“Whole-class instruction provides teachers with a quick method of presenting information to all students. Everyone receives the same information…at the same time.” (Laney Sammons)
At the beginning of a unit, I post our learning targets in the classroom. I open up a discussion with the students about what they already know and what questions/concerns they have about the learning targets (I feel this is kind of like doing a KWL without writing down all of the student responses on the chart). As we progress through the unit, we revisit the learning targets frequently and students have opportunities to self-assess their progress towards those learning targets. I feel that this can be taken one step further next year. I can conference with students who feel they are not making progress towards specific targets (or the opposite – students who aren’t making progress, but think they are).
I also feel that there are plenty of opportunities for practice and review already embedded into the way I teach math. The book offered a new game idea that I haven’t tried – Fly Swatter. The class is divided into teams. One player from each team comes to the front of the room. Several answers are written on the board. The teacher asks a question and the first team to correctly swat the answer wins a point. One of the reasons I was drawn to this game is I can see the differentiation opportunities.
This chapter spends time discussing the importance of math literature…again. I guess it’s time to get serious about this one. Does anyone have a list of math books they recommend? I teach second grade. Since school is out for summer it is a bit difficult to talk to the librarian.
Since I already use mini-lessons for reading and writing, I feel comfortable with the format of them. My biggest weakness is when I get really passionate about a mini-lesson, it becomes a mega-monster lesson and the next thing you know, 20-25 min. has gone by…whoops!!
When I think of a workshop approach, I think of starting whole group with the mini-lesson. Students break off into different small group or independent activities. At the end, we come back together as a whole group. In reading and writing, this last portion of time has been used for students to share their attempts (both successful and unsuccessful) at using the mini-lesson strategy. I often ask specific students to share things that I noticed that day. When I read about the author’s “Math Huddle”, I see this ending time of the math block being a great way to incorporate more math conversations. It may be short, but by doing so it keeps the students focused on how their peers attempted the mini-lesson strategies.
I have been (not-so) patiently waiting for the next chapter: Using Guided Math with Small Groups. I’m hoping some of my questions will be addressed there 🙂
Julie Sawyer says
I am anxious to get to the small group chapter too! Really hoping for some fresh ideas; I certainly got a lot from chapter 4.
Math is Elementary
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Small math groups have not been my forte, as all I've ever taught is Saxon math. Thank goodness we've got a new series for next year. I'm hoping to learn a lot about teaching guided math groups in the next chapter as well. As far as the minilesson turning into a megalesson, I think we've all been there! I know I have…:)
I am looking forward to the next chapter as well. I would love to put together a list of favorite math books. I have several favorites in mind that I use already, however I am always open to new books.
The Very Busy Kindergarten
Thanks for linking up and sharing your thoughts. I liked the Fly Swatter game too!
Once Upon A Teaching Blog
Oh math literature! It is by far one of my FAVORITE ways to teach math! I also teach second grade, we should definitely chat about math more! 🙂 I love The Greedy Triangle to introduce 2d geometry. We always make a foldable with the shape drawn on the outside, and then the attributes inside. I also use Measuring Penny to introduce measurement. The Penny Pot is great for money. One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab is great for multiplication, or patterns. I could go on and on 🙂 Those are a few of my favorites. The great thing is, once you've read them, they can go right into a math station and the kids can read and do activities with them! 🙂
Reaching for the TOP!
Patti Wilson says
I have a math reading and writing center. Books are placed there along with questions/worksheet to complete afterwards. I received a listening center at the end of last year so I will be recording the books onto a CD.
Check into Stuart Murphy's books. I adore his math series.
On The Road To Success