Welcome to Part 2 of my guided math series. Here is a reminder of the 4 components in case you have forgotten them from yesterday’s blog post Part 1: How to Set Up Your Math Block
- whole group lesson
- small group lesson (at your teacher table)
- group stations (or centers)
To begin with – Let’s create a vision, shall we! Now I must warn you, this post is long. I go into detail about my entire math block and share lots of visuals. Don’t worry, there is a goodie at the end just for you for sticking with me!
Every day I always start with a 5 minute warm up. Sometimes this can be referred to as bell-work depending on what terminology you use in your classroom.
My district pushes problem solving hard. Since our state tests are all in a problem solving format, I use this time to reinforce the skills needed in order to problem solve independently. My math block is first thing in the morning so I tie part of this into my morning work. If you choose to do math in the afternoon, it may be slightly different.
When they come into the room, they have a word problem that goes in their math journal that they must complete independently. Then they must complete a number of the day. After announcements, I spend 5 minutes reviewing the word problem. I’ll call on students to share different strategies they used to solve the problem. We start with these day one and then spiral different concepts throughout the year. You can get them here.
Whole Group Lesson Ideas
Once those two things are completed and it’s time to start our whole group lesson. I spend anywhere from 20-30 minutes a day teaching whole group. This can change depending on the topic and how familiar with it they are.
What do we do during this time?
I keep it simple. When making out lesson plans I don’t try to plan an anchor chart and then a journal activity and a game all at one time. Choose one thing that you know you can do during that time span.
Here are some examples of what you can do:
At the beginning of every new concept we make an anchor chart together as a class. I rarely have it all the way made before starting a lesson. I like to keep them interactive and student centered. I want my class to feel in charge and responsible of what they are learning. Here are some examples that we have as a class. The photos used to create this anchor chart can be found here.
Read more about these here.
Math is meant to be hands on and interactive. Put away the worksheets and use manipulatives instead. Did you know that you can write on student desks with dry erase markers?!? YES, and they LOVE it!
Play showdown with whiteboards. This is a class favorite that I use in all subject areas. Display a set of task cards under your document camera or on your whiteboard. Have students solve on their whiteboards. When the teacher says “SHOWDOWN”, everyone holds up their boards and you spot check answers.
I’m obsessed with task cards. I use them for EVERYTHING! Whole group, small group, stations, math journals, you name it! Here is what all you can do with them.1. Play iSpy – tape the cards around the room. Have students go from card to card and solve.
Find this activity here on 10 Ways to Use Task Cards in the Classroom!
We use our math journals daily for problem solving practice and then several days a week for our whole group lesson.
All of my guided math units include interactive notebooks. Click here for a second grade guided math bundle!
Your small group time is where you are going to get the most bang for your buck. I am a firm believer that miracles can happen at the small group table. This is when the teacher will provide targeted, differentiated instruction, to small groups of students. While the teacher is working with a group, the rest of the class is rotating through independent activities that cover previously taught skills. Small group rotations typically last 15-20 minutes per rotation.
A small group lesson should always focus on a small portion of a bigger topic. During this time your goal is to help your students make mathematical connections, demonstrate and model concepts, and provide support.
Click here to download a free small group math activity guide!
This is my favorite time of the day. The kids are broken up into groups and and working on various activities while I have a group at my teacher table. As I mentioned in post 1 of this series. We do stations for 45 minutes. I see three groups a day for 15 minutes each.
Math stations are the same thing as math centers. They are different than any other component in guided math. The responsibility of learning shifts from the teacher to the students. During math stations students review previously taught concepts.
Your students have the flexibility to work individually, with a partner, or their entire group. The work assigned also has flexibility. They might be working on a paper and pencil task, playing a game, working in their math journal, problem solving, or working with some sort of technology.
What activities should I include?
- hands on learning: use those math manipulatives!
- interactive journal activities
- group or partner work
Most of my activities come from my monthly math station sets but you can use any materials that you may have. I don’t always have time to incorporate all the journal activities I want to do or to make that fun craft. Put those things in your stations. I always include an example without the answers and let them do it themselves. You’d be surprised at how well they can do. Examples are shown below.
If you are reading this, I’m so proud of you for sticking with me this long. I have a special treat just for you! I’d like to share my guided math lesson plan with you! This Small Group Math Activity Guide includes over 70 kid tested and teacher approved activities that you can easily implement with your math groups.
Download your FREE guide by clicking here and filling out the form. It will be sent straight to your inbox.
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