Guided Math - Chapter 5

It's that time again :) 

Guided Math
Chapter 5: Using Guided Math with Small Groups

This chapter focuses on the following:
  • Advantages & Disadvantages to Small-Group Instruction
  • Effective Uses of Small-Group Instruction
  • Forming & Organizing Small Groups
  • Teaching a Guided Math Lesson with a Small Group

I have always used small group instruction for reading.  It just never made sense to me to use one book with a second grade classroom whose reading levels vary from Kindergarten to 6th grade.  Even though it might seem easier to plan one lesson for ~25 students, I think it becomes easier in the long run to plan each small group lesson around the needs of the group.  You also have flexibility to move at the pace your students need, not the pace the book tells you to use.  This is one of the reasons I want to move towards guided math.  I get frustrated with myself that I am not doing enough to challenge my top math students and discouraged that I cannot slow the pace for my students who are struggling to grasp the concepts taught each day.

I feel confident about using formative assessments to form groups and being able to keep those groups flexible.  Where I struggle is how/when to use the pieces of Everyday Math lessons with small groups.  For those of you using E.M., are you still teaching part 1 to the whole group and then using some of parts 2 and 3 for small groups or will you sometimes use part 1 for the small group lessons?  The author does get into a sample of a small group lesson, but I wanted to see how the small group lessons were differentiated in comparison to the mini-lesson of the day.  Am I the only one who felt this way?

I have also been working on ideas for math workshop.  You can see my thoughts about that here or by clicking on the picture below.  I think I'm going to have three groups most of the time.  However, this approach allows me the flexibility to break into four groups, if needed.


Lisa R. said...

I'm going to check out your tips on math workshop. Finding the time to have math workshop is a little challenging for me so I look forward to any tips or suggestions!
Learning Is Something to Treasure

Brenda said...

I also use EM. I find that Part 1 is usually my mini-lesson. Parts 2 & 3 can be small group, depending on the activity and the needs of the group. I know that's clear as mud...but the beauty of this lets you be flexible to meet the needs of your students.
Also-- keep in mind that small groups & workshop aren't necessarily every day. You'll find there are some lessons that will work best whole group, others that you'll want to do in small group.

Primary Inspired

Ms. Whiteley said...

As a support person, it's hard to provide support in class during math if teachers don't use small group math. Ive seen kids have really big gains when teachers use flexible groups.

Toad-ally Exceptional Learners

Amanda said...

I really like your framework, and your time idea was great! :) You have some awesome ideas that I am excited to see more! For me, I felt like small group lessons were an extension of the mini one, and focused more on scaffolding. The mini lesson I felt was more of me talking and showing with a bit of practice. The small group allows for the students to work on it with you coaching them through it. At least.. that's my interpretation! :)

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