Monday, January 26, 2015

More Math Discovery

Now that we're back into the swing of things with math discovery, I'm wondering why I ever stopped providing discovery learning opportunities for my students.  (I seem to have fallen off the discovery learning wagon from about June 2014-December 2014 as I transitioned to teaching Grade 2 for the first time, after looping up with my Grade 1s).  Now that math discovery has made a comeback in our classroom, it's exciting to watch and listen as my grade 2s tackle new and more challenging math tasks.  When comparing to our math discovery in grade 1, I'm noticing some changes.  For example, students are more confident exploring math ideas with larger numbers and they are tackling more challenging operations (such as multiple addend addition).  It's fun to see them try new things and there have been some great teaching moments when a student goes beyond what they know they can do and tries something really tricky that I can support them with!

If you're ready to try out discovery learning, check out the blog posts I mention here and visit my  Pinterest board for inspiration to develop your own discovery tubs!

Here are our tubs from this week: 

Discovery Tub Contents:
numeral cards for 0-20
numeral cards for 21-50
numeral cards for 50-100 (at a student's request!)
number word cards for 0-20

These were all classroom materials that I already have made in my classroom.  We use them regularly, so I have each set organized in mini baggies from the dollar store.  I make my sets in as many different colours as possible so that they are easier to sort again when students are done with them.  

Students can: sequence numbers, identify odd and even, sort numbers by attributes, compare numbers, match numbers to number words

Discovery Tub Contents:
Power of 10 cards
small blank booklets (made from scrap papers stapled together)

Students can: practice making ten, write addition and subtraction sentences, experiment with multiple addend addition

Discovery Tub Contents:
whiteboard markers
whiteboard erasers
counters,chips or buttons

Students can: show and record addition (and subtraction), practice strategies for addition and subtraction

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Math Discovery Makes a Comeback!

After some successful science discovery time last week, I was encouraged and motivated to reintroduce math discovery in my classroom.  Discovery learning was an effective approach for me last year and I developed/sourced a number of discovery tub ideas (which I've pinned here).  Many of last year's discovery tubs focused on math learning and I knew that discovery time was valuable for developing students' numeracy skills. So, when students asked me about "putting numbers on the learning carpet", I decided it was time to get back to math discovery in our classroom. 

 I've included our most recent math discovery tubs and a list of contents for each below:

Discovery Tub Contents:
Various dice - I included 6 sided, 9 sided and 20 sided dice to meet the needs of a variety of learners.
White Board Markers
Laminated Roll the Dice and Domino Addition cards - These are basically "fill in the blank" addition and subtraction number sentence templates.  I already had them made and laminated from math games, so I used them but you could easily substitute any sort of blank number sentence templates.

Discovery Tub Contents:
Number cards for 0-100
Squares and triangles in different colours
Learning Carpet or other 100 grid

It was awesome to watch the students at this discovery tub work as a team to correctly "fill in" the hundred chart and develop colour patterns for odd and even.  They also had to decide on whether to create a zero-based 100 chart or to start at 1!  Some students asked each other to name the hidden number under a coloured card.

Discovery Tub Contents:
Playing card mats (printed from First Grade School Box blog)
Decks of cards (I included some with numerals only/no "dots" to count)

This was a returning tub from last year and it was neat to see students tackle more challenging number sentences and fact families! 

Discovery Tub Contents: Playing card mats (printed from First Grade School Box blog), Decks of cards (I included some with numerals only/no "dots" to count)  Students at this tub can: find cards to make the number sentence true, work with "fact families"/related facts/turnaround facts

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Science Discovery Debuts in Grade 2

As part of our science learning on properties of solids, liquids and gases, we are learning about floating and sinking.  Since, Our discovery tubs were a huge hit in grade one last year, I decided to introduce some new ideas with discovery sessions this week.  Students found this type of learning very engaging and enjoyable and I am impressed with the learning, observing and questioning taking place. I felt that it was appropriate at the Grade 2 level to have students record some of their thinking, so as good scientists, each of my students is keeping a recording sheet of observations, materials, questions and ideas.  I put together two "types" of tubs: object tubs and construction tubs.  Each station had an additional water tub and a towel!  Read below to find out what our discovery tubs included this week!

Discovery Tub Contents:
Construction Tubs - these tubs encouraged learners to construct/build something from smaller parts

Tub 1
masking tape
popsicle sticks
plastic bottles (from recycling)
wooden rulers

Tub 2
wooden blocks
plastic blocks
masking tape

Tub 3
aluminum pop cans (from recycling)
egg cartons (also recycled)
paper and cardboard (recycled)
masking tape

Discovery Tub Contents:
Object Tubs - these tubs encouraged learners to find out which individual objects would float or sink.  I used a variety of objects from around our classroom to fill each tub. 

Tub 1:
plastic cutlery
foam dice
plastic dice
plastic pieces
foam pattern blocks
wood pattern blocks
wooden blocks
plastic people manipulatives
foam dominoes

Tub 2:
egg cartons
plastic blocks
plastic fish manipulatives
dinosaur manipulatives
lego blocks
plastic mouse manipulatives
paper clips
popsicle sticks

Finding out which objects float and which objects sink

Putting materials together to build an object that will (hopefully) float!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Pigeon Wants a Walrus by Sev Antonio

The Pigeon Project is still alive and well in our classroom.  Students are working to complete stories they started writing last year or they are working on new story ideas for publishing!  Here's Sev's story "The Pigeon Wants a Walrus".  You can flip through the book here or view below:

Mixbook - Create stunning photo books, cards and calendars! | Design your own Photo Book with Mixbook's easy online editor.