I taught a week of summer school for second graders going into third grade that focused solely on math, specifically mental math and math strategies. Which is hard for me since upon teaching summer school, I realized I don't have many mental math strategies. I always do the standard algorithm in my head and I just assumed that everyone did that.
Hardly anyone does that.
News to me.
Everyone has these super clever strategies that involve rounding, compensating, estimating, etc.
I still like the standard algorithm though and will probably continue with it because I tried to use other strategies. Really tried. But I always got stuck somewhere in my head when using a clever strategy.
But anyways, it was hard for me to teach mental math because I don't really do it the way we're supposed to be teaching kids. But we started off doing a mental math problem every day to get the kids' brains working. They would solve the problem in their head and then talk about how they solved it/the strategies they used with a friend.
These two girls are discussing the strategies they used to solve the problem. Which sounds tricky. But the kids actually did a great job explaining what they did in their heads to get the answer. Obviously, first graders would need a lot more scaffolding to be able to successfully share. Because my kids' favorite strategy was "I did it in my head."
Then we would make a list with the strategies they used, starting with the most basic and going to the most sophisticated. The kiddos would then record their thinking in their math journals.
Next was a minilesson where we taught the kiddos some more strategies they could use besides counting on, which was by far the most popular (but least sophisticated) strategy. We taught them about making tens, doubles, and tens frames. The students would have time to practice the new strategies with the teacher, with partners, and independently.
Here we are working with part-part-whole mats and manipulating the cubes to make groups of tens.
We also made posters that we hung up around the room for the kids to look back to whenever they needed.
Last, we ended the day with centers that reinforced these skills. The kids loved centers since they were playing games and having fun.
All of that happened in the mornings. In the afternoons, the teachers had PD about how to teach math so it was more meaningful for students. We then took our new learnings and planned for the following day. I learned a lot from teaching summer school and I am super excited to take a lot so much of it back to first grade. Things that I definitely am going to incorporate are math journals, mental math time, and a math strategies/vocab wall.
Phoenix --> Milwaukee
I also returned to Milwaukee on a red eye flight. Which was, of course, delayed. It wouldn't have been too bad except with the time change, I didn't arrive until 1:30 or something? Thankfully, I have wonderful parents who came to get me even though it was super late at night. Plus I feel bad about leaving Evan and Marlee. But with less than a month to go before wedding day, someone has to get this planning going.
Thankfully, Pinterest and Etsy have been amazing resources. What would I do without them? Here are some of my ideas/inspiration.
Ampersand: TJ Maxx
Busy days for sure!