That’s what the math trainer reminded me today, and she was right. Yesterday was a mess, the kids experienced something frustrating, but it’s a new day today and they’re fine. One bad lesson won’t kill them.
Math training went well today, and not just because I got a hug and a reminder I’m a good teacher at the end of it. For once, we’re getting really valuable training that we can take back to the class and use. Not only was the teacher talk part valuable, but she demonstrated a number talk and a math lesson with my class and it went really well.
We brought my class into the meeting room since I don’t have a place on the carpet for the kids to gather (I wish I did, but there’s just no room!). She showed them some cards with dots on them and have them say how many they saw and how they knew (which we’ve done in class, so they were familiar with the routine). Then, they did an activity where they used snap cubes to count how many pockets they collectively had. It was so great to see them working together, using math vocabulary, and being eager to solve math problems. They went from working with a partner to count how many pockets they both had, to deciding they could count by tens to discover how many all 23 students had, to making ten trains and counting them. Then, they wrote a word problem (we thought we had 80 pockets. We had 124 pockets. How many more pockets did we have?) and solving that word problem in different ways. We haven’t even touched on two or three digit subtraction, but they were able to use mental strategies to figure out how many more pockets they had. It was awesome!
Tomorrow, we do RTI again. I’m not 100% sure what I’m going to do. I found out the other two second grade classes didn’t do RTI as such yesterday. One didn’t have their aide show up, and the other said she wasn’t going to do RTI until it was done right (next week), so had her aide work with a child on something while she did science. I could do that, or I could let my higher kids do the spelling game (I think they’d like having to race against the clock to spell a word) while the other groups do the learning games. I don’t have to pull a group like I normally would, just make sure everyone is working on something educational. So, we’ll see. Whatever I do, I won’t beat myself up if it doesn’t go well. It’s a snapshot of messiness out of a day of good teaching. It won’t kill anyone.