It’s based on a picture we had looked at the day before in a math conversation.  It was based on an 8-slice pizza and how we could share it fairly if twice as many people showed up for our party.  This was the way one group suggested we do it, and we had to discuss whether we agreed if it was fair.  Which piece would you want? 🙂

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Thursday

We had a FABULOUS walking field trip on Thursday at the time we normally do math warm-ups, so didn’t have one that day.  We had a great day in the park and a movie instead! 🙂 (Don’t worry–it was connected to our curriculum!)

Friday

Another topic (which I found a way to weave into this conversation, too!) is the foundation of multiplication.  We told many stories of groups of things with this one.  Great thinking, Rm. 202 kiddos!

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Second Grade Writing Warm-Ups: Week of April 25-29, 2016

I think I mentioned last week (and probably the week before when we started them), but I am SO happy with how these warm-ups are really giving us a bang for our buck, and helping me get the thinking started BEFORE we sit down for our Writer’s Workshop mini-lesson.  It seems like they have more time for writing and I talk less!–or maybe it’s just at a different time, but still…:)

Here are last week’s warm-ups, a little late:

Monday

We are working on publishing now.  Can you tell?
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Tuesday

I know, this is totally lame, and didn’t really require them to do much thinking, it was just a quick check-in since they were supposed to be finished publishing their stories and I wanted to see how it was going.  Guess I figured that if they had a title, they probably had a story….yeah, not so much.  It was also just a great enticement for them to finish because we heard many intriguing titles and want to read them!!

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Wednesday

We are just between two writing units and this was a preview of the next one.  It was not the first time I’d asked this question, but it was great to see the additional things they could tell me, and even the domain-specific words they could use to talk about it!

Thursday

Ok, so this is not technically a writing warm-up, but it was timely for us and was something we needed to discuss.  You know, sometimes you change the plan. 🙂 And I should mention, they had some great answers and thoughts on what to do next time!

Friday

We have a FABULOUS thing at our school on half-days called Robinson University, which means that my kiddos are not in my room for much of the morning, and so didn’t have time to talk about a writing warm-up.  We just did a math warm-up instead. 🙂

 

Design Challenge: Earthquake Proof Buildings

A week or so ago I saw this tweet:

Since we had been studying slow changes and fast changes in Science for a while anyway, it made perfect sense to try it out!  And unfortunately, there had also just been some major earthquakes in both Japan and Ecuador that same weekend, so the idea of creating earthquake proof buildings was a real life one to solve.  And yeah, it would be fun. 🙂

We began by reading a pretty great Seymour Simon book on earthquakes to gain more information, and answer any questions that might come up about how they work.  Knowing exactly what happens helps us build stronger buildings that would withstand the tremors.

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We talked and discussed and made predictions and inferences.  Then we got with our partners and planned–most on paper and some with some help from their iPad.

Then we got busy building.  The 1st building part was actually spread over two days (an afternoon and then the next morning) because we ran out of time.

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We used this design cycle protocol to help us know what to do, and wrote down the timing so we could keep on track.

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Some even tried out their prototype on the earthquake machine before the “real” deal.  They got some ideas about redesign or shoring up their foundations.

Caught some groups in their planning stages:

We took videos of our trials, and many kiddos voiced their ideas for redesign in their recordings.  We all did some writing/thinking about it, but I’ll share those in another post, since after I add our videos, this piece will already take you 7 hours to read it!  Thanks for hanging in there–it’s worth it, I promise!!

Charlie, Evan and Joshua


Ella Marie and Emily


Millie, Amelia, Ja’Mia and Tyrin


Makayla and Ava


Amber, Sara and Thomas


Peyton, Baron and Landen

Forces that Shape the Earth: Slow and Fast Changes

I shared some building challenges we had done a couple of weeks ago, where we solidified our understanding of both bodies of water and landforms.   We still had some thinking to do, as well as demonstrating that we understood the difference between slow changes and fast changes that happen on Earth.  Besides using things like Legos, big blocks, pattern blocks, and other things to build with, we often incorporate art into our science and social studies work and represent ideas with pictures.  This was one of those times.  It was a mural/collage project, much like these that have happened in 5th grade (with both regular units as well as with test preparation).

Our first step was to jot down what we remembered about slow and fast changes we’d already learned about.  We made this chart together:

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We brainstormed what we knew about the difference between slow/fast, as well as examples of each, and the causes for these effects on the land: wind, water and ice.  Their directions were then to create a representation (2D with paper and other art supplies) that everyone could recognize and explain when they looked at the poster.  No words (except for the two parts of EROSION and WEATHERING since these were important vocabulary terms) were allowed.

While kiddos worked, they went through the design cycle as they planned, created, tested (by sharing their representation with another group or two to see if others could recognize the concept they were trying to display), redesigned and then shared by putting their creation on our poster.  This mural did a couple of things for Rm. 202 learners–helped them solidify understanding of concepts, demonstrate that understanding, as well as remind them of that learning as they connect the picture to the idea in their heads.  I plan on using the images on this poster as a part of our assessment at the end of the unit (I just haven’t fleshed out exactly what that will look like yet…still in the design phases!).

Here are the images on our mural.  Can you tell what each of them represent?

