## Math Expressions

Troy adopted a new math curriculum last year. We will be using

*Math Expressions*, a Common Core-aligned math program that emphasizes deep understanding and focuses heavily on problem-solving. It was a major transition for students*and*parents, and even for teachers! However, I have to say that I was very impressed by the end of the year with how well my students have mastered concepts that were difficult for classes in the past. Below I have detailed both the math concepts that will be taught in second grade and the instructional approach that is used with Math Expressions.## Instructional Approach

__Building Concepts:__In Math Expressions, building deep conceptual understanding is achieved by exploring concepts deeply. Our goal is to help students understand

*we do math a certain way, not just*

**why****. When I was in elementary school, all I remember learning was the steps for adding, subtracting, fractions, area, etc. I never really thought about why those steps worked - I just knew if I didn't remember them, I'd get the wrong answer! But, that was also a time when people said you were either good at math, or you weren't. There was no emphasis on teaching mathematical thinking that would lead to true understanding. This is the biggest change in math education in the last few decades, a change which the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were designed to address. We want children to really understand**

*how**we carry the one in addition, for example. To many parents, this is the biggest frustration. It seems like we are making things more complicated than necessary by asking students to draw solutions or try different methods. However, this program is carefully sequenced to build understanding first, and common procedures like carrying last. Trust me, if you can have patience with the approach, you will see amazing results!*

**why**__Discussion is the centerpiece of our math classroom. Students are given the time and opportunity to talk about how they think they should approach a problem, what confuses them, patterns that they notice, and reasons they think an answer is correct or incorrect. Young children especially need this kind of social interaction to really develop understanding - no matter what the topic! We have partner, small group, and whole group discussions on a regular basis. This gives every child a chance to develop speaking and listening skills as well as math skills!__

**Math Talk:****We all know that mastering basic math facts is important. It makes problem-solving easier when children don't have to spend their mental energy trying to figure out simple sums. For this reason, quick practice is built into the program through daily warm-ups, "Remembering" pages, and Fluency Checks.**

__Quick Practice:__**In our classroom, "Everybody leads; everybody learns." Students are given responsibility for leading certain routines with the class, sharing solutions to problems, and leading discussions. As students lead more often, their confidence grows, they develop a sense of responsibility for their own learning, and they become less dependent on the teacher.**

__Student Leaders:__**Building a community of thinkers is the topmost priority of my classroom as a whole, and math class is no different! Students learn to take risks without worrying about mistakes, articulate their ideas well to help another child, and treat all learners and their ideas with respect. This is**

__Helping Community:__*classroom after all, and they see that they are important in making it a safe, accepting place where everyone can learn and do their best!*

__our__## Math Concepts by Unit

The second grade units in Math Expressions focus on a narrow range of concepts, as called for by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These concepts are taught with an emphasis on developing deep conceptual understanding. Units progress through topics in a way that children are consistently given time to master concepts, then extend what they know to another level of understanding and application.

__In Unit 1, we review addition and subtraction strategies up to 20 in all kinds of word problems. We emphasize showing, drawing, and explaining our solutions. These skills will be used throughout the year, so this unit is very important!__**Unit 1:****In Unit 2, we extend our addition and problem-solving skills to sums up to 200. Students will master the base-10 number system (place value) up to the hundreds place. Then they will build addition strategies from their understanding of place value. This approach helps students first understand the underlying mathematics, then apply the procedure for adding (i.e. with carrying)**__Unit 2:__**Unit 3 focuses on measurement as it relates to length and shape. Students will also learn to plot data on a line plot.**__Unit 3:__**In Unit 4, students will again expand their skill and understanding of place value by learning to subtract 2-digit numbers. Money concepts are integrated into this unit as well.**__Unit 4:__**Unit 5 is another measurement unit. Students practice telling time and applying this skill to word problems. They also learn about picture graphs and bar graphs.**__Unit 5:__**In Unit 6, students will be adding and subtracting 3-digit numbers. They will leave second grade having mastered addition and subtraction up to 1,000!**__Unit 6:__**Unit 7 again focuses on measurement concepts. Using shape as a vehicle for understanding, students are exposed to equal shares, arrays, and repeated addition. These concepts are all building a foundation for multiplication, which students will begin learning when they start third grade.**__Unit 7:__