For me, math begins with whole group instruction. This is usually a 20-30 minute lesson, introducing a new objective for the day. I like to use the gradual release model when teaching whole group. (I do, we do, you do, you do.) First I model. (I do) Then, I have students help me solve a problem. (We do) Next, students work with a group or partner on a problem. (You do) Last, students complete an independent practice. (You do) Usually the independent practice is a quick ticket out the door style problem. I use these to form my flexible groups, which leads me to the next part of my math block.
Guided Math/Small Group Math/Math Rotations
Call it whatever you may, this is the time of day where I meet with my students in small targeted groups. Students are busy working in all parts of my room, most of them in centers. I do not have set rotations where I ring a bell and students move to the next group. I have found that that does not work for me during a math block because students skill levels vary so much. Instead, there are 5 big components to my Guided Math time.
|I use targeted lesson plans that focus on a specific objective.|
Vocabulary and Definition cards go in pocket charts for us to reference during the lesson. I also include any posters or essential questions we'll be using that day.
|I use a variety of hands on tools to help students with the standards.|
What are kids doing when they are not working with me?
2. Skill practice--This is usually a longer form of independent work that students will turn into me. It may be a practice page or some other activity that can be turned in for me to check later. Students work on this independently, at their seats and turn it in when they finish.
3. Fluency--I have limited technology in my room so students have to take turns. I like for all of my students to get their green check mark on XtraMath every day. The computers must always be in use in my classroom. As soon as one student finishes, they get another student to log on. (The only students who do not go log on are the students who are at my table. They wait until it is time for them to be working without me.) If students are done with their skill practice and have turned it in, they can also practice math fluency using a wipe off sheet they keep in their desks. This is a fact practice sheet inside a sheet protector that they write on with an expo marker.
4. Centers--Once students have finished their skill practice, turned it in, and have completed fluency (or are waiting to complete fluency) they work in centers. I use my Common Core Math Centers and keep them in a bucket all year. Students practice these centers often and it helps keep the standards fresh in their heads all year long.
5. Extension Activities--Another option for students who have completed their skill practice and fluency is to work on enrichment activities. This can be a writing activity that has to do with our math objective, a puzzle, or a math game. These activities all go with the objective we are working on for the day.
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