Guided Math: Chapter 4

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Chapter 4

Welcome back everyone! I am so excited that you have come back to join me for chapter 4 of Laney Sammon’s book, Guided Math. The more I read this book, the more I love it!

Chapter 4 is “Using Guided Math with the Whole Class.” In this chapter, Laney talks about the advantages of whole-class instruction.
We can use whole-group class instruction for the following reasons:
*Presenting mini lessons (according to my administration, this should take 2 or 3 minutes…ha ha ha!)
*Involving students in activating strategies.
*Read aloud Mathematics-related literature (LOVE IT!)
*Conducting a Math Huddle (or my math congress.)
*Providing practice and review (because we all know that every student gets it on their first attempt! 😉 )
*Formal testing or assessment

I know where I come from, whole-class instruction is a no-no. We all know that differentiated groups are important, but sometimes we ARE ALLOWED to work with the whole class.

Chapter 4a

Think back to your previous week of mathematics instruction in your classroom. How mucho of the instruction was whole class? Why did you choose that instructional method?

So, thinking back over the past week of my math instruction I would say that I usually have about 20 minutes each math lesson as whole class. We start out by solving a word problem together, then move into the mini-lesson. I do a mini-lesson almost everyday. During the mini-lesson, I begin with the connection, then teach or model the concept. Afterwards, the students try out the skill or concept and talk about it with a partner (or turn and talk as I like to say from my Teacher’s College trainig!) The students then go back to their seat while I walk around and assign small groups. After groups, we come back as a whole class and share. I have a 90 minute math block everyday, but sometimes it still doesn’t seem like enough time.

One day this week, I read the Math Curse. I so love that book! Not only do I love it, but so do the kids! I love reading math literature to my kiddos but I realized that I didn’t read half as many math related books as I did last year.

Chapter 4b

In which situations do you use whole-class instruction most frequently? How effective is it in those situations?

As stated above, I start off almost each lesson with a problem of the day and a mini-lesson. I think the mini-lesson is effective, especially the active engagement when the kids try the skill or concept and talk about it with their partners.

I also use activating strategies often. I think it is very important to activate prior knowledge in any subject. Laney Sammons mentions KWL charts as an activating strategy. However, in my school we are a Thinking Maps school and are not ALLOWED to use graphic organizers or KWL charts. To activate prior knowledge, I use Circle Maps. I put the topic inside the smallest circle. In the larger circle, students write what they know about that topic or concept. In the rectangle, or frame of the map, students write how they know about the topic.

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After we work on the concept or skill, students take a colored pencil and revise their circle maps. They add in the new information learned in a different color so we can see the new information learned and what information was prior knowledge. My kiddos love this part…anything to use colored pencils or sometimes markers.

I also love using games and music in my class. My kiddos love to watch videos, even during snack. You can check out some other videos by clicking here

We also play a lot of games. My kids especially love scoot games. They really enjoy getting up and moving around the room.

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I am definitely going to use anticipation guides next year with my class and word splashes. I can’t wait to add in this new material into my math class and I think my kiddos will really enjoy them.

In what situations do you use whole-class instruction the most? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Thanks for stopping by and saying say. I can’t wait to see you next week for chapter 5!


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