MATH TIME IN OUR CLASSROOM
Often people ask how we can successfully have two grades of math going at the same time in our classroom. The big factor is dividing students into groups. Each group (all second or all third graders) do several activities in math each day.
One activity is instruction time with me. Each grade of students sits with me near our white board. I teach or review a concept from that grade's current unit of study. Because this is a small group (about 1/3 of the class) I can make sure each child is busy thinking, answering questions and explaining solutions. The small group size makes it easier for students to ask questions. It also enables me to tailor instruction to those students. Kids don't seem to fall through the cracks when we work in small groups.
Students also have a written assignment each day. This relates to the instruction I've given recently (that day or the prior day). I correct these assignments at home each night. This lets me see which students have grasped a concept and which need some more support. I can be ready with appropriate instruction for the next day.
Students also have math enrichment each day. This happens through math games / puzzles I've made or collected over the years, or through online math games / puzzles.
We are very lucky to have Josee Lauritzen helping as students work on their assignments. She is an educational assistant at View Ridge. Her other duties during the day include working in the office and the lunch room, so our students see her around school every day. As she works with students, Josee asks questions that get kids to think and talk about their strategies. This thinking aloud helps students sharpen their skills.
All of this math happens in about 75 minutes! It is a busy time. Every child is working hard at math at his level for that entire hour --and by the end of it, each student has had a variety of math experiences.
Both grades cover these math concepts this year:
addition and subtraction
multiplication and division
measurement in standard and metric units
reading, generating and recording data