Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Guided Math

I am joining in the Guided Math Book Study at Primarily Inspired


My professional goals this year centered around math and I have written a ton of curriculum for my current grade level.  However, with my move to third grade, I’m not sure what this is going to look like.  I know that we have a 60 minute period and we switch students, so the groups are more heterogeneous. I can’t see that doing whole group lessons everyday would work well, but I’m not sure what it will look like, or how much choice I will have.  I also want to make sure that I have some math connections in my own classroom, with my full class of students.  Here are my thoughts so far:

Key Components In This Model:

1. A Classroom Environment of Numeracy

I like the idea of having a math board in my classroom, both for my math group and my homeroom.  I can see having the current vocabulary up and maybe having some challenge problems for early finishers.

2. Morning Math Warm ups and Calendar Board Activities

I would like to do something with morning work, to stay connected to my students who may not be in my math class.  When I student taught in second grade, the kids had a calendar and there was a math problem of the day posted for them to solve.  I also like the idea of having a math journal.  I just need to get into the routine before I can figure out how that might work with a math class comprised of students from several classrooms and not knowing what level I will be teaching.

3. Whole-Class Instruction

We currently use a textbook resource.  It has a HUGE workbook for the kids.  I have to say, I was not married to it in first grade.  It was nice to have the resource there and ready to go, but I am not a workbook person and I found myself teaching with worksheets.  That may be a method as I start a new grade level, but I am hoping my structure will be more mini-lesson based with activities and guided groupings.

4. Guided Math Instruction with Small Groups  of Students

Again, with an hour of instruction, I think a center-based format would be a great way to use that time well.  I have been a big Daily 5 advocate for years and have applied that model to math with my first graders.  I can see having similar stations in 3rd.

I saw a great idea somewhere where a teacher would circulate during a whole group activity and move color magnets with students numbers on the board as it was observed that they might need extra support.  The support group was formed quickly and easily.

5. Math Workshops/Math Stations

Here is what I am thinking for centers: Math Facts, Computer, Hands-On Games, Teacher Center

I found this great resource (I actually used the addition and subtraction version this year):

It provides great games and literacy connections.  I can’t wait until it arrives in the mail!

Routines to develop:

  • Rules for using with manipulatives and where to get them independently
  • What to do if you finish early.
  • What to do if there is a question.
  • Where to store materials.
  • What to do when you come to math class.
  • How to clean up materials.

6. Individual Conferences

I would really like to do this!  I think student reflection is critical and I am curious about how it works when I don’t have my own students.  I found this to be hard when I taught fourth grade because I didn’t really get to know my students as well.  I only had 4 of them in my homeroom.  See my idea for this in the next section.

7. An Ongoing System of Assessments

I know this will be critical because of the structure of switching classes.  I am automatically thinking of using a sheet I really felt was successful for reading and writing.  I would write what I observed and then write my teaching/conference point.  I think I will have these copied on a bright colored paper and have a clipboard for math class.  I know organization is going to be key when switch classes.  At least I can stay in my classroom, unlike the last time. When I taught fourth grade, I was a travelling math teacher and had to go teach in another wing of the school and cart all my materials with me…fun!

I will link up my conference form tomorrow.  Google Doc is giving me fits and I can’t do much on my iPad.

I was lucky that Amazon had the first chapter of this book for preview.  I hope my order from Amazon comes in soon so that I can keep up with the reading!


  1. Oh yay! I'm excited to find someone else moving up to 3rd. :) And, yes, Dropbox is wonderful. So much easier than carrying a flash drive around!

    I'm a new follower!
    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

  2. I really like that idea of using colored magnets to form groups. Interesting. Let me know if you find/remember the source.
    Thanks for linking up!!

    Primary Inspired

  3. I like the idea of the colored magnets, too! What an easy way for a teacher to make a note of who needs what!

  4. Have you looked at Debbie Diller's Math Workstation book? She has a lot of great ideas for math stations. I know it's K-2, but I taught 3rd 2 years ago, and there were a lot of ideas in the book that I felt would have worked so well in third grade too! :) And I agree with the colored magnets, awesome idea!

    Ms. Wilkie's Second Grade Class

  5. I loved reading Debbie Diller's book! I did the book study on it last year. I kept my magnets on my easel and just slide the over as I spotted kiddos who needed extra support. It looked pretty random to them but was easy for me.