Archive for January, 2010

Who should the teacher work with during guided math lessons – novices, apprentices or the experts?

Posted on January 18, 2010. Filed under: Guided Math Introduction | Tags: |


I think it is very important for teachers to work with small guided math groups with all the different students, not just the lowest performing.  Everybody needs the teacher’s attention at some point to push them to the next skill level.  Classroom assistants are a great help, but they should not be the only person who works with a particular group.  By the end of the week, I think it is important that the teacher has connected with all of the students in some form or another.

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Students should set individual math goals!

Posted on January 18, 2010. Filed under: Assessment | Tags: , , |


Developing mathematicians must also have multiple opportunities to discuss their strengths and as well as their areas of struggles.  They must set specific math goals and then make a plan for achieving those goals.  Research shows that when students set goals for themselves, they are much more likely to achieve them.  Teachers have to work with students in order to set appropriate goals.  They should base these on the math data- including ongoing observations, math interviews and quizzes.  For instance, a student might say that their goal is to learn their 6 times tables.  However, after doing a math interview, the teacher might find out and discuss with the student that they really need to learn their 3’s first.  Math interviews can play a crucial role in scaffolding goal setting.

Furthermore, observations of students during Guided Math sessions, individual math conferences and math running records can help teachers guide students’ in their individual goal setting.

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Teacher’s Role in Guided Math

Posted on January 18, 2010. Filed under: Guided math | Tags: , |


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.

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Student’s Role in Guided Math

Posted on January 18, 2010. Filed under: Guided math | Tags: , , |


Students should come to the group prepared to participate.  They are to pay attention, engage in the discussion with their teacher and their peers.  Do the math.  Try new ways of doing things.  Talk about their learning with their partners and their teachers. Ask questions when they don’t understand.  Explain concepts, strategies and skills to their peers when they do understand. Continue working on the particular concept, strategy or skill, during center time and at home.

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Math Centers at the Computer Station

Posted on January 18, 2010. Filed under: Math Centers | Tags: , , |


There are many types of math centers in the classroom.  The computer station is an important one because it allows students to work individually or in pairs.  It taps into a variety of intelligences, including visual spatial, bodily-kinesthetic and often logical mathematical.  Here are some great places to start:

http://www.cobbk12.org/sites/literacy/math/math.htm

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Where Is the Guided Math Area in the Classroom?

Posted on January 18, 2010. Filed under: Classroom environment, Guided Math Introduction | Tags: |


There should be a specific area in the classroom where Guided Math Groups are conducted.  Students need to be aware of that area and routines surrounding that area, such as coming to the area prepared, gaining access to the teacher during that time, leaving the area.  The Guided Math area should be set up with all of the things the teacher needs to conduct the lessons.  The student folders, supplies and math manipulatives should all be in a organized and clearly labeled containers in the Guided Math area.  This involves much planning ahead of time.

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Posting Math Workshop Schedule

Posted on January 18, 2010. Filed under: Classroom environment, Guided Math Introduction | Tags: , |


 

            The Math Workshop Schedule should be posted in the room in a way that children know exactly what is happening. There are a variety of types of Center Boards that can be made (See Below). Oftentimes, teachers go over the Math Workshop Schedule during the Morning Meeting.

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How Often Do Guided Math Groups Meet?

Posted on January 18, 2010. Filed under: Guided Math Introduction | Tags: , , , |


It depends on the individual classroom schedule.  I recommend to meet with each group at least two to three times a week.  I would meet with the lowest performing groups more often than the highest performing ones (See below for a sample schedule).

In a Math Workshop Classroom, there is always a mini-lesson done with the whole group.  The children then either go to their tables to work with math centers (which are portable containers) or they go to work in a Guided Math Group.  In this particular model, the children will do 2 different centers.  They will do one center and then after a signal, their table monitors will switch with their centers with a different table and they will do the new center.

 One of the centers, is a scheduled Guided Math Group. This schedule is based on a 75 minute math block.  If the math block is shorter, the teacher might only do guided reading twice a week with the lowest groups and once a week with the medium and high groups, because s/he must allot time for conferencing, observations and interviews. 

 The last section of everyday is devoted to 5-7 minutes of fact power practice.  This is a number of the day type activity, where the children work flexibly with a number trying to add it, subtract it,  make it into money and discuss it in a variety of way are problems on the boards.  After fact power practice, the teacher then gathers the children together for Share time.

 Here is an example from a 3rd grade classroom in the middle of a multiplication unit.

