Beginning of the Year Math for Second Grade

Hey y'all! As you're thinking about heading back to school, it's time to start doing a little planning. I think I have tried just about everything when it comes to teaching math. I have taught whole group, small group, rotations, BUILD stations, district provided curriculum, a mixture of resources...nothing had been quite right. So I tried what I do with science centers....

Basically, we have a whole group lesson on Monday, the kids go to stations Tuesday through Thursday, and Friday we have a culminating lesson and activity. Each week is highly focused and the kids are so engaged with what they're learning that there are rarely any behavior issues. You can find the whole scoop on it here.

So when we start off at the beginning of the year, we spend a lot of time on routines and procedures. Students need to know how it works, where they put their recording sheets, where to go next, etc. You can find a free startup kit for organizing things here. (It's really simple!)

The first week of school, we do lots of hands on explorations with manipulatives so we can get the play out of the way and set the tone for math time. After that, we focus on how to use these things as tools, not toys.

The first week of hard core math is reviewing addition and subtraction strategies. We can't get anything else done until we remember those things! We do this with anchor charts, games, interactive notebooks, write the rooms, and task cards. The best part is students begin to take charge of their learning. Each station has direction cards for students to refer back to if they forget what they're supposed to be doing at a center.

The second week, we review skip counting by 5's, 10's, and 100's. Again, games, task cards, notebooks, and write the room activities help facilitate instruction. While students are at their centers, I am checking in with them and addressing any misconceptions, answering questions, providing scaffolding, and doing all the things I'd be doing in a whole group lesson without having to compete for attention with whatever has them silly today. 

Week 3, we dive into number lines. Most of my students remember being exposed to number lines in first grade, but often forget how to use them. With a week of dedicated stations, they become pros and aren't intimidated by them when it comes to standardized testing time. 

This is a three week long unit that includes everything needed to get students back into a math mindset and ready to dig deeper. It includes lesson plans, direction cards, puzzles, games, recording sheets, interactive notebook pieces, and math crafts to end the week and add to your bulletin boards.

For more details, you can check out the whole unit here. This is the first of several units coming this year. Stay tuned for many more exciting resources to engage your second graders and build a student-centered classroom.

Thanks for stopping by, and don't forget to pick up your starter supplies. You can get them here and full math unit here. Have a great week and stay sweet!

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