Subtraction Post Test

The past three weeks have all been 4-day weeks... which ultimately means I am rushing around to attempt to keep my head above water only to come to the end of the week with an unchecked to do list haunting me.

I love 4-day weeks, but I do not love three 4-day weeks in a row... especially right before report cards are due.

Our RTi groups went on as scheduled and I really enjoyed this first math-focused RTi!  I found a great routine with my RTi students and by the end of the three weeks each of my ten students had at least one strategy that they could use to be successful at subtracting two digit numbers with regrouping.  


We started each RTi meeting with individual white boards.
On my smart board I would write three 2-digit subtraction equations.  

Students copied the equations and began working.

I walked around with my white board marker helping students remember key steps
**draw a line to separate the tens and the ones
**look at the numbers in the ones place, circle the bigger number
**is there "more on top" "more on the floor" "numbers the same"
**what do you do next?
**and then what?
**repeat the WHOLE equation with the answer

Then I called on students to walk me through solving the equations on the smartboard (think through the steps out loud)

After about 15- 20 minutes of working on white boards, we put our white boards away and students worked independently on a worksheet with 10 - 15 subtraction equations.  
During this time I pulled the students who were not "getting it" to figure out a strategy that worked better for them. 

One huge AH-HA moment happened with one of my ELL students.  He and I worked on the algorithm for at least 10 minutes straight one day, following the steps, repeating the poem, and then I saw that imaginary lightbulb go off.

And it was oh-so-bright! 

He was so excited that he said "I get it!!  This is easy!"  
The next day, I made him a student-teacher and that drove his confidence through the roof.

We worked through this same routine for three weeks.  By the end of the three weeks most of the students in my group were getting so good at the algorithm that I gave them the challenge of 3-digit numbers with regrouping (only regrouping for the ones place), and many found this challenge fun and exciting!

RTi Highlights:

*Most of my students were able to do the algorithm
*For one, counting back using a hundreds chart (counting back by tens, then ones...) worked best
*For one, (one of my low low SPED students) was able to do the algorithm with my support...but by golly she knew the poem!

More on top,
No need to stop.

More on the floor,
go next door to get ten more.

Numbers the same,
Zero's the game.

For this SPED student she did the thinking and I did the writing (following her directions).  She did AWESOME when we did the problems this way, however :( , when it came time for the post test, I had her do the test all on her own and she went right back to her old ways...this was quite disheartening.

4 (all correct)            = 1 student =    4%           10 students = 45%
3 (8 correct)             = 3 students = 14%                 6 students = 27%
2 (7 or 6 correct)      = 9 students = 41%                  4 students = 18%
1 (5 or less correct)   = 9 students = 41%                  2 students = 9%


I am so proud of my students!  They worked hard at this math skill, a skill that is really not expected until 3rd grade, and less than 100 days into 2nd grade 72% of my students can do it successfully on their own!

YAY!!!!  RTi is hard work for students and for teachers, but seeing success like this makes my heart so very happy.  I am proud of my 2nd graders, and I am proud to be working with a group of professionals who work hard every day to meet the varied needs of our students.


Student Valentine's... Check!

I got a little anxious over the weekend and wanted to get a head start on the Valentine's I was going to make for my students.  I found this idea on Pinterest :)  Pink pipe-cleaners wrapped around a Valentine-themed pencil (I was lucky to find these in the dollar isle at Target... and they had great options for boys, too!).  I added a foam sticker heart (some sparkly some jeweled!) to the top of mine.

Our PTA started our Candy Grams this week :) For $0.50 our students and families can purchase these super cute Valentine's during their recess time and send them to friends at school.  

I got 4 Candy Grams today!  
I feel special :)


Pre Test

There were a total of nine problems.  The skills ranged from single digit subtraction, to double and triple digit subtraction WITHOUT REGROUPING, then a few problems with single and double digit subtraction WITH REGROUPING.

Houghton-Mifflin ICDL Resource


4 (all correct)            = 1 student =    4%
3 (8 correct)             = 3 students = 14%
2 (7 or 6 correct)      = 9 students = 41%
1 (5 or less correct)  = 9 students = 41%

*we mix up our 2nd and 3rd grade students for RTi

So...the 3rd graders did MUCH better than the 2nd graders on this pre-test, as we expected since 2nd grade has not introduced double digit and double digit subtraction, and we have barely touched on regrouping.

