One area that I wanted to improve in my classroom last year was small group math instruction.  I began by creating binders for my students to use while at my table that contained some of the common instructional mats used during whole group instruction.  I would have the binders already out and on the work mat we were going to use for that lesson when they got to the table.  This gave me more time to focus on their needs, no matter what skill that particular group was working on.  After the pandemic hit, I knew that these wouldn't work to meet CDC recommendations...I would have to create one for each student that contained all of the instructional mats that we would need to cover all of the second grade math standards.

Each student will get a binder with all 32 mats inside sheet protectors.  They can draw models for the problems given with dry erase markers or use manipulatives.  I would like to send these home with students if we go virtual.  They can show me their model during our live small group lessons which would be helpful for me.  If we come back into the classroom, they would just bring the binder back.  You might also consider printing some math manipulatives on cardstock and laminating for students to use with the mats.

I have also  included JPEGs of each mat for you to insert into digital assignments.  Students could then use some of the virtual math manipulatives that are offered online with the mats.

You can look at some photos of the instructional mats included below.

There are 30 instructional math mats in the binder.  Below is an overview of the types of mats included:

Mathematician Workmat
12o chart
ten frames
number bond
part part whole box
fact families
adding three numbers
number lines
open number line
place value charts (ones, tens, and hundreds)
multiple representations
read and write numbers
comparing numbers
pv addition and subtraction
word problems
telling time
counting money

I know that this resource will be so helpful for my students and myself this year, no matter if we are in the actual classroom or distance learning.  You can click any of the images below to check out the resource:

I cannot begin to tell you how many parents have asked me over the past few years how they can get their children outside more and off of devices.  American children are spending 50% less time outdoors than the previous generation.  I was so excited to see that the makers of OFF!® Repellents have created a reinterpreted collection of some of the most popular fairy tales, such as The Three Little Pigs and Cinderella.  The series asks children to think about how some of their favorite fairy tales would have been different if the main characters had never gone outside.  There are also ELA and STEM activities that pair with each fairy tale that encourage children to take their learning outdoors to their own backyards.

You can read the digital books on their website or listen to the audiobook, but they also give you the option to download the e-book.   Some of the books they have reinterpreted are my favorite fairy tales!  These would be great to compare and contrast to other versions of these stories.  Students can make a list of what is the same and what is different between the texts.  They could even create their own fairy tale afterwards and act it out in their own backyard!

Jack and the Beanstalk is a classic fairy tale!  I love the vibrant illustrations in all of the books.  Each book has a strong central message that would make for some great discussions between parents and their children.  Jack and the Beanstalk ended very differently due to Jack not wanting to go outside and do the work his mother asked him to do.  He missed out on a really great adventure.  Hopefully, students can make connections to their own lives within these texts.

Each of the stories has a paired STEM or ELA lesson included.  After this particular story, students can plant their own bean plants using lima beans, a wet paper towel, and a plastic sandwich bag.  They can also plant other seeds and track the growth of each plant.  If they do not have seeds or beans to plant, they can just go out in their backyard and measure already existing plants and track their growth over the season.  

Each lesson comes with a colorful printable for students to make their observations just like a scientist!

After reading The Never Starting Tale of Little Red Riding Hood, students create a map of their own backyard.  If you do not have a backyard, you can create a map of your home or apartment.  They then have to create directions on getting from one spot to another.  This would be great for my students to review their map reading and making skills. 

Some of the other learning activities include retelling a story, writing an opinion piece, creating a backyard bucket list, and discussing how weather can affect a structure.  These activities are sure to promote outdoor learning and lead to great adventures with families!

This post was sponsored by the makers of OFF!® Repellents.