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Before you can jump right in and teach students multiplication, you have to make sure they have a strong basis of odd, even, and arrays. But where do you start? It can be quite overwhelming, but if your students don't have a strong grasp on these concepts, results to teach them to multiply will end miserably.

But don't worry, I have some tips that worked for me, and I thought I'd share so more students could benefit from these ideas!

 My first tip is to incorporate literacy into your math block. These books are perfect for teaching odd and even and the beginning of arrays.

Day 1 and 2 we are building conceptual understanding, so I do not have any literacy text those days.

Day 3 of my Odd and Even activities, we read Even Steven and Odd Todd. After reading the text, students work with a partner to sort items from the text on their recording sheet. We then meet back to discuss why different items are odd or even. I finish off by giving them an exit ticket.

Day 4 we read One Odd Day by Doris Fisher. Afterwards students used the 20 sided dice mentioned below to shade in 4 different towers, and then wrote about what makes a number even.

Day 5 we read My Even Day by Doris Fisher. Students then used the square tiles to scoop and complete the chart on the number of tiles they scooped. 

Other great titles are Two of Everything and A Remainder of One. Both great for introducing leftovers when in groups and groupings of 2.

 We used these square tiles the first day to create rectangles that were 2 squares wide with different amounts. We noticed that some numbers were not truly rectangles because there was always one square that didn't have a partner (resulting in being odd because there wasn't two equally divided groups).

We used the snap cubes, also known as unifix cubes, for a few different purposes. We created chains up to 20. We choose a number card (1-20), but you could also use the 20 sided dice to roll to get a number. The students built a chain with that many snap cubes, and they would attempt to break the chain in half, or as close to half as they could. If the number was even, the splits would be equally halved, but if the number was odd, one chain would always be one more cube than the other. We wrote our even numbers in the even circle, and our odd numbers in the odd circle. Then they answered what is always true about even numbers, and what is always true about odd numbers.

I love these 20 sided dice! The standard in 2nd grade is telling odd and even up to 20. So we rolled dice, and then colored in the towers on our sheet and determined if the numbers were odd or even!

We used these square tiles again to scoop and determine odd or even! We wrote the amount, circled Yes or No for can I get to this number by counting by 2s, and then we determined how many leftovers there were. (which they figure out that it's always going to be 0 leftovers for an even number, or just 1 leftover for an odd number).

All the activities I've referenced above, along with the lesson plans, are included in this Odd and Even Pack.


From here, we will be starting arrays, so stay tuned for what we do for that in my classroom!!

After two marking periods of place value, adding and subtracting three digit numbers, our third marking period starts with measuring. Measuring lends itself nicely to a variety of read alouds! I admit that every book I recommend for this unit, I own! 

Our first unit in our third marking period covering three standards. In Maryland, we follow the Common Core State Standards and those that we cover are 2.MD.1, 2.MD.2, 2.MD.3. 2.MD.1 is measuring the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, and measuring tapes. 2.MD.2 is measuring the length of an object twice, using length units of different lengths for the two measurements; describing how the two measurements relate to the size of the unit chosen. 2.MD. 3 is estimating lengths using units of inches, fee, centimeters, and meters. 

To 'kick-off' our unit on measurement, we read 'Inch by Inch' by Leo Lionni and then students made posters about items that were about 1 inch long. 

The next day we created inch rulers by using sentence strips (which I halved vertically and then cut into 12 inch strips) and we lined up 12 square array tiles, which just so happen to be 1 inch square! The following day we used our rulers to measure different items in the classroom, but estimated them first! 

The next two day we discussed how 12 inches equals 1 foot, and then 3 feet equals 1 yard. We also read the book Super Sandcastle Saturday (a Math Start book). We used yardsticks and rulers. 

We measured baskets of stuff, and they had items of things they had to decide which unit of measure they should measure with--inches, feet, or yards. 

We then read the story How Big is a Foot (Rise and Shine), and we talked about standard units of measure being the same everywhere. The reason we don't use actual feet is because our feet are different sizes. Then the students did an activity with making a bed for the apprentice. We didn't have enough room in the classroom for this, so we moved into the hall!

The next lesson we got out the measuring tapes and read a very fun story, Jim and the Beanstalk, which mentions beer on one page, so I to cover the word beer with my finger and change it on the fly when I was reading, because I had forgotten it said that! We then used the measuring tapes to measure different items in the room. 

The next lesson we switched gears and I introduced centimeters. We read the Math Start book Pollys Pen Pal and we discussed the English System of measuring versus the Standard System of measuring. We then used the ones units from our base ten blocks, to create centimeter rulers (because those ones units are the size of centimeters!). 

The next few lessons looked similar to the inch/feet/yards lessons. We measured different items with centimeters, talked about 100 centimeters equaling 1 meter, and used the reverse side of the measuring tapes to measure in centimeters. 