But there were still some 3rd graders who had trouble with the equations where they needed to regroup. 

So when we divided up our students we put all students who got a 4 (all correct) in one group. 
Those students will be challenged with 3 digit equations with regrouping.

The students who got a 3 (8 correct) were divided into three groups.
They will continue practicing two digit and two digit subtraction with regrouping, then move into the above challenge for the 4's group.

We had such a large number of students who got a 2 or 1 that we mixed them all up.
We are teaching strategies, chants, and practing with whiteboards, the SmartBoard, and worksheets.

I have one of the lower groups and it is very nice to have a mix of students who got a 1 and students who got a 2.  The students who got 2's on their pretest are excelling after just two days of RTI.  The students who got a 1 on the pre-test are struggling with regrouping specifically. 

On day one we made a flip book with a chant that I found on Pinterest. I also copied the chant onto a poster board that I hung up on the front board for students to use as a reference. 
Here is what our flip book ended up looking like



...because RTi is only 30 minutes long, I did a lot of prepping for this. 
I did all the cutting and gluing so we had the entire 30 minutes to discuss the chants, and write examples...

I am really enjoying the shift in our RTi focus from reading comprehension skills to math computation.  I think the students are enjoying this as well!  :)


Last Week of Inferring in RTi

We wrapped up inferring this past week with a lot of reviewing.  We looked back at the SMART Notebook I had been creating as we worked through each lesson keeping track of "hints"

Text Clues
+ What you know

I wanted to end with a fun activity and unfortunately I forgot to take pictures :(  I created a simple form for my RTi students to fill out

Three things about myself:

1. _______________________________

2. _______________________________

3. _______________________________

Each line gave a clue about them + a self portrait all glued to a black construction paper would create a inferring end-of-the-unit project.  Because our RTi sessions are only 30 minutes long, this activity from start to finish took two days.  

To make this somewhat more structured and easier for my students I gave them guidelines for the three things about themselves.

#1--are you a boy or girl ("I am a girl")

#2--what color hair do you have ("I have blonde hair")

#3--who is your teacher ("Ms. O'Brien is my teacher")
Number three really helped us figure out who was who because we mix up students from five different classrooms for our RTi groups (based on abilities).  

When I glued the self portraits (to the top) and the three things paper (to the bottom) to the black construction paper, I had a great idea!  I glued just the top section of the three things paper to the black construction paper so that it could flap up.  Under the flap I gave each student a long sticky note to write their name on.  

Finally, we gathered at the carpet space and I read the clues... and they guessed every single one correct, LOL!!!  I think I made #3 too big of a clue, but they had a great time with this and it was the perfect way to end inferring in our RTi group.

To finish out inferring in my own classroom, before we took the Post Test, I found a super fun activity here and tweaked it slightly to be an inferring activity.  It was a perfectly timed activity as we had just had a week off from school because of snow.  Yes, a whole week!

One of many, many creative clues my students came up with:

What animal do you think it is.... 

Last chance to make your inference....

A killer whale!!!!  

Weren't the clues great :)  I love the "It sounds like a ghost!"clue :)  I totally thought owl the first time I read his clues!

After everyone finished their project (which we glued to a long piece of black construction paper) we did a seat switch activity.  The way a seat switch works is quite simple... and my students love it!

I call "SEAT SWITCH" and usually ding my special chime and students safely move to another classmate's seat, sit down, and begin to read his or her clues.  I passed out a form to each student to write down their inference before they looked under the snow pile...and then give the creator a compliment on their clues and drawing.  We were able to do 4 seat switches (and only two of those I required my students to do a written inference).


The blue line shows each student's pre test score (on a 4, 3, 2, 1 grading scale where 4 = exceeds standard, 3 = meets standard, 2 = approaching standard, and 1 = below standard) and the red line shows student growth on post test!  

My students went from 0% meeting standard to 68% meeting standard!  My students who did not meet standard are my SPED students and ELL students.  They improved though.  They may still have scored a 1 but on their pre test they got 0 out of 12 points and on the post they got 5 out of 12 points.  That is a huge gain in 30 min x 3 times a week x about 4 weeks.  I am proud of them!  And I know they can infer and explain their inferring strategies just at a more basic level than the post test was at.

They made growth, had fun, and made me proud!