“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 🙂