Here's some other great literacy connections to read to kick off, or hook, your mathematics at the start of your math lesson.  Math Counts LengthLet's Measure ItHow long or how wideIs a Blue Whale the biggest thing there is?If you Hopped like a frogBiggest strongest fastest

For our summative assessment, I created a project based activity. My students love dogs, so we started by reading Measuring Penny. They then were assessed on the three standards that we had devoted so much time on! 

The students got to pick two dogs to compare and then decide which size dog houses they would need based off the dogs measurements and the dog house measurements. They also had to measure some chew toys, think about reasonable measurements, and measure dog houses. 


 If you are interested in my project based learning activity with dogs and their measurements, make sure you check out:

Or if you are interested in the activities and recording sheets mentioned in this blog be sure to check out:

Graphing is so much fun! If you don't agree that teaching graphing is a lot of fun, my hopes are that this post helps you! We started graphing before Christmas break, and then we will finish up graphing the 3 days we return to school after break.

We kicked off our graphing unit by talking about ice cream. Automatically the kids were excited!! I used a giant sheet of butcher block paper (is that what other people call it too?!?!). We discussed different kinds of ice cream flavors, and then I just chose 4 for them to vote on. We did a notice and wonder and discussed our graph. I encouraged students to think about what kinds of questions could we ask that we could answer by looking at our graph, such as Which flavor got the most votes? Or how many more votes did vanilla get than strawberry? Or how many students voted for Mint chip and chocolate?

The next day I made a graphing template, so I wouldn't use as much butcher block paper over the course of our unit. 

We voted on our favorite Christmas song. I pulled up my Amazon Music account, and chose 4 traditional Christmas songs. I handed out music notes, which I had printed on green cardstock, and put a piece of tape on the back of each one. 

Rudolph ended up being our classes' overall favorite. Again, like with our ice cream vote, we analyzed and came up with questions based off our data. If you are teaching data not during the holidays, you could always go to different Kids Bop songs and have your students vote on their favorites. Or if you are a go-noodler, you could have your students vote on their favorite go-noodle brain break video.

Another day, as a warm-up, we voted on our favorite Christmas color. We had the choices green, red, silver, and red to choose from. Again if you are not teaching data during the holidays, you could have your students vote on their favorite neon color, or favorite pastel color. 

We then went from our picture graphs, and jumped into bar graphs. I introduced bar graphs with this fun graphing M&Ms activity. I gave each student a small paper cup filled with 15 M&Ms each. I then had them sort their M&Ms, and line them up. Then one by one, I had them color their amounts in their bar graph columns. 

After coloring in their columns, each student had to answer 4 questions that were on the bottom of their paper. You could do similar activities with colored counters, mini-erasers from the Target dollar spot, or even plastic coin monies. 

Another activity we will be doing is making a picture with our pattern blocks, and then we will be graphing which pattern blocks we used for our pictures.

If you had other ideas, please be sure to post in the comments below!!

Interested in the activities I mentioned above, but don't have the time to re-create the wheel? Check out the printables and SO MUCH MORE in Creating, Reading, Anaylzing Bar & Picture Graphs 2.MD.10

**I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn small fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.**

So I didn't just up and quit teaching, like one may have thought (with my lack of attendance in the blog-isphere). So hopefully you caught my last blog post on Addition Strategies, or if you are new here, WELCOME!

So I have been blessed with being able to have the experience of teaching first grade for 4 years and am in my 3rd year in 2nd grade. The progression and the growth in conceptual understanding with number sense and being able to start to add and subtract is a beautiful thing to watch unfold! When students have grasped the value of digits and have a solid number sense, you can then move onto introducing some addition strategies! Which then leads us here to subtraction!

Continuing with another great read-aloud The Cheese Feast by Strategic Educational Tools is a sequel, or spinoff of The Good Neighbors Store an Award. Another great read aloud for subtraction is The Action Of Subtraction by Brian Cleary. My students really enjoyed The Good Neighbors books though!

I generally spend 1-2 days on each strategy. I model the strategy, then we do some work together, then they independently practice the strategy, leading to me quickly assessing them to make sure they got the concept. Many students will find a strategy that makes sense to them, however, I encourage them during these strategy learning days to use the strategy that we are practicing on that day, and then after I introduce each strategy, they can choose how they problem solve from there on out.

So the first strategy we use in subtracting is using our base ten blocks. Literally everything hands on. We don't even write. I write the equation, and then I have them focus strictly on building using their manipulatives (base ten blocks) and then counting their tens and counting their ones ones, for their start number, and then taking away the amount they are subtracting. This is more of a concrete way for the students to solve, so many of them can pick up on this almost immediately. When I feel that they are ready, I then have them use their whiteboards and I have them draw sticks and dots (tens and ones) to take the place of the base ten blocks. We then spend the next day talking about what to do when we subtract our ones, but we don't have enough to take away what we need and they will have to make a trade of one ten for ten ones (regrouping).

