Guided Math - Chapter 5 - Week #5 :)

Welcome back!  Are you LOVING this math book as much as I am??  This chapter was not an awakening for me, but rather a reminder of what should be happening everyday.  I start off in September doing ALL small group teaching after a short mini-lesson, but somewhere around December, things always start to fall apart.  My lowest learners need more from me.  I start to forget my highest students need my time too.  Needless to say - This year I am committed to staying with my small group learning centers throughout the year (Though I will admit I am not totally sure how my stations will work and how often my kids will be seen, but more on that later...)

I was just talking about this with a parent (not from my district) today.  She was upset with the district she lived in for taking away the "advanced" math class (and no we are not talking about high school here!).  I tried to explain to her that when teachers use a guided math model all students get their needs met whether they need remediation or enrichment.  I have to admit I did not win her over (she went on to complain about teachers and when I talked to her about teacher training and administration support, she wasn't ready to hear it).  However, it got me thinking...if we teach kids at their pace and focus on EXACTLY what they need to know, how AMAZING will kids feel about themselves!  Teachers can teach different strategies to different groups of kids based on their learning styles and learning needs!  REVOLUTIONARY!! ;) 

I mentioned I was excited and committed to teaching in small groups this year and I am.  I have one concern...We use Everyday Math which is a spiraling curriculum (meaning we teach coins for 2 days, then a day of clocks, 2 days of fact practice, etc- eventually coming back to coins and starting over.) Knowing that we only spend 1 to 2 days on a concept at a time, I am worried about getting to meet with everyone.  In the model that Laney Sammonds uses, she uses a week-long plan based on a similar concept all week.  Don't worry, I am not expecting an answer from you all - I am more thinking aloud.  I think the answer is going to come from trial and error - more doing and less conjecturing!

If you remember back to my first week's post, I wrote about how my team and I created ESSENTIAL LEARNINGS or HAVE TO KNOWs for each unit.

Based on those we created pre-assessments that CLEARLY match the ESSENTIAL LEARNINGS or HAVE TO KNOWs. 

We then collect that data into our table and use this info to make groups. 

 This year I used 3 groups (but they were BIG 7-8 kids per group).  Next year I have a student teacher in the fall (hopefully through the spring too) and I am hoping we can split the groups and make them 3-4 kids per group! How much MORE will we accomplish with those mini groups!

Don't forget to enter our AMAZING giveaway this week - You will be sorry if you don't!

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Dying to hear what other teachers are thinking after reading?  Click on the links below to check em out! 

An InLinkz Link-up

Let me know what you are thinking about in the comments!!

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