Showing posts with label math junkie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label math junkie. Show all posts

Analyzing data is an important life skill... and learning how to do can and should start early in the primary grades.   I use the 5 C's of data to help kids learn the process of analyzing data: Create, Collect, Count, Compare, and Communicate.  Let's take a closer look at each of these and what it looks like in the K-2 classroom.

Data Anchor Chart

During our 2nd grade math block last year, we talked about analyzing data using the 5 Cs: Create, Collect, Count, Compare, and Communicate.  This is just a helpful guide to help kids understand the process of analyzing data.  Sometimes we do all of those.  Sometimes, we skip to comparing data that's already been created, collected and counted for us.  But all of these are important steps that even adults go through to analyze data.

When we talked about this in 2nd grade math, we made the connection to my husband's job.  He does data analysis all day every day for Walmart.  And many people depend on his analyses to be correct so that they right amount of the right things get on the shelves! :) (no pressure, right??)  So, data analysis is a life-long skill that we use as adults.  

Here's a look at what our anchor chart looks like.  (You can find the template for this here.)

Collect the Data

Collecting data can be as simple as asking "Would you rather?" questions and tallying answers as a class.  For group or independent work, I love having hands on tools to help them collect the data.  With my 2nd grader last year, we used legos because he's obsessed with lego building right now.

He grabbed a handful of legos, measured them and tallied the results!

Count & Compare the Data

After the data has been collected, we are ready to count and compare the data.  When we first work on this, I give the kids the "collected data" so that they can just focus on the counting and comparing.  Here's a peek at a graph I've used in kindergarten and first.

And in 2nd grade guided math last year, our comparing got a little more in depth.

Communicate the Results

Once kids have been exposed to "filling in" a variety of data display types, it's time to really focus on analyzing each display type.  We talk about how to recognize a pie chart versus a bar graph.  We talk about when it would be best to use tallies and when it would be better to use a table or bar graph.

One of the first things we do when focusing on data displays is sort them together.

Then, the kids have a chance to match data displays independently during our guided math hands-on time.

You can find these graphing activities in my 2nd grade Guided Math Plans and additional, seasonally themed graphing printables here.

Money is a HUGE part of the math curriculum for 2nd graders!  It can be a pretty abstract concept for many kids, but I love using hands on, real world money activities and games to bring counting money to life.  Let's take a closer look at a few of my favorite money activities and money games for second grade.

Alexander, Who Used to be Rich...

I love this book so much.  But honestly, I just love Alexander no matter what book he's in!

The story is perfect for walking through a real world example of using money and counting coins.  Because our goal for this lesson is identifying the value of coins, that is what I really focus on for each slide of the story.

Then, we play Roll A Dollar and kids practicing adding pennies up to one dollar!

Counting Collections of Coins

Making money realistic and relating it to the real world is so important!  This digital game does just that!  We go through these slides together and count the coins to write the price on the tag.

Once we practice this skill together, kids get in partners and grab 10 coins from their prepared bag and count their collection!

Building a Collection of Coins

Who doesn't want to help Granny with her fruit stand?  I love this activity because it can be digital or printable.  Plus, depending on the group's decision, there are so many ways to work through Granny's fruit stand!

You can find all of the money activities and lesson plans for 2nd grade math in my Guided Math Workshop Lesson Plans.


A few weeks ago, we did some math operating in our homeschool 2nd grade math class! :)

And, ya'll, I wish we had worked on this much sooner!  My kid is a strong math thinker, who struggles with notation or showing/telling me how he figured out his answer.  His little brain works so fast that he has a hard time using the right language to explain his thinking.  That has been my main goal this year for him.  

I knew it was important for him to know and understand the 4 math operations, but I had no idea just HOW helpful it would be in giving him more math language to frame his thinking and ultimately write down his notation in a mathematical way.  

Sound familiar?  Here's a look at our week of math operations!

Introducing Math Operations

We kicked off the week introducing math operations.  I wrote the numbers 6 and 2 on the board and asked, "6 and 2 come to our math hospital.  There are 4 math operations that we can do with these numbers.  What's one thing we can do to 6 and 2?"

As we listed out the operations, we charted them.  We charted the symbol, the name of the operation, the sample equation, and keywords or phrases we use when performing that operation.

Once we worked through all 4 operations and compared and contrasted them, we read the digital book from my Guided Math Workshop Plans called, "Socks for Knox."

Each page has a different story problem type.  We read the problem and discussed which operation we should use and why.  The answer is less fact, that's why I used very low numbers.  I wanted him to think about the operation and not get caught up in the numbers.

