Are you involved in the Guided Math Book Study? If not, head on over to Primary Inspired to get more info. I just got my hands on a copy of Guided Math yesterday so I'm a few days behind the book study group and trying to catch up. I finished Chapter 1 and have some lingering thoughts and questions. At the end of Chapter 1 there is a Review and Reflect section. I'll start there:
Think of the way you currently teach mathematics.
1. What aspects of it are successful?
2. What aspects of it trouble you?
My district uses Everyday Math. I think this curriculum is successful in exposing students to math skills from an early age and building upon them through a spiraling curriculum as the years progress. While that is great, I have some concerns. First, when new students move in from outside our area and have not had Everyday Mathematics, you have to stop and re-teach all of the routines that are unique to Everyday Math. Next, the curriculum spirals. We are supposed to trust the spiral and that if students don't get some of the concepts now, they will pick them up later. That's great for most kids, but as we know, some kids just need more time to practice and stick with a skill until they have gained confidence. Finally, the program needs supplementing with computation and problem solving.
I have been wanting to approach small group instruction in order to meet the needs of my students and close some of the gaps I see. I have not found the resources I need to implement it while meeting the requirements for Everyday Math instruction. I am hopeful that Guided Math will help me put those pieces together. I also hope that by sharing these questions, concerns, and ideas with those of you participating in the book study will help me prepare to embark on this next fall. Now, on to Chapter 2 :)