Friday, October 18, 2013

Five for Friday: Back 2 Teaching!

It's Friday, it's Friday, it's Friday! I really shouldn't be so excited because I have a TON of work to do this weekend to get ready for conferences. Nonetheless, it's time for some Five for Friday brought to us by Doodle Bugs Teaching! 

After two weeks of being away from my second graders, I'm back in the classroom. I missed teaching, but knew it would be a rough road ahead... and... it was! Somehow my little second graders forgot their expectations! How that happened, I just don't know (*sarcasm*)! 

Even though their were some rough spots in my week, I had a lot of fun teaching my kiddos an anatomy lesson to share exactly what happened to my knee. I get teacher excited when my kids OoOoOh and AaAaAahhh at things I show them.

I knew my kids would want to share every self-connection they had to my injury, so I planned a narrative writing lesson on a time when they got hurt. Since my kiddos were in the classroom while I dislocated my knee, they were experts at helping me write my personal narrative. They then got the chance to begin their own personal narratives describing a time when they got hurt. They had some great and graphic stories to tell! 

I'm enjoying wearing my new slipper shoes to school! Since my knee is aching like crazy and throwing off my balance, I can only {successfully} wear flat shoes. Believe it or not, I don't own a good pair of flats. All of my practical shoes have at least some platform. Honestly, I'll take any excuse to buy a new pair of shoes! These Ugg slippers are so incredibly comfy! The sheepskin lining is like heaven for my feet! I love teaching comfy!

Oh man, I'm teaching regrouping! It's hard! I'm pulling out all kinds of strategies to help my kiddos learn this new skills. Some of them totally get it! Some look at me like I'm speaking a foreign language. This is where guided math groups come in handy! We've been using our manipulatives and practicing regrouping like crazy! 

Please share your secret to success with teaching regrouping! I'd love to learn a new strategy I haven't tried!

Last, but not least, I'm going to leave you with a little story that made my day! As I was walking down the hall, a first grader with his mom walked by my classroom, pointed and said, "this is the classroom I want to be in!"      
This just melted my heart!!

How was your Friday? Will you be working in your classroom this weekend like I will??



  1. Hi Elizabeth! I have the same slippers and wish I could wear them to school! I bet your students are so happy to have you back. I've taught 2nd grade but it was a long time ago. I use base tens for everything and I'm sure you've already used them for regrouping. I'm happy I found you!

  2. What a great idea to have your students write about a time when they got hurt, I'm sure they had lots of stories to share! I always hate being gone, but it always makes me feel good when the kids are so excited to see me again and worried about where I was!

    Laughter and Learning in Room 139

  3. I love the shoes with sheepskin! Those are too cute...I need some :)

    A Teaspoon of Teaching

  4. Glad to hear that you are back and feeling a lil better! Loved how you took your injury and turned it into a writing lesson. BRAVO!

    Teaching with Giggles

  5. Thanks for the comments, everyone! I'm happy to be back in the classroom doing what I love most!


  6. I am in my 5th year of teaching second grade. For the last 2 years, we are no longer "allowed" to teach the algorithm method you show above. Math coaches believe it is just a process, and 2nd graders don't really understand the full concept. Instead, we draw base 10 blocks to help, or we put each number we are adding into expanded notation, and then add. My students do seem to understand what is going on a little better. Hope this is helpful!

    1. Thank you for sharing! I am wondering at what age your school's students learn the algorithm?

      I use and base my math instruction on strategies from Singapore math. Long before my students learn the algorithm (abstract learning), students manipulate base ten blocks, use hands-on strategies, and draw models all aimed at helping students conceptually understand what it means to trade when adding (I have a previous blog post on an activity we did using manipulatives). One of my small groups during math instruction is only using manipulatives at this point.

      I am not a math expert, although I love math and study it often. I believe in teaching the algorithm as an addition strategy for a few reasons. The biggest reason being if students don't know the algorithm in the upper grades when they are adding and subtracting with decimals, you're in triage mode.
      You're right, it is just a process, but it is also a process that I personally use all the time... like yesterday when I was adding a tip to my restaurant tab :)
      As a teacher, I am wondering how you feel about not being allowed to teach this method, even to your top kiddos? I'm wondering how other teachers feel about this because I know I have debated this for awhile, and then came to the conclusion that I should introduce it to my kids. It's quite the topic, and I've enjoyed/ would enjoy discussing it further! It's great to be challenged as an educator, as it keeps me on my toes.

      Feel free to email me if you want :) Have a a terrific weekend!


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