Friday, April 25, 2014

Integrating ELA With the New Math TEKS “Like a Pirate”

The new Math TEKs have proven to be a challenge for both students and teachers this year. Students have struggled to learn new strategies to help them become successful and teachers have been forced to think outside the box to keep students engaged and learning.

By integrating content areas to create a learning “experience” for students, the 2nd grade teachers at Block House Creek Elementary seem to be having just as much fun teaching as students are at learning.
In March, teachers combined the skill of comparing and contrasting works by the same author with organizing data in a bar graph using intervals. Along with the exciting NCAA basketball tournament hype, March Madness - Book Edition began. Using the diverse and often humorous books of Mo Willems, the entire 2nd grade set off on a two-week journey to find their favorite Mo Willems’ book.

Each day the 2nd grade teachers would read the same book to their classes and then each class voted on their favorite. Each math class got the opportunity to count up the votes and decide how they would like to graph the results. There was a large bracket in the hallway during this process so the students could see who won each round as the narrowing down process continued.

On the last day, all the classes read the two finalists at the same time and teachers tallied the votes. At the end of the day the big reveal was held in the gym. The students were so excited to find out if their favorite book won. It all came down to “City Dog, Country Frog” and “Pigeon Finds a Hotdog,” two very different books. The children cheered as the winner, “Pigeon Finds a Hotdog” was revealed. They were then surprised by a five-minute dance party in the gym. Teachers and students danced together for a brief moment of fun and silliness that seems to rarely occur in our daily treadmill of demanding curriculum and many tiny needs.

Although change can be uncomfortable and overwhelming at times, with the help of innovative ideas and collaboration, everyone wins in the end. Everyone gets to share in the joy of learning.

2nd Grade Team

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