Teacher’s Role in Guided Math
The teacher puts up a Math Schedule so that students know what they are doing that day during math workshop. Teachers schedule various groups in different math centers and usually two groups a day for guided math lessons. During guided math lessons, the children meet in small groups for explicit math instruction based on specific content, strategies or skills. The teacher introduces the content for the lesson. The children discuss the content. The children engage in a mathematical activity around the content. The children then discuss the activity in detail. The teacher then summarizes the learning for the day and then the children return to their desks. The teacher scaffolds the lessons so that children become competent, confident, flexible mathematicians. Teachers need to create a non-threatening, supportive learning environment.
Guided Math provides the necessary opportunity for teachers to explicitly teach math content, strategies and skills at the students’ individual levels. During this group time, teachers review, reinforce, reteach and practice mathematical ideas, concepts, strategies and skills. Developing mathematicians must have multiple opportunities to work with numbers in non-threatening environments and to make sense of their meaning by engaging in scaffolded discussions about them. Guiding students to think mathematically takes planning, persistence and time to practice.