The next strategy, because, to me, they are doing this strategy with subtracting with base ten blocks, is expanded form. I follow the same kind of direct instruction, I model, we do some together, with them working on their whiteboard, and also some shared solving (on the front whiteboard, a student comes up and solves), and then I have them independently solve some. This strategy also makes sense to them if they have grasped subtracting with base ten blocks. If they haven't grasped place value and don't have a strong number sense, they will struggle with expanded form. I suggest still introducing this strategy to them, but encourage them to build with base ten blocks and writing the value underneath---also pulling them into small groups to reteach place value and value of digits within numbers. After they've grasped subtracting with expanded form without regrouping, we then do some work with regrouping as well.

So number bonds was introduced to me about 2 years ago. The thought behind using number bonds, supports many of the math practices--such MP2--thinking about numbers in multiple ways. From the beginning of the school year, I try to teach my students to think of numbers flexibly.In the problem shown above, I broke the subtrahend down into 1 and 36 (from 37). Doing this allows me to easily subtract 1 from 51 to get 50. I then continue with this thinking, subtracting 30 from 50, and finally 6 from 20, leaving me with my answer of 14. Some kids refer to it as subtracting in chucks, whatever works for them!

So out of the 4 strategies I introduce, the open number line is the most abstract. The student has to be able to visually see numbers in sequential order on a number line. The student has to have a strong number sense, as well as understand greater than and less than and where numbers would go on a number line. I start by telling them on the number line, the bigger number (the start) goes all the way to the right, while the smaller number (the subtrahend) goes all the way to the left. They start with the smaller number, and then add in chunks--if that works for them adding in 10s, or adding to get to a friendly number--whatever works for them to get to that bigger number. Then they have to count their hops and that is the difference (answer). Again this one is very abstract, but some of my kiddos prefer it!

I do not spend much time at all on teaching the standard algorithm. In fact, I just show the students how to solve and I say, "This is probably the way your parents, and most old people, solve addition and subtraction problems." The kids always find that hilarious and laugh about it--I tell them I'm old too and that's how I learned to add and subtract by solving algorithms, but I also tell them I didn't understand or have a good number sense. I again hit the point that numbers are flexible and if you can see numbers flexibly you can solve any problems! Check out the FREEBIE, by clicking the image below!

If you have any different ideas for teaching addition, leave in the comments below! 

**I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn small fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.**

Looking for the perfect gifts for the teacher in your life? Or maybe you're just looking for some ideas! Here are 10 fun teacher gift ideas for that lovely teacher that you, or maybe your child, holds close to their heart!

As a busy teacher and mom of active children, we always are looking for ways to save time when prepping or cooking dinner! These Instant Pots are great!!! And do you need some recipes to go with them?!? Check out these recipes I found on Pinterest for Instant Pots! I'm sure your beloved teacher would appreciate you saving them time in their meal prep and planning.

Along the same lines of saving time during meal prep and planning--your teacher would love these Air Fryers! Essentially everything and anything can be fried in this! AND it saves time!! Also, here are some recipes for the Air Fryer that I found on Pinterest for Air Fryers. 

Switching gears to what a teacher could use in their classroom--a wireless doorbell. Now to a normal non-teacher human, this may seem silly, but BELIEVE YOU ME, grabbing the kiddos attention or switching it up for using during transition times--it has worked wonders in my classroom! This doorbell has 50 different sounds/chimes and is currently on sale for less than $20!! Save your teachers sanity with this great gift!

All teachers use pens, and some teachers love these PaperMate Flair Pens and some teachers prefer other pens like PaperMate Ink Joy. Teachers can always use pens!!

Echo Dot smart speaker with Alexa is perfect for any classroom! Your teacher or their students can ask Alexa to play music, answer questions, read the news, check the weather, set alarms, and more! And it's currently on sale for less than $25! 

These super cute earrings are from Scarlett & Jade Designs on Etsy. She has all kinds of designs from holiday inspired to sports inspired to floral to glitter! I love them all! Check her out on Etsy

Every teacher can find something they can use on Teachers Pay Teachers! Teachers pay teachers is an online resource bank where teachers can find curriculum for their grade level. They have lessons, activities, games, and anything a teacher could need. 

There isn't 1 teacher that I know that doesn't love a good teacher tee! And Missy LuLu's Custom Apparel has the CUTEST teacher tees around!! 

Teachers love books! Anytime I can, I try to add to my classroom library to support my students love for reading. I also do what I can do get those students hooked that aren't yet lovers of books. Captain Underpants have won some of my hardest kids over to loving to read. So whether you are purchasing for the teacher in your life, or maybe a reluctant reader, try adding Captain Underpants to their book shelf! 

When all else fails, grab an amazon gift card! Amazon has so many great things, and everything a teacher could ever want or wish for! Amazon is my go to to order math manipulatives, book for read alouds, prizes for my prize box, and classroom supplies!

If you have any great teacher gift ideas, please leave them in the comments below!!

**I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn small fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.**
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