Wednesday, July 26, 2017

How to Wake Up Summer Math Brains - BTS Math Review for Rising 3rd Graders

     Multiplication, division, rounding, fractions – oh my! Third grade math is HARD! There are so many new concepts that 3rd graders are introduced to in the first few months of third grade. It’s kind of mind boggling, but also daunting for kids.  Especially if they are coming off of summer and have done absolutely NOTHING academic. Summer learning loss is real for many of our students.  How can you get them revved back up so that they are ready to learn new math concepts? 

     Take time to review. Give them a chance to be successful doing something they already know or have mastered in 2nd grade. Many of our students were A students in 2nd grade, but will struggle in 3rd grade because its much harder in all respects. Beginning the school year reviewing key math concepts from 2nd grade will build confidence, but most importantly prepare them for the math concepts you need to start teaching pretty quickly.

     I have found that the first and second week of school is the perfect time to review 2nd grade math skills as you are teaching procedures and doing class building activities. It provides opportunities to pair students up, teach procedures on how to use manipulatives, practice Kagan cooperative learning structures, as well as give overwhelmed students some much needed independent time.  It’s also a good time to pre-assess students on key math concepts so that you can appropriately plan for the next few weeks of math.

     Here are a few ways I use my Back to School Math Review worksheets in the first week of school:

     This worksheet is a great icebreaker for partners. Give them a pair of dice, some crayons or markers, and let them practice addition facts and work together. It’s really fun to let them race to the finish. Competition is fun!

     I love this one for a group project. Give each student a page and let them find as many different ways to spend $1.00. Afterwards, have groups share their combinations.

     Place value is such an important skill to master! Before giving these to students, do a mini lesson to refresh their memories. Then let them complete these independently.  You can use them for formative assessments. It will give you valuable insight as to who needs more work immediately and who is ready for more challenging work.

This measurement activity is a great time to teach students how to handle rulers in the classroom – do not use them as a weapon, etc. – as well as checking to see if they remember how to use a ruler appropriately. Let them move around the classroom measuring objects as a warm up. Then give them this worksheet to measure these six school supplies. Afterwards, they can color them for fun!

Using this Geometry worksheet is another great opportunity to review and teach procedures at the same time. Give teams pattern blocks and have them describe the attributes of each. Then challenge them to complete the worksheet. This is another really quick formative assessment you can use.

As much time as K-2 teachers and students spend on addition and subtraction, you would think rising third graders would have it mastered – but many don’t. In fact, I have found that many rising third graders are struggling with both addition and subtraction. Which is why I have included 4 worksheets to help students practice 2 and 3 digit addition and subtraction with and without regrouping. I love putting these practice sheets in my Number Sense math center. Make sure you have counting manipulatives available and encourage them to use them.

Addition without regrouping
Some students will need to begin with this practice worksheet
before tackling regrouping.

Addition with re-grouping
This practice sheet will give students more challenging
 basic addition and word problems.

Subtraction with regrouping
This will be challenging for many students, so a mini-lesson will be
 necessary before students can tackle it on their own.

If you need math resources to help your students review math for the first weeks of school, my Back to School Math Review is available in my TPT store. There are 10 Math Review Worksheets that are PRINT & GO  which will save you time and give your brand new third graders a much needed review!

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