# Math Investigations Part II

So today was Day 2 of my math investigations. As soon as we got into class, the kids ask, “When are we doing math?” They get so excited over working together and creating a poster to show their work.

Day 2
Teaching Point: Mathematicians will do a gallery walk to observe other students investigations and then make revisions to their own investigation.
Time: 75 minutes

Now it is time for the students to have their gallery walk. We put the posters on desks and the students get to walk around the room to look at the math posters. I try to put the same amount of posters on each table so that students can just switch tables once or twice. I have tired the gallery walk other ways but, it can get very chaotic. (You can put the posters where ever you want. If you have the wall space, hanging the posters up works really well.)

The students walk around the classroom with their partner, a pencil and post-its. I give the students as many post-its as posters they will view. So today my kids viewed 4 math posters so they were given 4 post-its.

Now comes the hard part. This takes a lot of practice! They discuss what they noticed, what they liked or what they didn’t understand. My students discuss the math on the poster and talk about glows (what they did well) and grows (what they need to work on.) The partnership has to come to an agreement on what they will write on the post-it. Each partnership can only place one post-it with comments on each math poster they discuss. Are the comments all great? No. But it’s a work in progress.
I have really noticed a difference in my kids math talk. They are using words like strategy!

Here is one of the comments that a partnership wrote:

As the kids are discussing the posters, I try to coach them on the type of comments and questions the students write on the post it.

Next the students go back to their investigation and read the comments left by their classmates. Kids will run up to you with comments they feel are wrong, but you have to do mini lessons on how to write comments and give good feedback.

After reading the comments, the students use a different color to revise their work. This will be MESSY!! But you can see a lot of learning going on.
Here are some of the revised math investigations

Day 3 will be on Monday. This part is called the math congress and it is basically a big share. You choose about 3 posters that show something you want to highlight to the class. It could be a strategy used, organization, or how the poster was labeled. You highlight something that you want the rest of the class to pay attention to. Often times, I will choose a poster with a wrong answer and highlight the organization or the math vocabulary that was used. This way the students know that even though it’s important to get the right answer, other parts of problem solving are also important. This also gives the struggling students the chance to be highlighted.
The students come up and explain the part you thought was great.

If you want to see the rubric I use or the conference sheet I use, look back at Part I.

Have you done this in your class? Is this something you might like to try? Leave a comment to let me know what you think.

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi,
Rachel

# Guided Math: Chapter 8

Hi everyone! Welcome back to our book study on Chapter 8 of Guided Math.

Chapter 8 is all about using assessments in guided math. As teachers, we collect tons and tons of data. I have to be honest, I have so much data and sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. Is anyone else with me?

Why is assessment essential in a Guided Math classroom? Assessment is essential so you know what your students understand and what they are struggling with. In order for Math Workshop and Guided Math to work, students must be placed in the correct group. By continually assessing your kids, you know the instructional level of each student and you are better able to meet the needs of each individual student.

Assessment is also important because it guides your instruction. I know there have been many times when I think my kids have understood a concept. Then I look at their work and my heart stops, half of the class is incorrect or having difficultly. Then as an educator, I have to stop and reflect on what happened and come up with a different approach. But on a positive note, sometimes I after assessing my students I realize that I can move on quicker than I thought because most of the class has grasped the concept. π I love those days!! Don’t you?

What kinds of assessments do you use in your classroom? Is there a blend of assessments and evaluations?
I know that there is a difference between evaluations and assessments, but sometimes I lump all of the data together.

I assess my students everyday. When we assess our students, we gather a large amount of data from a small group of students. Each day during guided math groups, I am able to assess my students. I am able to see what my students know or what misconceptions they have about a strategy or a topic. I also assess my students based on activities completed during small groups.

In my class, we use GoMath for our math curriculum. Each day, there is a quick check to assess the students’ understanding of the concept or skill being taught. This is one way that I create my math groups. Each day after my mini-lesson, I walk around with my checklist and use the data to make my groups.

Here is a copy of my quick check that I use for each lesson.

Students are also assessed through activities or games. My kids enjoy writing and solving their own word problems. I use a rubric to assess my kids’ strengths or what they need to work on.

Here is a copy of one of the rubrics I use for assessing writing and solving word problems.

I also provide feedback to my kids. Students are given their strengths (glows) and what they need help in (grows.) Students are then given the opportunity to use the feedback to improve on their work. We also work on giving peer feedback and students self reflect on their own work.

At the end of each chapter, students are evaluated on their knowledge of all of the concepts or skills taught during the chapter.

Here is my data spreadsheet (I’m pretty sure that I have shared this before.) If you teach 2nd grade and use GoMath, you can check out the chapter item analysis for the entire year here.

I also evaluate my students on what they already know or need to know in September using the Prerequisite Skills Test Analysis and the Beginning of the Year Test Analysis. They have been a life saver!!

How do you assess or evaluate your kiddos? I’d really like to know.