Sample Weekly Math Schedule
Content Strand:Number Sense

Grade: 3

Month:December

Week: 3

Goals:Children will gain a conceptual understanding of multiplication Resources:Double Dice

Mosaics

Templates

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Mini Lesson:Telling Multiplication Stories Continued

Table 1 

Guided Math Group

Nests and Eggs Sculptures

Fact Power

Table 2

Nests and Eggs Sculptures

Guided Math Group

Fact Power

Table 3

Writing Multiplication Stories

Multiplication Puzzles

Fact Power

Table 4

Multiplication Puzzles

Writing Multiplication Stories

Fact Power

Table 5

      Computers

      Circles and Stars

Game

Fact Power

Whole Class Share

 

Mini Lesson:Read: Anno’s Disappearing Jar 

 

Table 1 

    Computers

 Circle and Stars Games

Fact Power

 

Table 2

  Circle and Stars Games

Computers

Table 3

Guided Math Group

Nests and Eggs Sculptures

Fact Power

Table 4

Nests and Eggs Sculptures

Guided Math Group

Fact Power

Table 5

      Writing Multiplication Stories

Multiplication Puzzles

Fact Power

Whole Class Share

 

Mini Lesson:Read  Multiplication Pop Up Book 

 

Table 1 

Guided Math Group

Multiplication Puzzles

Fact Power

 

Table 2

Multiplication Puzzles

Guided Math Group

Fact Power

Table 3

Computers

Circle and Stars Games

Fact Power

Table 4

  Circle and Stars Games

Computers

Fact Power

Table 5

Guided Math

Nests and Eggs Sculptures

 Fact Power

Whole Class Share

Mini Lesson:Read Sea Squares

 

 

Table 1

Writing Multiplication Stories

Multiplication Puzzles

Fact Power

 

Table 2

Writing Multiplication Stories

Multiplication Puzzles

Fact Power

Table 3

Guided Math Group

 

Multiplication Top It

Fact Power

Table 4

Multiplication Top It

Guided Math Group

Fact Power

Table 5

Writing Multiplication Stories

Multiplication Puzzles

Fact Power

Whole Class Share

Mini Lesson:Read Amanda Bean’s Amazing Dream 

Whole Class Activities:

  • Class Makes a Big  Multiplication Storytelling  Book

 

  • Students Make Individual Number Books

 

All tables work on whole class activity

Table 5: Guided Math Group

 

 

 

 

 

Whole Class Share

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Role of Flexible Grouping In Guided Math Instruction

Posted on January 18, 2010. Filed under: Assessment, Differentiated Instruction, Guided Math Introduction | Tags: , |


Guided Math Groups are organized according to the common needs of a specific group of students.  The goal is to engage in depth with those students around a particular instructional goal, with intensive practice.  Guided Math Groups are Flexible-meaning that they change over time.  As the teacher notices that students achieve particular knowledge and skill sets, they move the students around.  Also, students can be in different groups based on the content strand.  For instance, Carlos could be a great geometrical thinker and yet not have much fact power.  So Carlos would be in the novice group for fact power but perhaps in the expert group during the geometry unit.  This is why ongoing assessments are essential to the effective implementation of Guided Math Groups

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How are Guided Math Groups Formed?

Posted on January 18, 2010. Filed under: Assessment, Guided Math Introduction | Tags: , , |


How are Guided Math Groups Formed?

 Effective Guided Math groups are based on intensive, informed teacher planning. Teachers must plan based on a variety of math data that gives a complete picture of the child.   Teachers plan for, implement and evaluate guided math groups based on math data.  This data is collected in a variety of ways. 

At the beginning of a unit, the teacher does a series of pre-assessment moves to determine the initial groupings.  These might include surveys, quizzes and/or mini-math interviews.  There is also a way to do a type of math running record to implement a strategic math plan. After this initial assessment, the students are grouped in three main categories 1) novice learners- who do not have a basic understanding of the concept; 2) apprentice learners-who have a basic understanding but need concentrated work to reach a deeper level (often time these students are working right on grade level) 3) expert learners- who are working above the grade level standard and need to have the topic extended. 

 All of this takes extensive planning, before the unit is taught. After the initial assessment the teacher forms the groups and works intensively with them around specific content, strategies, and skills. The ongoing teacher observations, anecdotals during centers and quizzes provide the teacher with information about student progress.  Students need ongoing practice with the content to gain proficiency.  Look at the Links for Great Assessment Resources and Websites.

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