# Desperately need help with Math!

Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by JLT63, Nov 15, 2010.

1. ### JLT63Rookie

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Nov 15, 2010

Hi, all!

This is my first year in 2nd grade, and the math is about to kill my kids AND me!

I am SOOO struggling with how to teach my kids the concepts - especially double digit addition and subtraction...and I haven't even gone into regrouping yet. Help!

So many WONDERFUL trade books have been written on how to teach reading....I know so much about that...

Can anyone direct me to any trade books, websites, or even teacher resources for how to teach math? I know there are tons of reproducible books out there, but I have a copy limit, and I don't want to give just worksheets. I do need some activities and games as well....but I mainly would love some insight on actually how to deliver instruction so I can get the concepts across to the kids.

Any ideas at all? I haven't really heard about any good Math trade books out there.....

Thanks for any help.

3. ### teresaglassGroupie

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Nov 15, 2010

use beans or colored disks to help with grouping for addition and subtraction.

4. ### UVAgrl928Habitué

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Nov 16, 2010

Smartboard or no smartboard? I LOVE my smartboard and there are a variety of resources and demos out there that I love to use. I feel like my classes since my smartboard was installed have grasped math concepts much quicker than my previous classes. If you have a smartboard, my group just started double digit addition and subtraction this week, I can send you some activities.

What specifically are the kids struggling with? You might want to try to break it down a little more to figure out where your students' problem is.... is it their math facts? Is it lining up the problem vertically? Is it the concept of place value? I know my first year of teaching, when I taught double digit, I never taught place value. I just kind of assumed that they somehow knew!

Sorry I don't really have a book to recommend... but I do have lots of helpful websites. I just don't want to overwhelm you, so let me know what specific things. Here is a great little demo I did with my kids the other day that they loved!

I also moved to the math workshop format this year, and I LOVE it! I never thought I would do it because it seemed so overwhelming, but it's actually much easier this way. I know each of my kids so much better individually, and I am able to provide more individual attention to each student. I have some games that I printed and laminated that we use, as well as a bunch of great Lakeshore games I got through DC!

5. ### macteachRookie

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Nov 16, 2010

I have a book that I really like. It is Helping Children Learn Mathematics, by Reys, Lindquist, Lambdin.... It covers where children are in their thinking with regards to the math concepts and gives great examples of where to start teaching the concepts. It also covers activites that will reinforce what you are teaching.

6. ### JLT63Rookie

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Nov 16, 2010

Thank you!!!

macteach - thank you so much for recommending that book to me. I think it's going to help me a WHOLE lot in understanding the development of mathematics in my students. I'm definitely buying it! Hopefully it'll help me a great deal in delivering lessons that make sense to my students! I think it will and I'm so excited to finally hear about a good book that can help me!

UVAgrl928 - SO appreciate your offer to help! Unfortunately, I don't have a smart board. I have an document camera, which I find highly difficult to use, only because it is on an overhead cart with the projector, so I only have this small space in which to work. It won't even allow me to show an entire page, so it's hard to model manipulatives with - I usually end up having everyone sit on the carpet and try to show them in my hands. Then, of course, I have them do it. They seem to do okay, and then we have a test, which they bomb, because they aren't using manipulatives. I'm wondering if I should be allowing them to use the manipulatives during the test (the other teachers in my grade don't, so I haven't been either). We use Pearson's Envision Math, which is kind of crazy if you ask me, and the questions are so weird! We don't HAVE to use it, but if I don't, then I have to get all the resources on my own and being my first year in 2nd grade, I'm still a little unsure exactly what would benefit my students to learn and what will help them the most in 3rd grade. I would say that much of it is addition/subtraction facts, confusing tens and ones place, etc.

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to know more about your math workshop!!!! I think it would help me a lot because I have a group of kids who already know the concepts, and they are so bored with me having to re-teach the others over and over again. I don't make them sit through it, of course, I allow them to go ahead on their own, but then they basically sit and read while I spend the rest of the time on other students. I just bought a book on math games, which I'm trying to get made and put out for kids to do, and I think a math workshop structure would really help a lot. Please, please tell me more! How can I do private email with you? I guess you can check my profile to send me a message? I NEED to talk to you more about this! Thank you so much!!! By the way, I absolutely LOVE the online game!!! I want to show it to my kids tomorrow!!!!!

