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Math Beginnings

October 5, 2022 | Rebekah Lowe

In second grade, we have been learning what math will be like this year.  One routine we do is Today’s Number, in which there is a special number of the day, and then students need to think of expressions that equal that number.  This gives students an opportunity to make equations and gives us teachers information about how they are calculating and thinking about numbers.

Another new thing in second grade math is coins/money.  We started to identify and recognize coins based on what the two sides look like.  We also talked about how much they are worth.  This is foundational as students will be building on these skills throughout the year – to play games and use money in a real-life scenario.  It would be great if you took some change out of your pocket and asked them what they were called and how much they are worth.  It can be tricky for some – nickels and dimes can be confusing to differentiate!

Lastly, second graders have been telling time on an analog clock – looking at the two hands and figuring out where they go for a certain time.  Here a student is making 5:00.

There is lots of learning and practicing!

In third grade, students are learning about multiplication.

One state standard that will be measured in this unit is:

“Interpret products of whole numbers, e.g., interpret 5 × 7 as the total number of objects in 5 groups of 7 objects each. For example, describe a context in which a total number of objects can be expressed as 5 × 7.”

Students are learning this in several ways. One way is in writing silly story problems (a “context”) for a particular math fact. Here is Sylvie’s story problem:

By the way, students are writing playful “postscripts,” such as…

P.S. The foxes had dentist appointments the following week.

Third graders are finding patterns in the multiples of a particular number, such as 2s. Here Sebastian has colored all the even numbers to 100, and the color shows every other column is marked!

Students are using arrays to “model” multiplication facts (and to sometimes find its product by breaking it into two easier parts).

1.First the array for 8 by 8 is drawn.

2.Then it is broken into 2 easier parts: 8 x 5, and and 8 x 3.

3. Finally the products “40” and “24” are added together for a total of “64.”  8 x 8 = 64

Another common daily practice is the use of IXL. Here Dominick is working for mastery of the skill: “Identify Multiplication Expressions for Arrays.”

So far this school year, the third grade has collectively answered 3, 238 questions on IXL!

We’re off to a great start!



Rebekah Lowe

Teacher, Grades 2&3

Rebekah Lowe knew that she wanted to be a teacher ever since middle school when she was inspired by an English teacher who developed interactive games and creative acronyms for many of the topics that were discussed. Because of her teachers, Ms. Lowe attended the education program at the College of New Jersey, where she experienced a variety of classroom environments, and earned a teaching degree. She was also a part of the Education Honor Society. After graduating, Ms. Lowe taught English in South Korea, and during this time, she was able to travel around Asia and experience new cuisines and cultures. Her love of travelling increased, and she hopes to travel more in the future! She began her teaching career in the United States at Mustard Seed School in 2018 as a second and third grade teacher in the Meadows class. She’s excited to be a part of the school community and share her many experiences with her students.

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