It's that time again :)
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.