Bree and Rich’s Group Blog

Classroom Blogs

Discovering Multiplication

By Rich Murray

Our third graders are enthusiastic about their multiplication work. Today, the students were busy answering this complex, equal group question: There are bicycles and go-karts at The Wheel Shop. Each bicycle has only one seat, and each go-kart has only one seat. There are a total of 21 seats and 54 wheels in the room. How many bicycles are in the shop? How many go-karts are in the shop?* We encourage students to work together and find solutions in multiple ways. Look at some of the different strategies students used below: Our learning today stemmed from “guessing and checking” while trying to find a solution; negotiations with … READ MORE »

Block Building

By Rich Murray

Marie and I often wonder, “Where will the students take us this week?”  One (low-cost) way that our class travels around the world is through block building. Each Monday, a team of four students picks a structure and must work together to build it. By Friday, the team presents their structure to the rest of the class.  Over the last few weeks, students have built and let us visit a medieval castle, the Empire State Building, and Mount Vesuvius! We promote block building in our classroom for many reasons. First, it helps young students improve fine motor skills and internalize … READ MORE »

Studying Power In the Classroom and Beyond

By Rich Murray

Happy New Year! Our second and third grade group has been busy studying the theme of power this school year. We have spent a lot of time discussing thematic questions, such as: What is power? and Who has power? Please look at our initial brainstorming charts below: Students have explored different ways to answer the aforementioned thematic questions by analyzing picture books. Through their study, students have identified powerful characters and powerless characters; categorized those who traditionally holds power in picture books; inferred why certain groups are not shown in power positions; and have evaluated whether characters use their power in positive or negative ways.  Below are some … READ MORE »