Guided Math, Chapter 2 – Using Guided Math to Create a Classroom Environment of Numeracy
In this chapter, Sammons discusses various elements for a successful math classroom. Here are some of those elements:
– Small Group Area
– Workshop Area
– Problem of the Day/Week
– Word Wall or Vocabulary Display
– Math Journals
– Class-Made Charts
– Math Literature
Some of these elements I have already had in place with a lot of success. I already have designated spaces for whole group and small group reading lessons. They can double up for math lessons. I think the areas where children are taught to work independently or in partners for Daily 5 choices could also double up as workshop spaces.
My manipulatives have been stored in tubs on shelves for years. The only modifications needed would be to add labels to the tubs. The books touches upon the fact that some teachers shy away from manipulatives because the kids play with them, they take too much time to distribute/clean-up, etc. I have a plan in place that has worked for years with my students to avoid these types of problems. I won’t get into details about it here, but leave me a comment with a way to contact you if you want more info.
I have done problem solving journals one day a week for several years now. I teach the problem solving steps and we focus on different strategies for several weeks before moving on to another. I think I could modify this, too. I’m thinking I could post the problem around the room. During workshop, students could make their own attempts to solve the problem. Students could share their approaches to solving the problem to allow for mathematical conversations. Then, I could model a way to solve the problem to really drive home the pieces I expect students to include (labeling work, using words to explain thinking, etc.).
Now, the pieces I still have questions about:
Calendar – I have used this as a time during the day to orally review various skills. We d on’t always do the same skills day to day. With second grade students, do any of you have them fill out calendars or do calendar related worksheets?
Word Wall/Vocabulary Wall – I agree that these words need to be on display. However, I do not feel strongly that I have enough games/activities to engage the students in using the word wall regularly. I saw one example in the chapter, but would love to hear more ideas from you.
Class-Made Charts – I have always posted learning targets for each unit of Everyday Math. We review the learning targets daily and I make sure the students know which target is our focus of the lesson. I do most of my math instruction on paper under the document camera. I’m trying to imagine how I could transfer this into an interactive chart during workshop. Any ideas?
Math Literature – I’m going to be honest and tell you that this is a very weak portion of my math instruction. I feel like there has to be an easier way to incorporate this. For those of you that use Everyday Math, when and how often are you reading math literature to your students?