7. ### UVAgrl928Habitué

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Nov 17, 2010

I just sent you an email with a lengthy explanation of what I do... I hope it helps! And obviously it's only one of many ways you can do math workshop... that's the beauty of it, you can adapt it to your students and your needs

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Nov 21, 2010

JLT63 - I completely understand what you are going through! My students are struggling big time as well. I am trying to take it slow and show it as many different ways as possible. I also do not have a smart board or anything, so I am writing it on the board and doing small groups. Fingers crossed it sinks in!!!

9. ### SilmarienneCohort

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Nov 25, 2010

Definitely want to use manipulatives. And I saw somewhere the teaching using the ones' house, the tens' house and the hundreds' house. Only 9 can live in the ones' house, then they have to start moving to the tens, and so on. Can't remember where that comes from, though.

I teach K but have been offered the chance to move to 2nd next year.

10. ### SilmarienneCohort

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Nov 25, 2010

Pleeeze, can you copy that to me-- or post it here? :thanks:

11. ### RabbittConnoisseur

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Nov 28, 2010

Try this:

57 = 50 + 7
+44 = 40 + 4
---------------
90 + 11
or 90 + 10 + 1

Before I teach this approach, I do loads of adding 20 + 30,
or 40 + 50, or 600 + 200, etc.

This works for me and my students. Parents at first buck it as they themselves do not understand the concept or grouping and regrouping.

12. ### JLT63Rookie

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Nov 29, 2010

Thank you so much, Rabbitt, for this advice! Can you believe that I thought my kids had done expanded notation in first grade, but they hadn't! So doing it this way is going to be the best thing for my kids! You are the 2nd one to mention this to me, and I've shown a couple of kids and they are getting it!

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Nov 29, 2010

The 1s house, 10s house and so on is from Math-U-See. Here is the link that explains it.

http://www.mathusee.com/ If you go to the website and go to the Demo Video, eventually he will get to the place value stuff...(about 10 min in)

Well I found it written as well....

Lakeshore learning has these magnetic base 10 blocks...What I did with some of my kids (I teach special education-Autism), is I made a house in the same color as my base ten blocks. I think the colors are orange, blue, green and red. But I just printed on a house pattern on that color paper, laminated, put magnetics on the back. I kinda followed how the Math-U-See guy explains it but used more simpler words.

Hope that helps.

14. ### RabbittConnoisseur

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Nov 29, 2010

You're welcome! Use this site often...it helps!
Expanded form works for nearly all my students and then they transition to 'traditional' regrouping easily.

15. ### teacherfanCohort

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Dec 27, 2010

UVA can you share your math workshop with me as well? I would really like to individualize my math instruction. Thanks!

16. ### UVAgrl928Habitué

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Dec 27, 2010

I just copied and pasted the email I sent... it's really long, sorry!

I'm not a big reader either, so I can't really sit and read about instruction... I'm one of those people that has to see it and try it out, then make adjustments. My class this year is not a whole group kind of class. They cannot handle a whole group lesson (I don't do any whole group instruction all day), everything I do is small group. This summer I read and asked questions a lot about the workshop format on AtoZ and Proteacher. I enjoyed learning from other teachers what worked and what didn't work for them. I only have an hour for math, so I do three 20 minute rotations. If there is something I need to do whole group (like introduce a new game or go over directions for a worksheet), I do that for about 5-10 minutes. Then my students break into their three groups. I grouped them at the beginning of the year by ability, but these groupings weren't perfect. I have allowed them move in and out of groups a bit, but I don't regroup consistently. I know some teachers give a pretest on a skill and group after correcting those, and keep those groups until they have covered the skill. My group doesn't handle change well, so I think doing this too frequently would confuse them, but different things work for different groups Here is what my rotations look like (Orange is my high group, Pink is mid range, and Blue is my low group). I have to take my blue group last because I have a couple students pulled for LD earlier in the block... and the lesson with teacher station is most important.

