Tuesday, March 14, 2017

It was a fun class today.

"Please gather around the perimeter of the rug."

14 young bodies plopped on the floor around me.  I joined them, with two colors of square tiles. Constructing a rectangle of yellow, I asked, "What's the area of this rectangle?"

Without any hesitation, they each said, "24."

Removing yellow 6 tiles from the center, and replacing them with red tiles, I now asked, "What's the area of the yellow rectangle now?"


"How do you know?  What's your equation?"

"24 - 6 = 18" Followed by an explanation of why 6 was subtracted.

Another shape appears on the rug, but this time it is not a simple rectangle.

"What is the area of this shape?"


"I did this on Khan!"

"Can I break it anyway I want?"

Students eager to share their learning, talking over which rectangles they formed to solve for area.

Another shape appeared.

"How about this one?"

Students reached in to show each other how they broke it apart.  Murmurs of "that's how I did it too" as different options were shared.

My second graders love math. It is obvious in the way the interact, the way they talk with each other, they way they learn.  They have really, truly, and honestly embraced the idea that mistakes help us learn.  They support each other and willingly share their thinking.  They hold each other accountable for high quality work and behavior.

At the end of the class, we met on the rug again, this time for a game of BUZZ.

"Can we do 6s?"
"No.  Let's do 4s"
"We made it to 60 yesterday then we ran out of time. Can we start at 60 today?"

We started at 1. Made it to 70 before an error derailed us.  When class was over, 14 smiling faces walked back to their homerooms.  And I thought, "That was fun today! I'm glad I am here!"

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for the opportunity to share a slice of my life.


  1. Your math class sounds fun and engaging! Lucky students, and lucky you to see them so into their learning!

  2. I used to LOVE playing Buzz with my students! I've been doing literacy consulting (and out of the classroom) for nearly eight years so it's been awhile since I've played a math game!

  3. It sounds like your second graders have a terrific math teacher!!!

  4. Yay, math! What a fun slice and a fun story about 2nd graders and math! <3