Math Monday

This spring I have a student teacher and I've been showing her the ropes in my classroom. I am very passionate about the way I do math so I thought I would share!

A few years ago  I decided to try guided math. After all, I was already doing guided reading and that was going really well. I started with very simple games in my stations. Oldies that I'd had in my stash for years. I had just three groups that were based on ability and I just jumped right in. 

I've shared before how I rotate my kiddos. When I had three groups each group rotated to 
1) Meet with Teacher
2) Independent Work
3) Partner Games

This year I have four stations. I just wanted to try it since I usually wind up with one really big group.   Their rotations are:
1) Meet with Teacher
2) Independent Work
3) Partner Games
4) Calendar Questions/ 100's Chart Questions

*My groups are smaller but with four groups it takes me longer to get through the groups. I love having just three groups so I may go back to that next year.

Mini-Lesson: I introduce the skill for the day. Our math series has a book online so I usually have the lesson from the student math book projected. We talk about the vocabulary and the examples. I show the students how to work through the problems. Then they will try a few on their own. We check them then try a few more. I walk the room and peek at the kids work and take note of who is struggling. My mini lesson is only about 10 minutes long.

Meet with Teacher: For my group of kiddos that struggle with math concepts I reteach the lesson and skill. Often I use manipulatives or draw it out on an iPad. Then the students practice again in their math books. Sometimes you have one or two students that are still struggling. That's ok. Then you know you can pull them again for another reteach. But 95% of the time that reteach in small group is what they needed! My groups that are average math students still get a reteach. It's brief and I can check for understanding as they do additional practice in their math books. But since they usually grasp the concepts well I may pre-teach the lesson for the next day or I take the lesson a little further. For example, when I taught place value in the Fall I only needed to teach place value to the number twenty. The groups that had mastered place value to twenty I went on and taught higher numbers. My highest group does independent work as their first rotation so we check their independent work. Sometimes I reteach the skill because I know it's a tough one. (Time and money are always difficult so those lessons get retaught to all groups.) I challenge my highest group as much as I can. Sometimes we take lessons further and other times we do brain teasers. 

Independent Work: Most of the time it is work from our math book. But I also use other items that I have made or purchased from TPT. I view my low and average groups at the end of our math block. I quick glance and I can see who "gets it." I don't allow my students to ask me questions when I'm working with a small group. They can ask each other for help. It's wonderful actually because they often reteach each other. 

Partner Games: I always have a math tub with a game that reviews a skill, one that covers our new skill, and a dice game because students need to be able to recognize groups of numbers. 

My whole team uses the guided math approach and we have had the highest math scores in our district for the past three years because of it. We have a 99% success rate! Yeah baby! 

I'll be doing a math post every Monday to share more of what works in my classroom.




13 comments

  1. Such an engaging and hands-on way to teach math! I wish I taught math this year, but alas, no dice... I think this is such a good way to really reach students and let them grip the math concepts before moving on to the next. Thanks for the post.
    Ms. Martine @
    Inspiring Inquiring Minds

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  3. I've been wanting to implement guided math but felt like I wasn't sure how to start! Your blog is a great resource for that! One question - do the activities in the stations change every week? Thanks!

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    1. I have enough stations that I only need to switch them out every week and a half. *I'll post some pictures next Monday!

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  4. I am wanting to start Guided Math ASAP! How long is your math block? We have only an hour and it never seems like enough time. I am really wanting to incorporate Daily 5 Math next year since I will be teaming and doing Math and Science. So excited to read your posts!

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    1. Our math block is only an hour too. Forcing myself to keep to a short mini-lesson has helped! The kiddos don't have a long attention span (as you know!) so keeping it short and keeping them engaged has helped them stay focused. *I'll def post about this next Monday

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    1. We currently use Houghton Mifflin with Think Central.

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  6. This is so great Jennifer! We do Number Stations just one day a week and see the power in it. Is this how you do math everyday? We're inspired!

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    1. Hey y'all! We do stations every day. Of course, there are times when it just isn't possible or when I have a big activity planned for us.

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  7. love this! I do guided math, but mine is more like "I'm pulling the kids back who need remediation and then the rest can go to centers" I wish I could do groups with all of my kids!

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  8. Thanks for laying out your guided math groups! So many of us do guided reading, but it is just as important to get this small group time in math. Thanks for the post:)

    Tammy
    The Resourceful Apple

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  9. I really love your guided math plan! I have 29 kids, though! Wondering how/what you would do (how you'd divide the groups/how many/who you'd meet with every week) with this many kids. I have an assistant and was hoping to use her for my groups. Just wondering if it'd be possible with my situation.

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