Thursday, May 29, 2014

Guided Math Book Study

I'm so excited to be participating in The Primary Gal's Guided Math Book Study! 

If you don't already have a copy of Guided Math by Laney Sammons, check it out from your local library or get it "where books are sold," ASAP! You'll be glad you did! 

This week we are reflecting on Chapter 1: Guided Math: A Framework for Mathematics Instruction. This chapter provides an overview of the Guided Math framework, which includes:
"1.  A Classroom Environment of Numeracy
2. Morning Math Warm-ups and Calendar Board Activities
3. Whole-Class Instruction
4. Guided Math Instruction with Small Groups of Students
5. Math Workshop
6. Individual Conferences
7. An Ongoing System of Assessment (p. 18)"

 It also asks teachers to examine their current mathematics teaching practices.

Reading this chapter made me realize I have a lot of work to do in math! I've focused so much energy on reading over the past few years that I've neglected to update the way I teach math. With that said, there are a few things that I do well, according to Laney Sammons. I do daily calendar activities that include a math review/warm up, and I feel like my whole group instruction usually goes well and reaches the majority of my students. There are plenty of areas where I can improve, though! 

I'm troubled by this quote from Chapter 1, "Some students complain of being bored while others fail miserably in understanding the concepts being taught (p. 17)." This refers to the traditional whole-class method of teaching mathematics, which tends to be my go-to method due to time constraints. And I have found this to be somewhat true in my classroom. I have kids who understand every concept after seeing it once, and others who still do not get it after learning about it for over a week. This is definitely something I want to change in the future.

There have been a few occasions that I have used the methods Laney Sammons writes about in the section about Guided Math Instruction with Small Groups of Students, where teachers assess their students and then group them based on their knowledge of a particular skill or standard. This works especially well when you can share kids across a grade level team. For example, we may give a pre-assessment over addition with regrouping, and score them based on a rubric. We then group them based on how they score and give a post-assessment at the end of the week or unit. This obviously involves more work than just traditional whole-group instruction with a test at the end of the chapter, but it is so worth it!

Be sure and enter the Rafflecopter below, and come back next week to catch the summary/reflection of Chapter 2!

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Marissa! Stopping by from the book study. I agree with you that I have a lot to change and improve in terms of math instruction....and I'm excited to learn more and get ready to do it!

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