Hi everyone! Welcome back to Chapter 5 of Laney Sammons’ Guided Math Book Study. I’m glad you decided to come back again and join us. Today is my last day of school!!! 🙂
Chapter 5: Using Guided Math with Small Groups
Last week we covered working with the whole class and how sometimes we have to use whole-class instruction in our classrooms.
This week we will be looking at using guided math with small groups. There are many advantages and disadvantages of small group instruction.
Advantages of small-group instruction:
*Instruction is more focused.
*There is more conversation around math.
*It is easy to manage materials.
*Students receive the support they need to expand their understanding of the concept.
*There is comfort and safety for the students in small groups.
*Small groups are more flexible.
*You can meet with small groups for different amounts of time and for different reasons.
*The ability to monitor student behavior more readily.
*Correcting misconceptions quickly.
*Observing the students and assessing what they know or do not know.
Disadvantages of small-group instruction:
*More extensive planning is needed for differentiated instruction to reach the need of all students and planning for independent work that is meaningful.
*More assessment is needed (informal and formal) so that the teachers know their students really well (not really a disadvantage!!)
*Each student receives less direct instruction.
By using flexible, needs based student grouping, students are given 15 to 20 minutes of intensive instruction that is geared to meet the needs of every member of that group. The teacher plans the groups knowing what the students in that group already know and focuses on what the students need to learn.
When students are in small groups, there is less of a chance of the students becoming frustrated. The teacher is able to work at a slower or faster pace and show different strategies or ways to solve problems.
My students love working in small groups. Each day, I start off with a quick mini-lesson. After the mini-lesson, the students break up into groups. My groups change everyday depending on the lesson being taught. Each group is given independent work, often times working in partners. As the students work in their groups, I pull my guided groups. My kids get so excited when I call them over to work with me. Everyday they ask, “Who are working with today? Me??”
This year I struggled with meeting with my planned guided groups. Many of my students struggled with math this year and I often had to reteach the lesson to a group. Hopefully next year will go more smoothly.
When making my groups for small group instruction, I both informal observations and formal assessments.
I use my end of unit assessments to help me plan my groups. I have a checklist of each question with the common core standard that I use to mark off which skills or concepts the students know or are struggling with.
I love color coding my spreadsheets (it must be the nerd in me!)
After I have the data, I plan out my groups for the week. Here is my conference sheet that I use.
The names are written on the side. Each day I check off which group the student is in based on my observations or off of an assessment. The last column for each day is labeled Test/Ind. This is where I jot down the test number the student had incorrect or the skill. During the week, I meet with the student for a one-to-one conference or pull that student into a small group to work on that skill or content area.
I plan out the work for each group for the week below.
Sorry I don’t have one in action for you to see, it is the end of June! 🙂
I also collect data based on my observations. We use GoMath for our math curriculum. Each lesson has a Quick Check to see if the students understand the concept. As I walk around, I use my Quick Check Checklist to create groups.
Since GoMath was new to us this year, I used the Quick Check Checklist more than the first checklist to make my groups. The first checklist I used more for my guided groups when I used formal assessments.
Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. Remember to stop by and see what everyone else has to say about chapter 5 and enter the giveaway below. I hope I see you next week for chapter 6!