I hope you don't mind if I open today's blog post with a prayer.
Father God -- I come to you today asking you to wrap your loving arms around the people affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I know that these people stretch far and wide, as a tragedy of this magnitude affects many. My heart aches for the families who woke up today without their loved ones nearby -- praying that yesterday's devastation was only a dream. Lord, please guide these people through these troubling times as this kind of devastation is unimaginable and cannot be navigated without You. Lord, as the days continue and life moves forward, plant peace in their hearts. May it aide them to know that their babies, their teachers, their principal are all overhead, serving in your Kingdom as the most beautiful, pure, and everlasting angels. In Your Name, Amen.
It is hard to fathom in the wake of a tragedy that life moves forward from that moment -- that the world doesn't simply stop. Your obligations and responsibilities don't simply halt for you to grieve. On Novemeber 30th, I went through a small trauma of my own. At the moment, it seemed like the absolute worst thing that could happen. Now, in hindsight, it was one small trauma that affected my individual life greatly. My (brand new) house was broken into and my family was robbed. In the midst of the robbery, my sweet dog Brody got out. He was missing for four days, the worst four days of my life. I am so blessed to have amazing people in my life -- my family, my friends, my second graders, my "virtual" friends on TPT -- they all lifted my family up in prayers and my sweet puppy Brody returned home! In that four days he was gone, I was a complete wreck. I wanted so badly for time to pause to allow me to grieve -- but it doesn't. Life moves forward and we simply have to find a way to hold on as it does.
It may seem insensitive to post about a teaching topic, but in an attempt to hold on as life moves forward from this absolute tragedy, I have some things to share with you today.
We have been spending the month of December learning about Time! Common Core has some pretty heavy demands of my second graders when it comes to time! Where my 7 year olds used to be expected to learn time to the 15 minutes -- now they must know time to the 5 minutes! They also must know the relationships of time. For this, I wrote a little song that I'd like to share with you! This song is to the tune "If You're Happy and You Know It"
I was going to post a video of them singing this song, but upon playing it back -- I simply can't do that to you. The kids sound great, but my voice overpowers theirs and I've been terribly ill since Wednesday. I will spare your ears! Anyway, the kids LOVE LOVE LOVE singing this song! I wish I could have found a way to stick 12 months in a year in here. You're on your own for that one ;)
This past week, I began math journals in my classroom. We had a small shift in our schedule which left me with 15 extra minutes in math. What better way to spend that time than to stretch my kiddos' mathematical thinking? I L-O-V-E math journals because they help these kids to become problem solvers and to think deeper about math. I created a set of December math journals which are Christmas and Winter Themed. They. Love. These! Here's how I have my kiddos do them...
I gave each student a green math notebook to use as their math journal. You could also staple printer paper together for a monthy journal. Kids will paste their journal prompt onto the top of their page. I usually read the problem out loud a few times and encourage my kiddos to underline key words that will help them to solve the problem. Then, they are given 5-10 minutes to complete the problem in the space below. I prefaced math journals with an example problem. I expect my kiddos to show their work AND to write IN WORDS how they worked through the problem. I tell them to "Think like Mathematicians and to share those thoughts on their papers."
I will be making a monthly set of Math Journals. So far, I have completed December and January. Click the pictures below to go check out my Arctic themed January Prompts below!
Lastly, If you are still on the search for some engaging Christmas Fun to do with your class -- be sure to check out my Christmas Math Centers. They are all aligned to the Second Grade Common Core Math Standards and they are SUPER fun if I do say so myself! Included you will find 5 centers:
-Gingerbread Even/Odd Sorting
-2-Digit Subtraction (No regrouping) with Christmas Trees and Ornaments
-Time to the 5 Minutes: Santa on a Schedule!
-Holly Jolly Word Problems - Addition and Subtraction
-Regrouping Vs. Not Regrouping with Christmas Carolers
Click this image to check it out further at my store:
I hope these items will help you move forward into your school week. As we approach Winter Break, I'm so grateful for the time I will be able to spend at home with my family. My prayers will continue to extend toward those who will be spending their first holiday season without their loved ones.