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Time to Read Biographies

59734382_640We started our biographies unit in reading today and the students read a short biography of Ellen Ochoa in their textbooks called . The second graders learned how she became the first Hispanic woman in space and how her life changed because she followed her dreams. We worked together as a whole class to read the biography and then take some notes about her life. We first went through a quick timeline of her life which included events like her birth, her first space shuttle flight and when she first joined NASA. The students also filled out a list of her accomplishments and why we remember her. We will be reading all kinds of different biographies this week and the students will be able to see how a biography is written. Since we have been working on information about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln over the past few days, the students will be writing a biography about each of them later this week to tie english and social studies into this reading unit. Then next week they will be put into pairs to work on short biographies and create timelines to present to the class.  Continue reading

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Mighty Regrouping Dinosaurs

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It was a very challenging Wednesday for the students today. During our math time, the students once again visited the new realm of two-digit subtraction using regrouping. This time I showed the students another way to count numbers and regroup using base ten blocks. The students were given some subtraction problem examples and we would work through the regrouping process as a class. This is a brand new concept to the students so they once again had a very tough time figuring it out. I will say that I am very proud for how hard the second graders worked during math yesterday. We were doing math for a long time to just keep practicing. I could really start to see improvement and some “light bulbs” go off in the students throughout the day. Towards the end of the day, I had a one-on-one conference with many of the students to go over regrouping and sure enough many of them had figured out regrouping and were able to do some problems on their own with guidance!! I couldn’t be more happier when each student had their breakthrough with regrouping subtraction. Now the key is for me to keep letting the students practice so that they will all have regrouping mastered. It is going to take quite some time for that, but it is a goal I know the students can reach.

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Regrouping and Catching Up

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Today’s lessons had the students really puzzled. For the first time ever, the second graders began their journey into learning subtraction with regrouping (those of you who are older would know this process as “borrowing”) . The students used dimes and pennies to help them solve two-digit subtraction problems such as 56¢ – 12¢ = 44¢ and so on. The students did really well with the basic subtraction concepts but once we got to problems with regrouping, the students began to struggle. The main problem the students were trying to solve is 62¢ – 27¢ and the reminder to them was that we cannot take away 7 ones from 2 ones, so we had to regroup/borrow a ten from the 6 tens or 60 portion of 62. This concept was very tricky. but I will say that although most of the students still do not understand regrouping, many of them began to understand the concept without realizing they understood. Continue reading