1:00-1:20- Rotation 1
Lesson with teacher- Orange group
Independent practice- Pink group
Math game- Blue group

1:20-1:40- Rotation 2
Lesson with teacher- Pink group
Independent practice- Orange group
Math game- Blue group

1:40-2:00- Rotation 3
Lesson with teacher- Pink group
Independent practice- Orange group
Math game- Blue group

My lesson with teacher is normally on my front carpet. I do have a smartboard and use it for a lot of my lessons, however, sometimes we just use my rolling whiteboard, clipboards, or other materials. I do use a lot of manipulatives (though a lot of mine are on the smartboard). My nametags have number lines, hundreds charts, shapes, and money (the only ones I have found like this... I am convinced these are the be ones out there, and all my teammates loved them so much they decided to get them too). I teach them how to use these very early in the year, and I have extra ones around the room for them to grab if they are working on the carpet. At first I was really concerned about only teaching 20 minutes of curriculum a day. However, in the past I was doing about 30-40 minutes of whole group, and I was losing the kids after about 20 minutes anyway. I wound up having to do a lot more reteaching because they tuned me out.

My independent practice is normally just a worksheet on a skill that we worked on the day before... that way my group that starts with the worksheet knows the skill and how to use it.

Then for the game, I try to coordinate a game that also works with the skill from the day before. For instance, last week we worked on place value. So Friday I introduced double digit addition in my lesson, for independent practice they did a worksheet on place values (writing the number for the base 10 blocks), and for the games they had a choice of a group game on place value or an individual puzzle on place value (I try to use some individual, partner, and group games). I used the same games Friday, Monday, Tuesday, and today. This is what our week has looked like:

Friday
Lesson with teacher- Intro double digit addition without regrouping
Independent practice- Place Value worksheet
Math game- Place Value group game and place value puzzles

Monday
Lesson with teacher- Intro double digit subtraction without regrouping
Independent practice- Double digit addition worksheet
Math game- Place Value group game and place value puzzles

Tuesday
Lesson with teacher- Review double digit addition and subtraction without regrouping
Independent practice- Double digit addition worksheet
Math game- Place Value group game and place value puzzles

Wednesday
Lesson with teacher- Double digit addition and subtraction (without regrouping) riddles
Independent practice- Double digit subtraction
Math game- Place Value group game and place value puzzles

Thursday
Lesson with teacher- Double digit addition and subtraction (without regrouping) word problems
Independent practice- Double digit subtraction
Math game- Word problem games

Thursday
Lesson with teacher- Double digit addition and subtraction (without regrouping) word problems
Independent practice- Double digit subtraction
Math game- Word problem games

So as you can see, it is a lot of repetition. I am still able to introduce a lot of new material, but the centers really allow them to practice the skill over and over again. But it still provides enough variety that the kids enjoy doing it, and remain engaged for almost the full hour (which is really tough for this group!). The stations also allow for a lot of discussion and peer instruction. I love to hear them explaining a concept to each other when someone gets stuck. Lakeshore has some awesome math games, but obviously they are very pricey. I have become addicted to donorschoose.org the past few months... here is a link to some of the games I have gotten if you need some ideas:
http://www.donorschoose.org/we-teach/517610.611404109?historical=true
These games have made the workshop format much easier because they require no prep. However, you can obviously make your own games! I don't know much about Envision Math (we use Investigations), but you can always use any games that they have with the curriculum for the game portion. Also, I don't know if you have any computers in your room, and how many, but sometimes I partner them up and put them on a math game on the computer... there are soooo many fun games that the kids love. If you ever want any, let me know! My favorites list is overflowing with math games! This is always one of their favorites (I love the British accent):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/starship/maths/numberjumbler.shtml

Sorry that was so super long, but I wanted to try to explain the best I can. It took me a while to really grasp the idea and how it worked. As I said, I asked a million questions on the message boards since no one in my school used this format. Now that I have started using it, I have gotten four other teachers hooked on it at my school so far! Everyone has agreed they know each of their students much better individual ability than the way we were teaching before. And, you don't necessarily have to do this format everyday. Two of my teammates wanted to give it a try, but only want to do it 2-3 days a week. The other days they do whole group instruction. This works well too. That's the great thing about it, there are many things that you can do to adapt it to best fit you and your class!

17. ### czaczaMultitudinous

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Dec 27, 2010

Do they have their basic facts to 18 down yet? I spent most of my fall on those basics in second grade and started place value and double digit addition and subtraction after the holidays.

18. ### teacherfanCohort

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Dec 27, 2010

Thanks for the breakdown of your groups!

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May 14, 2011

UVAGIRL - Sorry if I missed this but how many are in each group?

20. ### AsherDasherCompanion

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Jun 19, 2011

This math workshop setup sounds so neat! I love the idea of how flexible it is yet how customizable it is as well! Very, very cool!...
Now I wonder if it could be implemented for 5th graders as well...? hmm