Let's just take a moment to add that I really, *really*, wanted my 2nd grader to dress up in his old doctor outfits and pretend like we were performing surgery, but he wasn't having it.  #boys  This would make a super fun classroom transformation project though! :)

Math Operations Sort

In Guided Math Workshop, Mondays are mostly whole group days where most of the content is frontloaded and introduced.  Then, the rest of the week, kids work independently on the goals and content we learned on Monday.  They solve a new problem independently each day, play a hands on game with a partner, meet with a teacher in a small group to discuss their problem solving and work on a technology based game to practice the math skill from Monday.  You can read more about those routines here.

This week, our hands-on activity was an operations sort! We used the cards to sort symbols, equations, and stories into the 4 operation categories.

These cards can also be used to play memory!

Then, he did a cut and paste sort on his own.

All of this practice made a HUGE difference in his ability to show his strategies during problem-solving.  He was able to name the operation he needed to use and write his equation more easily.  

You can find all of these lesson plans and activities and more in my Guided Math Workshop Plans for 2nd Grade!

Guided Math Workshop was a new structure that came about as I was leaving the classroom for my mommy break.  Why the change in my math block time?  I loved the focus we had on problem solving before, but it was hard for me to feel like I could conference with all of my kids.  I also struggled with the need to do small group instruction, but not having a framework for managing that.

And lastly, I needed more balance between kid-guided problem solving and direct instruction.  So Guided Math Workshop was born.  Here's a look at what a week of guided math workshop looks like now!


On Mondays, we introduce the goal for the week through a mini-lesson.  Sometimes, we read a book, sometimes we watch a video, and sometimes we work through some digital slides with some discussion together.  I spend about 15-30 minutes on this, depending on the activity.  Here is one of our mini-lessons from when we practice drawing shapes with specific attributes with a personal favorite, The Greedy Triangle!

Then, we do a brain break video that relates to our goal for the week.

After our blood is flowing again, we have some kind of math talk that ties to the goal for the week.  This is my chance to model math notation and how to show our thinking during problem solving time.  It also gives my kids a chance to hear strategies from the whole class.  Here's a math talk we did on the dry erase board brainstorming ways to regroup.

And here's another math talk we did using the riddles from The Grapes of Math.

After our math talk, I introduce the hands-on game that the kids will play with partners during the week.  We play the game as a whole group so that I can teach them the game and model how to fill out the response sheet.  And then we are ready for the rest of the week!

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays look exactly the same.  This is perfect because if we have a four day week, we can just have 2 days of this rotation schedule instead of 3 and not much is taken away from the math instruction except for more practice time! :)  Here's the routine for these three "rotation" days.

Launch Math Mysteries

For the first 5-10 minutes, we launch the story problem the kids will work on independently for the day.  I edit the launch slide in our rotation slideshow and pull it up during our launch.  We review our goal for the week, read the problem, and we talk about what we know about the story problem and what we are trying to figure out.  The launch is short and sweet, because I want to give kids time to work on the problem and figure it out on their own.  

Then, we continue the rotation board.  This is a timed powerpoint presentation that shows kids exactly where to go. Once I move to this slide, the chimes will sound and the rotations begin.  It will give kids 15 minutes to work on their first rotation.  At the end of 15 minutes, the chimes will sound again and go to the next slide which shows the kids where to move to next.  The names and even the time is completely editable and found in my plans for 1st grade or for 2nd grade.

**NOTE: Yes, I know this doesn't spell math.  Long story short, sometimes the rotations are out of order to make sure each group gets to every station when they need to get to it.  Want the long story?  The very detailed explanation and directions are included in the plans.**

Let's take a closer look at each of the rotations!

M: Meet With Me

During this rotation, kids come back to my small group table.  For *most* kids, this rotation comes immediately after their at my seat time where they have been working on solving the problem.  We use this time to share our strategies with kids who are in similar places in their problem solving skills.  I can use this time to extend or give extra support to these kids and model notation that specifically applies to certain kids.

For my lower babies, they come meet with me first.  Why?  Because most of them are unable to get started independently and need extra support.  So, during their meet with me time, we might act out the story problem or even work through the first level of problems.  By the end of this 15 minutes, these struggling mathematicians are ready to finish solving the rest of the problems independently and they will move straight to At My Seat next.

A: At My Seat

During this rotation, kids work on independently solving all 4 levels of the story problem.  This is a quiet and independent working time for these kids at their seat.  Remember, the low kids have just come from meeting with me for extra support before they start.  And the rest of the groups will be coming to meet with me after this to share their strategies.

T: Technology

During this rotation, kids work on our goal for the week on a device.  I have used websites like dreambox, I-Ready, starfall and abcya.  With my 2nd grader at home this year, I am using these fluency Google Slides assignments.