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Each one up close.  Half are slow changes and half are fast changes.  Oh, and there is one image that we thought was an example of both:

I was really impressed with the diligence portrayed while they worked on this project.  There were a couple of pairs who had to go through 2 or 3 versions of their creation before they figured out one that made sense to someone but themselves.  There was lots of cooperation and suggestion that happened during our work session, too, as kiddos bounced ideas off each other, shared supplies and asked other pairs for help.  Another example of an engaging, motivating and focused way to practice science without pencil/paper or just reading about it.  Way to go, Rm. 202 scientists!

If you want, leave us a comment about what you think our pictures are images of.  We’d love to share our learning with you.  What questions do you have?  We’re becoming experts on these ideas of forces that shape the land! 🙂

Second Grade Math Warm-Ups: Week of April 18-21, 2016

This was a 4-day week at school, but since we’ve moved our MWU to the afternoon (instead of first thing in the morning), it has seemed it’s been easier to make them happen every day.  Maybe it’s just because of the unit we’re in, too, but our conversations about them have been SUPER POWERFUL lately.  Can’t imagine teaching without this part of our day!

Monday

I definitely should have taken a before and after picture of this one.  The circles were all filled up with post-its when we sat down to talk, but we had to work through them and decide which ones sounded like things mathematicians would say about these polygons.  Many of them were vague or didn’t use mathematical terms.  They said things like “they’re different” or “they’re the same.”  We talked through the definition of polygon (hence the words over there) as well as what some mathematical terms were that we should listen for as we narrowed down the choices.  This idea of comparing is something that students are expected to know how to do independently with two different polygons by the end of the unit, so trying some together along the way was crucial.

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Tuesday

This one matches up with both some work on shapes we had done earlier (names and attributes), as well as a replay of the question from the day before to see how they’d do in the same situation with different shapes.  The number of specific, mathematical responses was much greater this time and we had less work to do to make our Venn Diagram make sense.

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Wednesday

This question has a great story to tell (which is SO long and involved I’ll be nice and put it in a different post!), and really gave us lots of math to chew on.  And I thought I would be an easy one.  Those are always the problems that surprise me.

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Do you see the marks on the word HALF up there? Here’s a close-up:

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We’re applying our knowledge of lines, angles and polygons everywhere we look!  This wasn’t even part of the question, but of course was a great part of the discussion!

Thursday

After all our hard work (which I hope you’ll pop over and read about), I wanted to see if they could remember and apply it to a similar but new situation.  Most could see how the knowledge we had gained the day before about halves applied to thirds (and therefore to fourths, fifths, sixths, etc.).

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What did you work on as a mathematician this week?  What warm-ups would you suggest to us that include angles, polygons or fractions?  We’d love to try some more! 🙂

Second Grade Writing Warm-Ups: Week of April 18-21, 2016

This was our second week of second grade writing warm ups, and they have been just as successful as they were when I first started them in 5th grade (remind me of this for next year when I forget that again, ok? LOL).

We’re in the drafting/revising/editing part of the writing cycle, so that is reflected in the warm-ups I had them try this week.  Check ’em out!  We’d love to know what you have to say about them, too, so leave a comment when you’re done! 🙂

Monday

This warm-up goes with the one we did last Friday, as we added details to our fiction with adjectives.  And yes, I quickly realized there were WAY TOO MANY WORDS on this chart, when someone’s first response was “Wow–that’s a lot….”  Oops.  I think they got it, for the most part, though.  Since this day we’ve been recognizing them everywhere and talking about how they help the reader.  Many have added some to their drafts.   I’ll revise for next time.  🙂

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Tuesday

This question is obviously very general, mainly because I knew that our focus in Writers’ Workshop this day would be to finish up (hopefully!) what we’d been working on for the last few days (rather than something new).  We had a design challenge planned for pretty much the whole morning and so our time would be cut a little short for writing, as well.  It also helped me get a better gauge on where everyone was with their drafts.  There are a couple of post-its that say “I haven’t revised yet.”  These friends obviously needed more time!

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Wednesday

I tweeted this picture after we did on it, because I was so impressed by the work they had done on it!  The endings they chose to post were really thoughtful ones, and then our synthesis of what makes a “good” ending was also great thinking!

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I had them finish this stem “A good ending…” and this is what we decided upon:

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We had a great conversation about how a “good” ending is not any one thing, and that it depends on the story you’re writing, as well as your goals for how you want your reader to respond to your text.  Notice the adverb that someone pointed out from our conversation on Monday. 🙂

Thursday

I’m not even sure where I learned that phrase, but long ago I was taught that about the idea of editing being a “courtesy to the reader.”  We touched on it at least a little last year in first grade, but I wanted to get their thoughts on it now, as we began editing our pieces for publishing next week.  And since I knew they might need help (or at least a reminder) with what courtesy means, I added it to the question.  They had great suggestions about how it helps the reader understand your message, as well as making it so they know what to read and how to read it, but we had to really focus our conversation in on HOW to do that.  Many 2nd grade writers still talk a good editing game, but don’t always show that knowledge in their actual final drafts.  We’ll continue to work on that next week as we finalize our published texts.

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What did you work on as a writer this week?  What do you think of our warm-ups?  How would you have answered them?