RCPS Math Curriculum - Grade 2

Grade 2 Curriculum | Math Curriculum Home

Second Grade Math Teaching Strategies

Essential Diet for Math

Outline of a Typical Lesson: (Daily)

First, introduce the math concept to the whole group. "Today in math you're going to be learning about ____." Relate the concept to previously taught concepts and/or real life experiences.

Next, because second graders need and enjoy movement it's helpful to gather the class together in a different spot from the introduction. Sitting in a circle on the floor works well. Model the activity using the manipulative,. It is REALLY important to model first BEFORE handing out materials. That way the children are focused on YOU, not the fun stuff they'll be using. NOTE: Be sure to give students opportunities to use all your manipulative in free play before using them in any math lesson. This really helps them focus on the lesson rather than just playing with the manipulative. It's also helpful to pick some children to model for the group before you let them go do it on their own just to check for understanding. Once they've got it, let them go and practice while you circulate, redirect, and guide.

After the class has had enough time to complete the activity, bring them back together and talk about their experience. Find out from them what worked, what didn't. This is your time to informally assess their understanding and decide where your teaching should go from there. Often you can immediately move them into paper and pencil practice of the concept. This brings a quiet close to your lesson just before you summarize. If you are using a page from the math workbook, it works nicely to complete the front page together and save the back of the page for independent work.

Finally, take a moment to wrap up the lesson with a quick summary. "Today we learned about Fact Families. We discovered that to make a family you need to....Tomorrow we will...."


  • Be sure to use homework as practice for the skills recently taught or as a way to review previously taught concepts. Be careful not to overwhelm students (or parents!) with too much homework.
  • It is very important to use the correct mathematical vocabulary. Be sure to use math terms on your word wall.
  • Many skills can't be taught in one day using one or two workbook pages. They need to be revisited many times, even daily, throughout the year in order for them to become concrete.
  • The teacher's manual is a life saver! There are six manipulative type activities to choose from for each lesson.
  • Put your parent volunteers to work making multiple copies and laminating the Multi-Use Teaching Tools that you will use the most, such as: Tens Place-Value mat, Hundreds Place-Value mat, and Hundreds Chart. Also use parent volunteers to make any other games described below.
  • It is important to have a classroom set of the same rulers with the "0" on the edge of the ruler.
  • Mental Math (Use a problem of the day)
  • Paper/pencil activities

Good Supplemental Resources for Teaching Second Grade Math

A Collection of Math Lessons Grades 1-3

Marilyn Burns

Math Solutions Publication

Group Solutions

Jan Goodman



Joan Westley

Creative Publications

Time and Money

Joan Westley

Creative Publications

Math Excursions 2

Donna Burke


Frog Math Predict, Ponder, Play

Jaine Kopp


Math and Literature

Mailyn Burns

Math Solutions Publication

Math and Literature

Stephanie Sheffield

Math Solutions Publication

Math by All Means Gr 2 Place Value

Mailyn Burns

Math Solutions Publication

Math by All Means Gr 2 Geometry

Chris Confer

Math Solutions Publication

Young Children Continue to Reinvent Arithmetic

Constance Kamii

Teachers College Press

Developing Number Concepts Using Unifix Cubes

Kathy Richardson

Used Numbers Sorting and Graphs

Russell and Corwin

Dale Seymour Publications

The Pattern Factory

Roper and Harvey

Ideal School Supply Company

Elementary Problem Solving Through Patterning