H: Hands-On

During this rotation, kids play the game we modeled together on Monday.  Some games I play take longer and will take the whole week to finish playing.  With other games, I have the kids use a different version each day (like a new tic tac toe board).  Most games are designed to play with partners, but some can be independent.  This is the only station where kids might be talking/whispering.  So, in general, rotation time is pretty quiet except for your hands-on kids and the kids at your table! :)


After the last rotation, we get back together and reflect.  This is my time to talk about what worked (with the math and with behavior, etc) and what didn't.  It's also a chance for me to address any common problems I saw with the problem solving that day or strategies that I want everyone to see.  But, mostly, this time is more like a class meeting about our math time!


Fridays are non-rotation days! We start off working through our spiral review of grade level math skills with our digital math wall time.

Then, we work on counting collections.  You can read about those routines here, but it's one of my favorites!  

Sometimes, later in the year, I start doing counting collections every other week and fact fluency practice on the off weeks where we practice our math facts.  (Read those routines here!)

If we have time, we do another share time at the end of the day where we share counting or fact fluency strategies, or any other things we need to discuss with our goal for the week!

You can find these detailed plans and materials for 1st and 2nd grade guided math workshop below.

If you've followed me for any amount of time, you know I LOVE counting collections!  But they do take time to set up correctly.  And the clean up time in the classroom with primary kiddos can be--well--a while! :)

And honestly, all of those "issues" are totally worth it!  But the biggest problem I've noticed lately is... kids can't do counting collections if they aren't in the classroom! #distancelearning

Yes, parents can grab some things around the house to count, but, that's not ideal to put on the parents--especially if they are full time parents.

So, digital counting collections were born!  I love these for so many reasons... let's talk about those and what the routines look like digitally in the classroom or at home.

Why Should I Go Digital With Counting Collections?

Okay.  Confession.  When given the option between digital and counting actual objects I can touch, feel and manipulate, I'd choose those dang q-tips every single time.  You just can't replace that.

But digital counting comes pretty stinkin' close.  It's a great fit for distance learning, if you want to be able to assign kids certain sets to count.  It's easy to do on a chromebook, ipad or even an iphone so many kids will have easy access to digital counting collections.

Besides being a great option for distance learning, counting collections can also be a great supplement in the classroom.

While I wouldn't recommend completely replacing your traditional counting collections with digital, there are some great ways to work it in that can add value to your counting routines.

Digital counting collections work great as an additional math center because the cleanup and set up is so much quicker than traditional counting collections.  They also work great as an early finisher task (read more about those here).

Again, this wouldn't replace your weekly or daily counting time, it would be in addition to it!

What Do Digital Counting Collections Routines Look Like?

Digital counting collection routines are super similar to tradition counting collections routines.  If you already do these in your classroom, adding the digital routines will be a breeze. 

If you are trying counting collections for the first time, digital is a great first step to practice and see how it works in your classroom before committing to collecting #allthethings in #allthetubs ! :)

If you are in your classroom, the first step is to introduce counting collections and do a digital example together.  Distance learning teachers, simply video yourself explaining how to use digital counting collections and showing them an example by using this screen recorder free software!

Once you feel your kids understand what to do, assign them all the same counting mat to practice and share together.  This will give you similar numbers and objects to talk about during the share time after their individual counting time.

Then, you are ready to begin the real work of counting collections.  You can use the assessments in the paper counting collections resource to determine where your kids should begin counting.  Then assign them a color level and you are set!  

That's a quick overview of the routines.  Are you new to counting collections and want more details on what to do?  Read this detailed post on getting started with counting collections.

The routine for digital counting collections is basically the same, just online. :)  If you want all the details about how to add it to Google Classroom, assign different mats to different students, etc, watch this video here!

Once you've assigned the mats, your kids will click and drag to count the objects like in this kinder mat.

Then, they will count and double click to type in the total amounts and whatever other skills needed.  (Kinder, 1st, and 2nd all have different skills they practice with their collection.)

Finally, they can use the "scribble" feature in google slides or the edit feature in google classroom on an ipad or iphone to show how they counted or label their counting.

This is one I did using the scribble feature on my laptop in google slides...

This is how my 7 year old did a kinder version on his iPad using the edit feature in the Google classroom app.

But what about share time?  Share time is different, but very doable if you are doing digital counting collections.  If you assign the mats in Google classroom, you can save the mat as a jpeg file once the student turns it in.  Then, you can pull it up on your whiteboard in the classroom to discuss or use it to record a share time video for distance learning.  You could even share your screen in zoom or google meet to do share time.

The awesome thing about the digital mats is you can see how they grouped the objects easily instead of counting on the kids to draw/represent how they counted accurately.

Where Can I Find Digital Counting Collections?

If you're ready to try digital counting collections, you can find the bundle of K, 1st, and 2nd mats here.  Click on the individual pictures for just that grade's mats.

Still unsure about how they would work in your classroom?  Try it out the kinder version for FREE here!

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