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School Stories

Grade 2: Innovative Mathematics

Second graders who recently learned how to multiply and divide were given a new challenge by their teacher, Ms. Carrie VonderHaar. Using “dot paper” they were asked to innovate a multiplication or division sentence to show different ways to solve math problems.
 
Breaking into small groups on Zoom, they discussed the mathematical concepts that might be derived from the grid of dots. Then, after coming back together as a class, students used Zoom’s annotate feature to show how they would group the dots and create math sentences.
 
Avery Baker suggested making groups of four and using multiplication to make a math equation. Emily Heninger thought to connect the dots into boxes to formulate a multiplication sentence. Robby Jordan articulated, “If you circle groups of 10, there are 20 rows of 10 and 200 divided by 10 is 20.”
 
The exercise was designed to help make mathematical concepts more concrete and pictorial for students and to expand their thinking about multiplication and division, according to Ms. VonderHaar. Go solve!
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Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.