2nd Grade Math News

Math Updates

March & April, 2011

By now, now most of you have met with either Mrs. Smith or myself for second trimester parent conferences.  If, after the meeting, you have any questions about how your child is doing in math, please contact me.

We have completed Unit 7, which focused on Data Analysis. The children are bringing home their Unit 7 math assessments today.  They will continue to work on data analysis activities and questions through Daily Math questions and Math Boxes.

As we move on this year, the children will be working on three challenging concepts: fractions, partial sum addition algorithm, trade first subtraction algorithm.


When I am working with children who are beginning to learn about fractions, I try to reinforce to them our understanding of how difficult it can be to talk about fractions and understand verbal instructions about fractions.  Most of the kids do not truly remember learning to count to ten, learning the symbols for the number words, or learning the quantity that goes with each number.  They typically learned to count by rote before even coming to school.  It was as much a part of their early childhood and the alphabet was.

It’s a whole new language with entirely new symbols!  So they need to learn how to read the fractions, and then figure out what they mean.

       One of the really tricky things about this math program is that it not only asks kids to identify, say, ¾ of a circle.  It will ask them to find ¾ of 12.  This is pretty sophisticated thinking.  So they first must divide 12 into 4 equal parts, then find the number of objects in 3 of those equal parts.

December, 2010
    The kids are bringing home copies of their Unit 3 Math Assessment today.  I’m placing the originals in the children’s binders.  Mrs. Smith and I can go over them with you again at conferences time.  Then at the end of the year, the children can bring them binder home.  As you go over the assessments with your child, please remember that Part A of the assessment is designed to cover those skills and concepts that the children are expected to know at this point.  Part B consists of concepts that we will be working on usually in the next unit. 
    We are now half way through Unit 4, which works with Addition and Subtraction.  This week, we will be focusing on specific strategies for two-digit addition.  Homework papers for lessons 4.8 and 4.9 detail these strategies.  In lesson 4.9 (which is a three day lesson) we work with the “Partial Sum Addition” algorithm. The expectation is that all second grade students will be able to use this algorithm by the end of the year.  The other skill that we are working on is estimating.  Kids are being asked to come up with a “ballpark estimate” before adding two numbers together.  They can then use this estimate to check their answer.
    The kids will take the Unit 4 Assessment next week, and we will begin Unit 5, which covers geometry.  Though in unit 5 the lesson introduces and works with new geometry concepts, there is still daily number work during other parts of the lesson.

October, 2010

    We have completed our first unit and the children have taken their first unit test.  In Unit 2 we are focusing on addition and subtraction facts.  We have reviewed +0 and +1 facts during our math calendar time.  This week we'll look at "doubles facts" and "turn-around facts".  We'll move from there to +10 and +9 facts.  We'll begin to look at different strategies used in addition, like "doubles +1" and "doubles -1".  Then we will look at the relationship between addition and subtraction and being work with fact families.  Kids can gain more practice in these areas through the games, fact triangles, and flashcards.

    In addition to the Everyday Math lesson, we continue to use Every Day Counts Calendar Math to teach and reinforce specific skills.

Math Updates

March & April, 2011 (cont.)                “Focus Algorithms”
Partial Sums Addition and Trade First Subtraction.

The information below comes from an Everyday Math document which describes different algorithms.  In Second grade there are two “Focus Algorithms”, Partial Sums Addition and Trade First Subtraction.

Here is a link to a video showing Partial Sums Addition:

Here is a link to a video showing Trade First Subtraction

Check out our "Mathematicians at Work" slideshows under Our Class Gallery

Homework - As a general rule, the children will have math homework Monday through Thursday.  If there is no school on Friday, there will be no homework on Thursday night.  If there is a special school function in the evening (Open House, concerts, etc.), the children will not have homework.

Math Boxes - Second Grade math students now all have Math Boxes at home.  In these math boxes you should have math cards that I sent home, dice, flashcards, and math games that have been sent home. 

Games - these are the games that you should have in your math boxes at this point
Addition Top-It
Money Exchange Game
    Number Grid Game
    Beat the Calculator

You may also want to keep the Family Math Letter from each unit in the Math Box while we are working on that unit.  The letter talks about what concepts and skills we are working on; activities that you can do at home to reinforce those skills; and gives the answers to the homework questions. I send the letter home with the kids at the beginning of each unit. 
Click on this link  to view: Everyday Math Family Math Letters

Subpages (1): March & April Math News