Sunday, June 24, 2012

Guided Math Chapter 4

Chapter 4 was all about effective uses of whole group instruction. With the push for more and more small group instruction, it is refreshing to have the validation that whole group instruction is an important part of a balanced teaching approach. Whole group instruction is not bad! In fact there are many instances in which it is preferable to small groups, including minilessons, whole group games/reviews, giving instructions, and math huddles. Probably the idea that stuck with me the most from this chapter was the format of minilessons.

MiniLesson Components:

  • Connection-This is the activating portion of the lesson
  • Teaching Point-Teacher models or demonstrates ("I do" portion)
  • Active Engagement-Guided practice ("We do, Y'all do" portion)
  • Link to Ongoing Student Work-just what it says: You link to what they'll be doing independently ("You do" portion).

Sammons writes that the mini-lesson should be brief---no more than 10 minutes. I've found it extremely difficult to do each component of a minilesson and still keep it within the 10 minute time frame, at least in 4th grade. I especially need more time with the active engagement portion because I'm often listening in to students and offering feedback. While I really strive to limit the teacher talk, and focus on more time for guided practice, I know this is something I still need to work on. I'm finding that for adequate practice, usually my minilesson takes between 15-20 minutes---close enough :) I think for 4th graders and the difficulty level of some of the problems they solve in math, 20 minutes is reasonable.

How about you? What did you take away from this chapter?

Can't get enough of the Guide Math book study? Check out these links for more:
Chapter 1: Primary Inspired


  1. I like reading about what others took away from this chapter. Thank you for sharing!
    Stories by Storie

  2. Hi Farrah,
    I responded to your comment over on my blog. I agree with you that 10 min seems really short for the mini lesson, but I guess you just have to discipline yourself to stick with it, so it doesn't end up eating up your whole class time. I teach 7th grade so visualizing much of this in my classroom is a difficult prospect.

  3. I agree with you, it will be hard for me to finish anything in 10 min. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    The Very Busy Kindergarten

  4. Thanks for linking up! 10 minutes does seem short. I think it will require careful planning.

  5. HI!! I am your newest follower. I would love to have you join my giveaway.


  6. Didn't you love how she broke down the mini lesson? I feel like that was one of my biggest ah-has I took away from the book. So happy you're following the book study too! :)

    Reaching for the TOP!



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