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to read what everyone else has to say about chapter 8. I hope to see you next week for chapter 9, the last chapter of our book study. π

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# Math Exlemplars (Problem Solving) Part II

So today was Day 2 of my math investigations. As soon as we got into class, the kids ask, “When are we doing math?” They get so excited over working together and creating a poster to show their work.

Day 2
Teaching Point: Mathematicians will do a gallery walk to observe other students investigations and then make revisions to their own investigation.
Time: 75 minutes

Now it is time for the students to have their gallery walk. We put the posters on desks and the students get to walk around the room to look at the math posters. I try to put the same amount of posters on each table so that students can just switch tables once or twice. I have tired the gallery walk other ways but, it can get very chaotic. (You can put the posters where ever you want. If you have the wall space, hanging the posters up works really well.)

The students walk around the classroom with their partner, a pencil and post-its. I give the students as many post-its as posters they will view. So today my kids viewed 4 math posters so they were given 4 post-its.

Now comes the hard part. This takes a lot of practice! They discuss what they noticed, what they liked or what they didn’t understand. My students discuss the math on the poster and talk about glows (what they did well) and grows (what they need to work on.) The partnership has to come to an agreement on what they will write on the post-it. Each partnership can only place one post-it with comments on each math poster they discuss. Are the comments all great? No. But it’s a work in progress.
I have really noticed a difference in my kids math talk. They are using words like strategy!

Here is one of the comments that a partnership wrote:

As the kids are discussing the posters, I try to coach them on the type of comments and questions the students write on the post it.

Next the students go back to their investigation and read the comments left by their classmates. Kids will run up to you with comments they feel are wrong, but you have to do mini lessons on how to write comments and give good feedback.

After reading the comments, the students use a different color to revise their work. This will be MESSY!! But you can see a lot of learning going on.
Here are some of the revised math investigations

Day 3 will be on Monday. This part is called the math congress and it is basically a big share. You choose about 3 posters that show something you want to highlight to the class. It could be a strategy used, organization, or how the poster was labeled. You highlight something that you want the rest of the class to pay attention to. Often times, I will choose a poster with a wrong answer and highlight the organization or the math vocabulary that was used. This way the students know that even though it’s important to get the right answer, other parts of problem solving are also important. This also gives the struggling students the chance to be highlighted.
The students come up and explain the part you thought was great.

If you want to see the rubric I use or the conference sheet I use, look back at Part I.

Have you done this in your class? Is this something you might like to try? Leave a comment to let me know what you think.

Rachel

# Math Exlemplars (Problem Solving) Part I

I love math! I love teaching math and reading about math. I wasn’t always a math person. I used to be a reading/ writing person. I even have my Masters with a certification in reading. But somewhere along the way, things changed (Thanks Gael!)

I love teacher different strategies and seeing the light bulbs bling on when a student finally gets a concept. I love using dry erase boards with my kids for quick assessments and for fun. I love using math videos in the classroom. It makes me π π π π π

One thing I love doing with my kids is Math Exlemplars or as I call them, Math Investigations. Have you done this with your kids? The minute I say we are doing a math investigation, the cheers start.

For this investigation, I took it easy on the kids. We just got back from spring break. Looking back, I probably should have chosen a more challenging problem.

To start, you introduce a challenging word problem to the kids.
Emersion Work:
Time: 10-15 minutes (sometimes a bit more)
-Read the Math Investigation to the class
-Review problem
-What do we know from the problem?
-What do we want to know? What is it asking us to find?
-What do the following words meanβ¦
-How does this problem relate to the math topics we have been leaning about the unit?
-Students try to solve the problem on their own for 10 minutes. (I usually give a little more time.)

Sometimes I am so surprised over the words the kids are unsure about. The words from today’s problem were poked and bulb.

After the students solve the problem independently, you pair the kids up by like strategies. They don’t necessarily have to have the same answer, but they should have the same method or strategy.

Day 1:
Teaching Point: Mathematicians will solve a math investigation by discussing and working out strategies with a partner or group.
Time: 75 minutes (or however long you have. :))
-After the students are paired up by strategies, review the problem again.
-Students work out the problem together. This promotes the Mathematical Practices. It is great to walk around the room and hear the kids arguing over whose answer is right and why.
I give the partnership one piece of paper so they can work the problem out together.
I also give each partnership a rubric to refer to while working on the problem.
Once the students feel they are finished, they create a math poster showing how they solved the problem
-As the students are working, I walk around the room and ask guided questions: Why are you using this strategy? Does this make sense? What in this problem told you to…? and similar questions.

Here is the rubric (Thanks Lauren.)

Here is the conference note sheet I use (Thanks again Lauren!.)

Here are some of my kids’ posters. It’s amazing to see the different strategies.

Come back tomorrow for Math Investigations Part II – A gallery walk and making revisions.

Leave a comment to let me know what you think. Have you done math investigations with your kiddos? Do you think this would be something you might try?