Happy Independence Day! I hope that you are
enjoying the holiday with great people!

Chapter 2: Guided Math in a Numerate
Environment was mostly the breakdown of each part of a guided math schedule,
and a brief description of each. The important thing to remember is that
students need to be engaged in independent activities that are meaningful.
Talking about math out loud and a student’s reasoning behind their thinking is
very important to guided math. Which brings me to another important point
Chapter 2 makes, that talking about math vocabulary, both new and old is
extremely important. How can a student explain their thinking without the
proper background vocabulary to do so?

Here is an example of what the book says a
guided math period should contain:

5-10 minutes *each - calendar,
problem/number of the day, math strategy practice

10-12 minutes *each - whole class less/mini
lesson, journal/ share time

12-15 minutes - (1-3) rotations of math
centers/guided math group

So if you do the math, on the low end of the
minute spectrum, your math block would be about 70 minutes long. If it was on
the long end, it would be about 100 minutes. I have kind of brainstormed how I
could cut this time down a bit. Seeing the first month or so would be teaching
procedures and how things would work, I would take this time to teach "how
to" do the calendar and problem/number of the day. Then when they are
independent, these will become a "center" to go to instead of a whole
group time.

Okay, let's break down the sections guided
math contains.

__Calendar & Word/Number Problem of the Day__

It is recommended that students have their
own calendar folders, where they each keep their own individual calendar with
different activities that go with it. These can also be individualized based
upon the students level of expertise. Number of the day is the students taking the
given number and showing it different ways: drawing base ten blocks, addition
and/or subtraction problems, tally marks, show it in word form, money, or any way
that the students can represent the number.

__Whole Class Mini Lesson__

This time is a great time to bring in a
different way of learning, for example: watching a video clip or reading a book
about that days topic. You could teach a song or make an anchor chart about
that skill, play a game or introduce a new skill. This would also be a great
time to review and or introduce math vocabulary.

__Number Talks and Energizers__

Number talks and energizers can be done
whole group or during your small group time. You are talking about different
strategies or the different ways to model a problem. Energizers help to build
fluency. They give an example of a game called "I'm Thinking of a
Number". In this game the teacher thinks of a number and the students ask math questions to try to arrive at that number. For example: is the number larger than 50?

__Rotations/Math Centers__

During this time the teacher is pulling small
groups and the rest of the class is working on independent math centers. Here
they said that a rotation should only last as long as the age of the student,
plus a few minutes. You would do 1-3 rotations based on the amount of time you
have for your math block. They also make note to make sure you are seeing your expert groups too!

__Share__

They stress to not skip this part of your
day, because it brings closure to the math time. It also allows for some
sharing about what a student did that day at a particular center.

__Reflection Questions__

1. In what ways do you give students an
opportunity to think flexibly about numbers throughout the year? I currently do math whole group, and stick to a worksheet, so that
doesn't leave a whole lot of room to think flexibly. We talk about numbers
pertaining to what we are learning, but there is no freedom in that.

2. Do you use a variety of instructional
strategies to launch discussions about your current unit of study? The way that math time is run (see above) does not really give students
the time to think and explore.

3. The end of your math period, how do you
summarize the learning? Do you write in a class journal to document key
takeaways? No, I usually do not summarize our learning for the day. We usually
just move right on to the next subject. I also have never used a math journal. I have bought them, with the good intentions of trying them out, but never followed through.

Sitting here just reading my reflection
question answers makes me feel terrible. I am missing out on some great math
opportunities in my classroom. But I am not just keeping on, here I am on summer vacation reading and learning something new, so that feeling of terrible
is going away a little.

I already have several ideas brewing in my
head about how I can make this work. My biggest hurdle is going to be student
behavior during centers. But I think that if I take that first month and build
stamina and hammer procedures and expectations, make my "centers"
engaging and keep the time frame on the shorter end, we will be okay!

Thank you for reading! I hope you will stick
with me for the whole book, I'm planning a guided math freebie for the end!

Great adventures await you!

~Kari

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