Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Guided Math: Putting it Into Practice

Better late than never, I guess! I'm finally posting on Chapter 9 of the book study (12 days late). Why so late, you ask? Well...our system recently purchased a new math curriculum and we just had our training today. I didn't realistically think I could make any plans for putting GM into practice until I had an idea of how our program would run. All through this book study I've been *hoping* I'd be able to implement some of the things I've been learning with our new curriculum, and I'm happy to say I will!

We've adopted Go Math! and the structure of the program pretty much follows the GM format using whole group and small group. Here's a rough outline of what I'd like to implement next year:


  • Calendar Math (not included in GM, but I'm hoping to pull something together from all the great resources I've stalked found this summer!)
  • Fact Practice: (Using sheets and manips/games I've accumulated) I've just really seen in my experience that about 5 minutes of practice each day is a must, especially multiplication and division in fourth grade.
  • Check last night's homework: My grade level coworker and I plan to do this differently every day. Some days we'll check the whole paper and give kids a treat for getting x% correct. Some days we'll just check a few problems. With this program they'll all be the same skill as opposed to Saxon's 30 different skills in each lesson, so we can get away with it. Some days, we'll just check to see whether it's done...Kiddos won't ever know which day is which. We like to change things up like that to keep it interesting and keep them on their toes.
During Lesson: 
  • Short Whole group minilesson: Go Math is designed for this, but I'm really going to have to practice to make it "mini." We'll see :) After the mini-lesson comes independent practice and formative assessment. There are two problems in each day's lesson already built in for formative assessment.While students work I'll go around and check those two problems. And here's an awesome tip I got from our presenter today:
    • Carry a purple, green, and orange pen or highlighter with you when checking. If a kid gets both problems correct, give a purple check. If he misses only one, give a green check. If he misses both, give an orange check--now your groups are made! How awesome is that?! 
  • At this point I'll pull small groups and follow the lesson plans prescribed in the program (at least until I know a little more about what I'm doing). I LOVE that the groups are truly fluid and flexible! 
  • I also plan to conference with individuals during this time. 
  • While I'm meeting with groups and/or conferencing, the other kids are: finishing independent problems or beginning homework page, doing center activities, reading math readers, playing math games, or doing something on the computer related to the lesson.
After Lesson:
  • Journals: I plan on incorporating our math journal here. There's a prompt at the end of each lesson and I may use it until I build a database of other prompts. 
  • Whole group meeting: I envision this as the time for students to share what they've learned or what they have questions about and what strategies they've used that day. 
Well, that's the plan anyway. I know that when I dig in and get my hands dirty I'll have to adjust, especially once I get the curriculum under my belt. Sorry this post was so late! If you'd like to read more about implementing Guided Math, check out some of these great posts and the bloggers who linked up:

1 comment:

  1. Quick checking with the different colored highlighters....what a fantabulous idea! I LOVE that! Thanks for posting your thoughts on chapter's so interesting seeing how everyone is fitting guided math with different curricula.

    Primary Inspired



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