Reflection: Bigger or Smaller - Section 2: Practice


It is time to begin to differentiate math instruction within the classroom. I have had time to identify the children who are struggling and children who are getting bored because the work is too easy. I have been keeping track of student progress using a simple checklist (see resources), so I have a running record of those who are having some difficulty and those who are catching on to everything. I also am aware that there are students who are catching on to most things, but have some gaps in their understanding.

Differentiation is an important part of teaching in any subject area. It is important to remember that every student comes with different background, strengths and weaknesses. We need to use formative assessments to measure where students are at so we can provide them with appropriate learning experiences.

Today, I took 2 groups for about 10 minutes each. The first group was the enrichment group. I presented students with a problem to solve that involved using larger numbers and ordering the numbers to show which towns around us have a larger population. I chose five towns and looked up their populations online. I presented the population to these students, asking them to order the towns by population size from greatest to least. This lesson extended the terms greater than and less than, to greatest and least, as well as student use of larger numbers. 

The second group was students struggling with the comparison of two numbers. They had trouble understanding that 81 and 18 were different numbers. We worked with base 10 blocks to build the numbers and compare them. 

For both groups the work was appropriate and I felt that I was meeting their needs more effectively with these lessons. 

I did not take a third group today, but they too (those who are understanding the concepts with some practice) need special time to work on a project that is challenging and appropriate for them.

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Bigger or Smaller

Unit 3: Sensible Numbers
Lesson 1 of 6

Objective: SWBAT compare numbers from 0 to 999 using greater than and less than terminology and symbols.

Big Idea: Second grade students are asked to apply two complementary processes: counting and grouping. The conceptual understanding of the place value of a number and combining/separating numbers using place value, are critical aspects of mathematical thinking.

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