Week in Review: Math & Reading

Wow! Thank goodness it's Friday tomorrow! This week has been so busy (what week isn't???) but my class has been doing some amazing learning! I am so proud of the gains I can see my kiddos begin to make. I want to say that the majority of my students this year came into 2nd grade a bit lower than my class last year so this year I'm having to adjust my lessons a bit and start with the basics and build from there.

We began our unit on doubles and how we can use doubles to add. I read to them Two of Everything by Lily Toy Hong, which tells the story of Mr. and Mrs. Haktak who are very poor living in China. He's gardening one day and happens upon a magic pot that doubles everything that falls inside. It's a funny story to read and really gets the doubling concept across to kids who are learning it for the first time.

After reading the story and discussing what happened to the items that fell into the pot, we made a T-Chart together labeling it: IN | OUT and students came up with different examples of how items would double when put into the pot. This lead to the Doubling Pot Activity! Simply put: students come up with a doubling problem where they pick any item to put into the pot. I told them they could choose between 1-10 to double since I didn't want them to make it more difficult for themselves to double the number.

The students had to record and draw the number of items going into the pot, then draw what would come out if it was doubled.

The day prior I made a chart similar to the one below to which they copied into their math notebooks along with the correlating double problems. I later turned it into this fun little anchor chart that hangs on our bulletin board.


The past few weeks my class has been working on identifying characters and settings in the stories we read. I have transitioned my class from practicing with familiar texts to new ones. Below are some examples from the thinking we've been doing this week:

I began my all-time favorite read aloud of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I absolutely LOVE this book and for so many reasons. First, I truly loved reading it when I was in late elementary school and second, as a teacher, it's such a silly story that kids eat up every time and Dahl does a wonderful job describing his characters and settings. Because the kids know it's a movie, it helps with engagement and lends itself to a discussion about movies vs. their book versions.
Since we spent so much time on characters it was time to give settings a little love. Here is an example handout I had students complete that allows them to pick a setting, draw a picture, and in a few sentences, describe the setting. I had only read the first couple chapters at this point because Dahl introduces Charlie Bucket's home and begins to describe the Factory from the perspective of Grandpa Joe. These were fairly easy settings to describe so the kids did very well with their descriptions.

                                 Wonka's Factory                                       Charlie's House

Talking about those gains I've seen already...take a look at a student's description of a setting from Tough Boris (2nd week of school) and compare it with this week's (3rd week examples above). I'm just so proud of them! My kids are beginning to use more detailed sentences using Dahl as a mentor author!

Piggie Pie by Margie Palatini was another mentor text we used earlier this week to discuss character. After reading and discussing the story and it's characters I asked students to describe the main character: Gritch the Witch. I wanted to assess their ability to describe Gritch using the 4 traits we spent so much time practicing together (appearance, feelings, words, and actions) using the character maps.

Daily 5: Read the Room & Stamina
We have been working on our stamina for weeks now and finally have we made it to 10 successful minutes!! Yaaay! Let me tell you...it's been very tiresome to stop the timer and bring the class together to discuss what went wrong during stamina building and to start over. BUT- I do understand its importance. My admin wants us to begin guided reading groups/centers next week (week 4) and I'm thinking...'yeah, right'. I think it's vital students have the time needed to build their stamina because it's a lot to ask a class of 6-7 year olds to focus on one thing for 15-20 minute intervals. However, we are almost there!
Teacher Tip: Save the glasses from those 3D movies and pop the lenses out of them. Instant reading glasses! 

Also, this week I've introduced a couple new reading centers and have given the kids time to practice them. The other day I showed them Read the Room where they all got to practice finding good words around the room. I wanted to make sure that they were looking for words that were new to them to spell and use in their writing and I have to say they were pretty driven.

Many of them found some really good words! I used a timer on my proboard for about 5 minutes because I told them they shouldn't spend the full center time just looking for words. They are really starting to see that 5 minutes isn't very long! In my class, I have students look for words that spell a particular seasonal word. This time of year they have to find words that fit the letters of S-C-H-O-O-L   D-A-Y-S. Then, they pick 5 of those words to use in a sentence and draw a picture of one.

Hope everyone else had a wonderful week! Yay for Friday!


  1. I like you anchor chart on making ten. I have never seen it used with a rainbow!



Thank you for sharing!