Saturday, December 14, 2013

Guided Math and a Holiday Game

Ha...I'm feeling like I could use a long time out.  The holidays are upon us and the kids are super excited. It can be a real challenge to get them focused on instruction this last week before our holiday break. 
I'm running math stations on a regular basis this year and am looking to incorporate some hands on math activities to keep the little ones as engaged as possible.

Do you use guided math in your classrooms?  I would love to hear from others on whether or not you find it to be an effective way to teach math.
I'm also always seeking out the most efficient way to organize and run the groups. So please share your management strategy. 
I've gotten questions about how I run it in my class so here is my approach for now. Currently I run three groups: Teacher Time, Partner Practice and On My Own Time.

I have a very diverse group of learners so creating these flexible groups has been critical  in differentiating my math instruction.   I gear my teacher time to the needs of these groups. The content and pace of my instruction will vary depending on the group that is with me.
My one concern is time.  I need more of it for some of my groups.Some days I will  skip my teacher time for my most capable math students; giving them an additional partner practice activity to do. This gives me more time with those who need more direct teaching.

My math tubs have grown in number.  I have organized my partner practice games into these drawers by math strands. The organization of materials can make a huge difference in how well this approach works for you. Simplicity is key.  I only keep about 3-5 games in each drawer.  I make sure they are simple enough for students to learn and then remember.  We keep going back to review the concepts already covered.

One of my favorite purchases for my guided math time have been these transparent sleeves from Really Good Stuff.  We use them all the time.  I can slide in papers and students use them with dry erase markers for practice.  This was a really good buy and saves me on copy paper.

I wanted to share a quick and easy math holiday game.  Here is a rounding practice game that I will run during partner practice time this coming week.  I covered rounding weeks ago but running stations allows students more exposures to previously covered material so it always stays fresh.

Go to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to download your free copy of this game if you would like

Would love to hear your tips and tricks to making Guided Math work for you and your students!
Please share!
Comment or Email me