Guided Math…How It Works For Me!

Happy Wednesday everyone!! Lindsey here and I am so excited to share with you how I have implemented guided math this year!

Here’s a little background…last year I was really frustrated with my math time. We spent a lot of time whole group and I felt like my kiddos who were struggling and my kiddos who needed enrichment were being left out. I was pulling groups when I could, but overall…just frustration.

SO…this year I decided on trying out guided math. It is working out great for my kiddos and everyone is getting their needs met! Here is how I do it…

I start out with a whole group lesson. This is about 10 minutes. This is where I focus on our daily lesson; we briefly go over it. This is the time that my below grade level kiddos get exposure, the on grade level kiddos get a solid introduction and my above grade level kiddos learn the concept.

This lesson we are learning about story problems. We started off solving them altogether. Then the kiddos started working on them in the math spirals and sharing their work on the board.

Once we have gone through the whole group lesson, we move on to our rotations.

This is my math rotation board.

I have three rounds and each round lasts for 20 minutes. The kiddos names are written on the cards, they are also color coded. They know where they go each time the round changes. These are also fluid groups. I give a quick quiz at the end of each week to see where they are and I adjust the groups as needed.  The kiddos are broken up into three groups, below grade level, on grade level and above grade level. My rotations are set up so that the kiddos can be supported getting through the task for the day.

Here are how the groups break down:

Below level: Teacher, Seat Work and then Stations.
On level: Stations, Teacher, Seat Work
Above level: Seat work, Stations, Teacher

This way the below and on level kiddos meet with me before they begin working at their seat on the days’ lesson. The stations are all review stations so the kiddos are able to complete the task and practice their skills independently.

This is my below group. We are working on breaking down story problems using key words. We also spend a lot of time with our math facts. This time really allows me to support them and work on the skills that they are struggling with.

This is my on level group. They are working on a story problem scoot. They understand how to solve story problems and now they are working on solving a variety of types of problems. These story problems come from Joya Crawford’s School is Cool Math Task Cards, which is awesome!!

This is my above level group. They are using the challenge dice to get numbers and write their own story problems using the numbers that they get.

All three groups are working on the same skill, they are just doing so at their level. It has been way more beneficial for them and they feel a lot more successful!

For stations, I have three options: roll a problem with dice, Addition fact war and Missing addend problems. This war game, from Amy Lemon’s Learning our Addition Strategies pack, is their favorite! I have another game that I am adding next week that might take the cake…stay tuned.

For seat work, the kiddos are usually working on an activity that practices the skills of the lesson. Today, the kiddos were working on a workbook page. Sometimes I will pull other activities or partner games to have them practice, but I always make sure it matches our daily lesson.

When the kiddos finish up their seat work they move onto early finishers. I have four choices: hundred charts, fact cards, minute math and Math Magician. Obviously, their favorite is Math Magician on the computer!

One important step is to make sure that I check their seat work. I have them bring it back to me or I will quickly check it in-between rounds.

Finally, we wrap it up. Sometimes we will finish with an exit slip, or a follow-up question. Today we ended with the Doubles Song, which is one of their favorites. This song comes from Tweet Music, I just modified it a little to add doubles up to nine.

One more tip…one easy way I have found to differentiate is changing up the dice! I have a variety of dice and it steps up the challenge for the high kiddos. So easy!!

If you haven’t tried guided math, just do it! It has been so great for my kiddos! I have found the more structured it is at first, the better they handle it. It has been so worth it!

I hope that you have a wonderful rest of your week!!

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