Thursday, July 10, 2014

Guided Math Book Study - Chapter 7

Welcome back for Chapter 7 of The Primary Gal's Guided Math book study! 

This chapter focused on student conferences during Math Workshop.  

Welcome back for Chapter 7 of The Primary Gal's Guided Math book study! 

This chapter focuses on student conferences during Math Workshop. In the beginning of the chapter, Laney Sammons emphasizes the importance of establishing effective procedures for Math Workshop before you even begin conferring with students. Students should know what they are expected to do during their independent work time, how to access needed materials, and what do to when they have a question or need help (without having to interrupt the teacher). Once these procedures are in place, and Math Workshop is running smoothly, individual math conferences can begin. 

The structure of a conference with a student includes: 

*Research Student Understanding - observe the student working and ask questions to find out what he or she is thinking about the work.
*Decide What Is Needed - determine your teaching point and how you will teach it to the student.
*Teach to Student Needs - use modeling, guided practice, or explicit teaching to correct or extend student understanding. 
*Link to the Future - name what the student has done and learned and remind him or her to continue using the strategy in future math work. 

It is important to confer with students as often as needed and to provide specific, immediate feedback. It is also important to compliment students specifically on what they are doing well so they continue to use those actions in the future. Conferences provide a great opportunity to correct mistakes in student thinking or to challenge those who already understand a particular concept. Each student can be working toward an individual goal. 

Teachers should take notes during each individual conference to keep a record of the students' understanding and the teaching points given. It is important to refer back to these notes to look for patterns or gaps in student understanding and to plan for future conferences. 

I always enjoy conferring with students about their reading, so I am looking forward to initiating math conferences this year as well! 

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