Differentiated Math Fact Practice

Making Ten

4th Grade Resources

Fly On The Math Teachers Wall! BUZZWORTHY Classroom Ideas Blog Hop

Math Strategies

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.
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.

Daily Routines:

One of the things that all math teachers do at the beginning of the lesson is to 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 every day.  This routine has become VERY familiar to our 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. 
This is one of the problems that we worked this week.  I am in the process of creating a problem of the day for second grade for the whole year.  Grades third and above have the Problem of the Day provided for them by the district as part of the curriculum.  But guess what?  Not first and second. 

Some of my students went ahead and 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.
Once my students had drawn one thing or used at least one strategy, I prompted them to think of another way to represent the problem.  
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!


  1. I love the range of strategies you are seeing at the beginning of grade 1! Looks like you are going to have a GREAT year!

    The Math Maniac

  2. I am loving the problem of the day! I am going to have to start incorporating that into my warm up!

  3. Love all the pictures of the strategies your students came up with! Glad you are enjoying your new grade level. :)

    Math Coach’s Corner

  4. Congratulations on being named lead math teacher! I am so impressed with the variety of strategies your students chose to solve the problem. It is evident that they have learned a bank of problem strategies and are selecting strategies they have deemed appropriate rather than following a canned protocol. Good luck with your school year!

  5. Number of the Day and Problem of the Day are both such great ways to apply and foster number sense. The pics of your students' thinking were impressive! Lots of good things are going on in your class. :-)

  6. I'm excited to get a number of the day routine in place...I think I'll also try a problem of the day, but not sure how much I need to start new this year. :)

  7. Great idea!! It seems like your students are off to a great start and an even better school year!

  8. These are some great ideas for my Intervention kiddos!

  9. Love using the small whiteboards for starter question. Like getting them to show answers in different ways!

    1. Hi Susan!

      Congratulations!! You are the winner of the $50 TpT gift certificate! Please let me know where I may send it.


  10. When I taught first grade a few years ago, I did a number of the day paper similar to the one you have in your teacherpayteachers store. The kids loved doing it every day and I did it because I believed it would strengthened their math skills. I am now teaching those same students in fourth grade, and they are very strong in number sense and operations in base ten and operations and algebraic thinking in math. I am getting to see the impact of having the students practice daily math skills.

  11. I love how many different ways were shown to arrive at the same answer.

  12. The diverse range of representations your students used is wonderful! Enjoy your first grade adventure! All the best!


  13. Love the variety of responses, did you know you can buy table size group whiteboards? I have ordered a set and can't way to use them.

  14. Love using the whiteboards! So easy to tell who is getting it and who needs some support! Love looking at the actual student responses!

  15. I used problem of the day when I taught first grade. I loved it! It was a great way to start the day for us.
    The Research Based Classroom

  16. I love all of the different strategies that are being used in the pictures. Nice Job!

  17. I love the use of a white board to save on paper!!

  18. I love the Problem of the Day and Number of the Day activities. Using white boards for student engagement is a great idea also.

  19. Great way to check student's strategies and understanding.

  20. I love the problem of the day and number of the day, even for older students. What a great idea

  21. What a good idea to use whiteboards for the problem of the day! I got new whiteboards this year and am always looking for ways to use them.

  22. Thanks for the tips, and the giveaway as well!
    - Katy


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