...sharing strategies for teaching second graders...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ron Clark Linky Party Part 2

The Parent To-Do List on page 119...especially "Limit chaos in the mornings." Second graders need the routine just as much as first graders! Breakfast and a relaxed morning atmosphere at home are my recommendations. When students have a rough time in the morning, it sets the tone for their day. Sometimes I have asked my students to go back into the hall and compose themselves to "restart" their day. I have even met them in the hall and given hugs to get them in a better frame of mind. I had one little sweetie who would tell me she didn't get her hug from Mom that morning. We made a deal that she would come to me immediately upon arrival for her hug if she needed it. That settled her each morning and she had better days. It's amazing how something we think is so small does so much!
"Leave encouraging notes" is also a BIGTIME favorite. I sent notes in my son's lunchbox from PreK through high school. :) Even now (he's 22 and assistant manager in the local Publix bakery), he carries his lunch cooler from high school. In the lid, I wrote "Stephen, I love you! Mom." It's still there and I rewrote it recently because it was beginning to wear. I write notes to my husband and parents, too. I love, love, love getting notes! ;) My hubby writes notes to me, too.

  Last year, my uncle Curtis died. He lived in Texas and hadn't really been sick. We all knew he was getting older (81 years), but he had not been sick. On Friday & Saturday, he helped decorate a booth for the local Christmas extravaganza. He went to church on Sunday, out to lunch with friends, and had a marvelous weekend. He died on Monday morning. He was a very special uncle, so I went to Texas to his funeral. I was out of school six days. I sat down at my aunt's computer and wrote typed a note to every single one of my students after the funeral. My friend printed them out from the e-mail I sent her and gave each student his/her personal note from me. She said they were thrilled to get them and my sub said they were on their very best behavior because they were concerned. The power of an encouraging, personal note is amazing!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

End of Molasses Classes

Check out Ron's message to TBA here. He is awesome and amazing! I have visited the Ron Clark Academy with my school (Thanks, former principal Mike Roberts, for taking us all there!) and am Slide Certified! I also visited Mike's new school about three weeks ago to see and hear Ron Clark again! He definitely tells it like it is with no apology!

In this picture, Ron was shaking hands with one of the students who performed. He made sure to make eye contact, but she was little shy at first. He quickly instructed her to make eye contact and she did! She had been told to hurry out of the cafeteria... 
This is the picture prior to the handshake. Ron went to meet the students, but they had been instructed to leave quickly so the meeting could get underway. He stopped the little girl just in front of him (seen in the previous picture) to shake hands.

Principal # 4~Uplift other adults who play a role in the lives of our children~is something I really try to do. I spent three years teaching adults and it really brought it home to me that many of my parents might not even be fluent readers themselves, yet we ask them to read with their children daily. I always try to offer assitance to my parents in such a way as not to embarrass them or make them have yet another bad experience with school. I realize that some of them had a really hard time in school and are not so excited about school even now. There's a fine line there and we must be supportive of both the parent and the student.

Principle # 19 is also something I strive to do. I know that some days must be spent following through on the big idea, activator, or whatever you call it at your school. We need some time to assimilate and accomodate what is taught so it will become real learning, but we can refer back to the fun stuff to get the students excited about even the dreary parts. Using every angle available to teach something, giving my students lots of different ways to practice the skills, and keeping my eyes open for exemplary work are ways I try to keep it magical. Blogging has really helped me with that, too!

Thanks, blogging friends! This is the best year (of my 23 years teaching) ever because of all I'm gathering in blogland! God bless you all 100-fold!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Still on place value, adding money to the mix...

We are using the "Pick Up Sticks" place value game (jumbo tongue depressors with 1 dot on one side and 10 dots on the other) to practice counting tens and ones. I also added some with a star instead of a dot. The stars represent hundreds, so the children can practice place value through hundreds. 

 Another thing we've done is copy 100s (from the base ten pages in our workbook) on different colors for our children to cut apart and use to create pictures.

We have wipe-off white 100s charts that came with a previous Math series. Leah calls out a number like 5 tens and 3 ones and has her students cover the number with transparent counters. I got some transparent counters today so my students can practice the same.

I gave directions to "find 5 tens and 8 ones. Now find that number less one ten. Find 9 tens and 5 ones. Now find the number 40 less." Most of my students did well with this's ready to be an independent station! Yipee!!

Goldfish Scoot!

We're playing the "Trading Game" and practicing more while adding in money (with those children who aren't totally overwhelmed). I introduced two more games today, so the children have plenty of games to play for practice and I can pull small groups. We will be adding a Math vocabulary word each day to our Math journal as well. I'm thrilled with how well they are progressing. It seems they are "getting" it overnight. I tell them not to stress, just to rest! Their brains need time to work on the new information, so sleep on it and we'll go at it again tomorrow. That seems to have really helped my children. They know I have high expectations, we have SOOOO much to learn, and I'm not going to slack off, buuuuttttt...they also realize that I know they can only take so much. I understand when they're at the point of exasperation and tell them to take a rest. It's amazing how much new information children can grasp when we encourage them, exasperate them, encourage them, push... welll, you get the picture! Here are some more pix....

We had so much fun with the goldfish that I thought we could play Scoot with them. I made little goldfish, tossed some on each desk, and we played SCOOT! with our place value. It was very interesting... :) I saw very quickly who still struggles with place value! This was more of a teaching activity than a review this, back to the old drawing, er, practice board. :)