Math Empowers Grade 2

Middletown Township Public Schools

Second Grade: Second Trimester: 2017-2018

The second trimester is well underway! Lessons are focused on guiding students to apply their knowledge of place value and base 10 as they develop a deep understanding of addition & subtraction. This understanding is built as students routinely create concrete models, act out the regrouping of numbers, and draw representational pictures. It is essential that this shift from concrete, to representational to the abstract algorithm be gradual and not rushed. After all, proficiency with the standard algorithm is not an expectation until the end of grade four.

The Progression of Addition & Subtraction

"Let's Take our time. The Turtle Won the Race." These words are spoken by fellow educator/math specialist Graham Fletcher in his insightful video titled Making Sense Series the progression of Addition & Subtraction the standard traditional algorithm. You'll be engaged from beginning to end and learn a ton of unexpected information. Simply click PLAY and get inspired!
The Progression of Addition and Subtraction

********* MUST SEE!!! Interactive MONEY Models ********* ***Bring DEEP UNDERSTANDING to ABSTRACT COINS***

The Math Learning Center offers an AMAZING interactive tool to assist when teaching the concept of MONEY. Students will clearly see the value of each coin when working with these visual models. The fact that they look similar to base ten blocks is an added bonus and prompts students to make a connection with something they already know. 1 penny = 1 unit; 1 nickel = a 5 unit short; 1 dime = a 10 unit long; etc.... Pictures of the coins are attached to each image as well. Be sure to check out this fantastic tool and all it has to offer.

Math Instruction Resources Document: NEW TAB Numberless Word Problems for Grade 2

Be sure to explore the Math Instruction Resources Document while planning lessons. Over 100 new links were added last year. Most recently added are NUMBERLESS WORD PROBLEMS for Grade 2. The links have been included here for easy access, however, they can also be found at the bottom of the Math Instruction Resources Document by clicking on the Numberless Word Problem tab.

Numberless Word Problems - Gr 2

2nd Grade Multi-Step Numberless Word Problems - (Levels 1-3)

2nd Grade Mult-Step Numberless Word Problems - (Levels 4-5)


Why present Numberless Word Problems to students?

Brian Bushart, Curriculum Coordinator for Elementary Mathematics and

Kristin Gray, Teaching Channel Laureate, explain it best.

Read their comments below.


  • NWP "...can build confidence for struggling students" ~BB

  • “Taking out the numbers and the question allowed EVERY student to think about the meaning of the sentence, the implied mathematical connections, and to plan a solution pathway before jumping into a solution attempt.” ~KG

  • NWP "...prompt rich mathematical discussions & Number Talks." ~ BB

  • NWP provide "... insight into my students’ mathematical understanding.” ~KG

  • NWP "...get students to notice how language helps us understand the relationships in problem situations." ~BB
  • NWP "...allow students the opportunity to develop a better understanding of the underlying structure of word problems." ~ BB

  • Providing NWP “...allows me to differentiate…” ~KG


All of this is achieved through a scaffolding approach and effective questioning.

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The 100th Day of School is Almost Here!

Assuming there are no additional snow days, the 100th Day of School this year should fall on February 20, 2018.


Have you ever held a CUP BUILDING CHALLENGE? Give each team 100 solo cups. Which team can build the tallest structure? The widest? A structure where layers represent multiples of 2, 5, 10?


#TBT~ Take a look back at the ideas shared in our 2013 Math Empowers newsletter.

Growth Mindset With ClassDojo

Interested in motivating your students to adopt a growth mindset? ClassDojo and Stanford's PERTS Research Center teamed up to create the the first season of The Mojo Show. The five-episode video series (along with a few incredible activities) highlight the power of having a growth mindset, and how any student can learn this skill!


Click here to view a great starting activity called "Your brain is like a muscle."

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Also, be sure to read Carol Dweck’s “The Perils and Promises of Praise” article here.

  • The wrong kind of praise creates self defeating behavior.

  • The right kind of praise motivates students to learn.

  • When students believe that they can develop their intelligence, they focus on doing just that.

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Questions, concerns, resources to share? Contact:

Valerie DeMatteo

Elementary Mathematics Specialist

Harmony Elementary School