Friday, June 29, 2012

Guided Math Chapter 5

I have to say I have really been enjoying reading this book and collaborating with all my bloggy friends on the great things we're learning! Chapter 5 deals with the small group component of Guided Math. Some of my favorite points:
  • Small group instruction is a defining component, but is not the ONLY mode of instruction. I love this because I agree with a balanced approach. We need whole group, small group, one on one, partners, group work, and individual work. All of these have value and need a place in our instruction.
  • Small group instruction gives the teacher an enormous amount of flexibility in meeting the needs of students and gives maximum impact to teaching. AMEN! 
  • Children are more likely to open up, take risks, and ask questions in a small group setting. I've seen this first hand!
  • Use your manipulatives. I loved this research stated on page 143, "Research shows that 90 percent of what we both say a nd do is retained, compared to only 50 percent of what we hear and see." Wow! We all know that "doing" is important, but did we realize just how important it is for retention?
  • Keep your small group area organized and free or clutter--((sigh)) I'll just go ahead and admit that my small group table (right by the door) becomes a dumping ground. I've GOT to stop this! I waste time cleaning it off to use it. 
  • Let formative assessment (and sometimes summative) to form groups and guide your daily instruction. 
And here's where I get techie: I'm all about using the formative data to form and guide my groups, but how to manage it? I'm also not great with paperwork. Now you know. My secret is out. I HATE paperwork! But, if I can turn that same paperwork into something digital I'm all over it. Hence, my newest Google Form....drum roll please....

Tada! Guided Math Group Records!

(Don't you just love those blocky faces?)
I created this form to serve three purposes:
  1. Group students
  2. Take notes during/after the lesson
  3. Have a paper trail for RTI detailing whom was in the group, when we met, what was covered, and how well said students performed. 
Want a copy?
Click HERE to see the live form. 
Click HERE for the spreadsheet that you can save a copy of.

Here's how I plan to use it: We have a new math series this year (Go Math!), and if I understand correctly, there is formative assessment for grouping built right in. After the whole group instruction, students begin some problems on their own while the teacher circulates and checks. There are "Checkpoint" questions marked with a red check mark that the teacher pays special attention to. If the child misses those problems, my plan is to check their name on my form (which I've set to my iPad home screen), then pull all of those children for reteaching. Using the form I can easily choose the lesson topic and Common Core standard covered (4th grade). I've also left a place for notes so that I'll remember later what went on during the lesson and who needs more assistance.

Another key point in this chapter was that just because a student gets an answer correct doesn't necessarily mean they understand the concept. So true! I plan to address this in math conferences. I don't have all of the logistics worked out in my head yet, but hopefully after we read chapter 7 I'll have a better understanding. I've been doing some research and came across this fabulous blog dedicated guided math: Dr. Nicki's Guided Math Blog. She has some information about conferences and even some forms she created. Definitely worth the look. 

Thanks to our wonderful hosts for hosting this book study:
Chapter 1: Primary Inspired


  1. Your recording sheet is AMAZING!!! Would you consider a post on how to create this form in Google docs?

    Thanks for sharing!
    On The Road To Success

  2. Wow, Patty, thanks for the kind feedback! Here's a post telling how to create a form.
    You could also save a copy of mine and edit it to fit your needs.

  3. Farrah you are the with that awesome google form! I was thinking of doing the exact same thing and will definitely be looking at your example as I figure out how to make it work for myself with 7th graders. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. I'm right with you on keeping the meeting area uncluttered! Mine also sometimes becomes a catch-all. I was better at keeping it clutter free when I moved it from the corner of the room to the middle front.
    And your google form is amazing! I am off to check out your tutorial!

    Primary Inspired

  5. I am in love with Googleforms! I just need a class to start playing with them! Thank you for sharing this one. I think I am in need of purchasing and reading the Math book as well!

  6. I love how you plan on recording how students are doing while they work on problems! I kind had a DUH moment! I do that, but mentally remember that day who was struggling. It'd be nice to keep track and see growth, or if they still are not getting the concept. Thanks for my ah-ha moment! :)

    Reaching for the TOP!



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