Reflection: Student Grouping Subtraction - Expanded Form - Section 2: Mini Lesson


I work with the students who are on or above level prior to my re-teaching group because it is the best use of student time overall.  The re-teaching group demonstrated that they have not mastered their basic facts (2nd grade) so it is acceptable, at this time in the year, to have them work own 20 minutes of basic fact practice.  Basic fact practice is a task that works very as homework, because everyone understands what to do, but now that they have had 1/2 a year in 3rd grade to continue to practice these facts, they should really have them mastered.  Thus it's okay, on this occasion, to give them 20 minutes of what may appear to be busy work.  I watch them to see who is still counting on their fingers and what other strategies they might be employing (filling out certain facts on the sheet first, looking for inverse problems, counting on by a certain number).  

That said, I am clear with the students about what group they are in, and how they got there. (I made the decision based on the evidence of how the completed 2 digit subtraction problems when they did the temperature table (A Week of Winter) when they had a substitute). If they did not demonstrate successful 2 digit addition on the temperature table but still wish to sit at the carpet for the 3 digit group, they may do so.  In real life we have to earn our way into groups, and if we don't meet the bar, sometimes we don't get a second chance.  Fortunately, I'm in control of the mini real-world in my classroom.  If they are motivated enough to want to try something that is either out of their level OR that they were unmotivated about the last time, I want to encourage that increased involvement, not shut them down.  Making groups exclusive is not only punitive; it can also affect how they feel about math.  I did poorly on a beginning of the year test in 5thgrade and I spent the rest of the year watching the “high” group over the partition because I’d already completed my assignment.  We don’t do that anymore, but I think it’s good to be careful even on a day to day level.  I also have to be honest with myself about the fact that sometimes I’m annoyed with the children who rushed through an assignment and that’s why they didn’t do well, but I have to be very aware of how that gets expressed.

  Avoid Rigid Grouping
  Student Grouping: Avoid Rigid Grouping
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Subtraction - Expanded Form

Unit 2: Addition and Subtraction
Lesson 3 of 8

Objective: Students will demonstrate understanding of regrouping by using expanded number forms in subtraction problems.

Big Idea: Expanded form can help clear up confusion about regrouping.

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