August 19, 2016

You Should Do It: Small Math Groups

I'm so thankful that teachers are teachable too!
I took it upon myself  this summer to do some at home professional development. 
The end result...I revamped my math block and teaching style (go me!).

In the past, I taught math whole group. I would teach, they would watch. We would practice. 
I started out doing math tubs just as a fun way to practice while I pulled students I needed to "tutor".

Over the years this evolved to me realizing I NEED to be meeting with ALL my students, not just those in need! 

Fast forward 4 years and I'm here to share with you what I did for the FIRST time today.
And just how absolutely fabulous it was...on DAY 1!

Here is how it all flows:

Here is each component in detail:

Calendar time is short and sweet.
We go through the parts of the date and use the number of the day to count place value and money.
For Target the Question, students are given a picture for the week.
Each day there is a different word problem that goes with the picture and we discover the answer together.

During whole group instruction, we sit on the carpet and I explicitly teach the content.
For this specific lesson we were focusing on ways to make 10 if given one part and the whole. 
I talk. Students listen.I may have a few of them interact with me for example problems. 
Many times this is followed by guided practice for an extra 5 minutes.

We break up into small groups using our CATS MATH rotation chart. 
This comes from Reagan Tunstall. If you would like to read more about how it works you can following these links to her blog HERE and HERE and HERE
{This is where I did my at home professional development from to come up with this math block}

Students go to 4 rounds each day (pictured above). 
During the small group instruction students meet with me.
In this time, I dig deeper into the topic we discussed in whole group. 
Normally this involves getting out manipulatives and working on things "hands-on". This allows me to correct anything the students are doing wrong. It is so much easier for me to catch and correct their mistakes when I am working with groups of 5 students rather than 20!

I KNOW my kiddos are going to appreciate math time SO much more this year and get lots more out of it too! If you're thinking of taking the small group math step...let me tell you, it's WORTH IT!

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