WELCOME to a new year of school! I'm joining some of my favorite math teacher-bloggers for our periodic Fly on the Math Teacher's Wall blog hop. Today's topic is Back to School!

Scroll to the bottom to visit the next blog on the tour.

This year, I am teaching second grade math (and science). It's only the first week of school, but I'll admit, I'm having a blast.

This year, I am teaching second grade math (and science). It's only the first week of school, but I'll admit, I'm having a blast.

I have already had an hour observation from my rater. ( The third day of school!!!) I guess it went OK. Right after the observation, I was asked to be the Lead Teacher for grades K-2 math. One of the things that we talked about in our debrief was the structure of the math block.

My school is very intentional about creating consistent math routines across grade levels. I love this! It creates some great structure that our scholars will be familiar with when they go on to the next grade.

One of the things that all math teachers do at the beginning of the lesson is work a problem of the Day. I love this! Some of you know that I have always been big on Number of the Day at the beginning of my math block, so this is an adjustment. But, I'm all about doing things differently to see if I can get even better as a teacher. From grade one on, our students are led by the teacher in problem solving strategies on a fixed mat everyday. This routine has become VERY familiar to out students--so much so that they were telling me how it was supposed to go because I'm the "new teacher." I teach three periods of math during the day, so I've had lots of help from my young learners.

Some of my students went ahead an started with the standards algorithm. I said that this was "OK", but that second grade is all about the strategies! (Of course all MATH is all about the strategies!)

Some students made a graphic representation, either base ten blocks, tally marks or ten frames, and then wrote the standard algorithm.

Some students ONLY drew pictures or graphic representations of the numbers.

I loved that some of my kids drew VERY elaborate pictures to solve the problem. Pictures are so important for early problem solving! It really gets the kids thinking concretely about math.

This was a great exercise for the first week of

**second grade**. You gotta love all of the different strategies they came up with! I'm really looking forward to this year. This first week has shown me that my kids have some solid math practice behind them from which to build.**The Rest:**

This is only the beginning. Join me and the rest of my math buddies for a great start to the new school year! This is a really great back to school hop! Click on the link to continue on to the Math Coaches Corner!