Elementary Math

March and April

What is New

Hopefully we are done with the Texas snow and can embrace beautiful weather. However, due to ice, snow and then Spring Break, most classes are a few days off when it comes to instruction. The information in this newsletter should help get us on track through the rest of March and through state testing.


As we finish out March, Kindergarten will begin a unit on 3D shapes. A great way to collect examples of 3D shapes in the real world is to set up a 3D shapes museum. Ask the students to bring in one item from home that is an example of a 3D shape. Each day sort the items that are brought in, talk about which 2D shapes they see within the object, and then place each group on display in the hallway. To integrate our graphing SEs, you could also count the number of each solid figure and represent it on a pictograph.

First Grade

First Grade will also be starting a unit on 3 dimensional shapes. They will focus on the sphere, cone, cylinder, rectangular prism (including a cube), and for the first time the triangular prism. Be sure to have a discussions about how a cube is a special type of rectangular prism just as a square is special type of rectangle. Encourage higher level thinking by playing a game called Always, Sometimes, Never in which students sort statements into three groups based on whether they are always true, sometimes true, or never true. Here are some example statements you might use:

  1. Rectangles are squares. (sometimes)
  2. Squares are rectangles. (always)
  3. Cubes are rectangular prisms. (always)
  4. Rectangular prisms are cubes. (sometimes)
  5. A triangular prism is a rectangular prism. (never)

Below is a link to an article about using this game in your classroom!

2nd Grade

Second grade will be starting their measurement unit at the end of March. The two biggest concepts we want our 2nd graders to master during this unit are the idea of the zero point and distance traveled. The zero point is the point at which students begin measuring no matter if that point is actually zero or not and they have not made it to "one" until they have traveled the distance to get to one. Until they understand these two ideas they will not be able to use a broken ruler successfully!

Don't forget the acronym CPA during this unit!

Concrete - use square tiles or centimeter cubes to measure length

Pictorial - have students create their own ruler (see link below)

Abstract - use a standard ruler

Third Grade


Third grade is currently in the geometry unit since it has been extended. Most teachers are planning to test over shapes by Friday. The test has been posted (both Eng and Span) and answer documents can be printed. As we wrap up this unit, remember that the terminology in this unit should continue. One way to make this happen is by sending home virtual vocabulary cards. I have provided a few links to some I have used in the past. Dynamo has a game option which the kids enjoy while cram can be an APP they use at home. Both are great and worth considering!

Too Much!

Our last unit before STAAR is measurement. There are new expectations for measurement that are pretty wordy. 2 of these skills were addressed in the math project, so please consider re-visiting that document.

There is a great deal to cover and there are some gaps we know you will have to fill. Example-students are now expected to solve problems involving elapsed time. WHAT? We all know that many can barely read an analog clock and now they have to calculate duration? Consider integrating reading a clock into your daily routine for the rest of the year.

* PPT's and lessons are in Forethought* Remember to click on gears in Forethought to access all the materials in the folders.

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Fourth Grade

Here is a celebration...you have no more new units before STAAR! That means we are truly in the home stretch and will be able to have full review time starting March 25th. If you need to extend Units 9&10 because of all the weather days, you can. Just know that it eats in to your review.

Many teachers were able to attend the angles workshop and the feedback was highly positive. All of those materials were posted to Forethought. Please let me know if I can help in any way!

Elapsed time example