Monday, July 20, 2015

Pumping up my Math Instruction: Guided Math PT1

This week I'm going share my math schedule with you guys and discuss how I incorporate Guided Math into my math block.  If you missed my last post, I discussed how I use Problem of the Day as a daily warm up with my students to practice problem solving.  Feel free to check that post out!
  Here's a look at my math block.  As you can see my math block is 90 minutes long and most of our time is focused on Guided Math and math rotations.

Since this is Part 1 of my guided math blog post I wanted to share with you how I get my students  ready for the transition from seat work to math rotations.  In my opinion the only way to assure that your transitions run smoothly is to incorporate a rotation display board for you and your students to quickly reference before rotations.  I hate to admit it but in the beginning of last year I kept my rotation chart and grouping sheet on a clipboard on my desk nowhere for my students to see.  (WOW)  How wrong is that!  My students were constantly asking me questions, not because they were off task, or not listening, but because they didn't have anything to reference other than me.  So  to alleviate that headache,  I added a math workstation display board in my classroom.  
As you can see the board is easily visible for my students.  The cards are laminated so that I can write the station activity on them with dry erase markers and they can be easily moved since they are glued to close pins.

  Here's a look at the board filled out.
It's hard to see since I took it with my iphone but my groups are filled in with my students names and can easily be changed when regrouping.  The rotations cards have the skill they will work on at each station so they know what basket to grab their materials from.  I also add a clip to the round numbers (rotation) they are working on that day so they know where they are to go. Since creating the board all my students have to do is look for their group, see what round their currently on, and get to work.  Easy!!!! 
If your wondering about  my rotations they include problem solving, concept development, numeracy, vocabulary, and stem.  Make sure to check back for Part 2 where I explain some activities I use in my rotations.
If interested you can grab my Editable Math Workstation Display kit here.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Pumping up my math instruction: Problem Solving

Today I'm going to share with you all how I tackle problem solving during math.  As you know I made the jump from 2nd to 3rd last year and had to  prepare my students for that yucky state test.  Luckily my students did an amazing job and I know it was because of how I tackled problem solving.

I knew I had to improve on problem solving so the first thing that I did was add problem solving to my math block!  Each day we spend the first 15 minutes of our math block focusing on problem solving.  This has made a huge difference in how my students approach a story problem.  As you can see I have a wall just for problem solving that includes my problem solving strategy posters (in store) that my students use to reference while solving their POD.  My students also have one in their POD folders to reference.  Below the POD header I  usually take the 2-3 copies of their POD and glue them to white paper and invite a few students to come solve on the board.  This allows me to assess my students understanding of problem solving daily.  These students also get feedback from me and their classmates.  Finally you can see that I include quick checks on my board (included in my story problem packs)  that my students solve independently 1-2 times a week.  Students have to show how they used each strategy while solving the problem and explain their thinking in words.  These forms give me so much data and RTI information for my students!

All of the resources above can be found in my TPT store!
 link to store

Well I'm off to get some sun!  
What does problem solving look like in your classroom?