Sunday, July 28, 2013

Building Mathematical Comprehension Chapter 10

Guided Math Classroom

Last summer I read Laney Sammons's Guided Math book. I was so eager to get started and hopeful to implement in my classroom. Unfortunately, I was not quite prepared and did not fully see the whole picture. Now that I see the light, and am more fully prepared with effective tools I am so excited to get started.

I so appreciate how flexible the instructional framework for Guided Math is. There are specific components but within each component there is lots of flexibility. The components include:
  1. A Classroom Environment of Numeracy- (daily) a classroom filled with numeracy provides students with lots of opportunities to engage with math. Students are encouraged to use manipulative, talk, problem solve, question, generate ideas, etc.
  2. Math Stretches and Calendar- (daily) "warm-up" math activities provide students with a preview of future math concepts or a review of what has been learned. Math Stretches allow students the opportunity to use the 7 strategies they have been taught (the ones in this book ;). The Math Huddle is a great idea. Students can share their thoughts and engage in a mathematical discussion. How awesome is that?! The Calendar provides so many opportunities to preview and practice skills that have been learned. 
  3. Whole -Class Instruction- (your choice) My inner voice keeps saying Modeling and Think Alouds. Good, it has been engrained in my brain.
  4. Small-Group Instruction- (your choice) make groups homogeneous yet flexible to change. Here is where strategies are reinforced and individual student's needs are met. 
  5. Math Workshop- (your choice) students can work alone, in pairs, or in groups. Teachers provide anchor charts, organizers, and feedback. Students responsibility is to complete tasks and demonstrate their mathematical understanding.
  6. Conferencing-(daily) one-on-one conferences are brief conversations that assess students understanding and guide their thinking. 
  7. Assessment- (daily) use formative and summative assessments. This can be done by observation, students can share orally or in writing.
Along side this framework a teacher must motivate and encourage students to "become mathematicians." Sammons shares what "becoming a mathematician" looks like and how teachers can create an environment where this is possible.

Within each component of the framework there is flexibility and structure. I think that allows for teachers to be creative and resourceful in the use of materials they have. For instance, Wendie has been working diligently to create our "Critical Crumbs." -->Critical Crumbs are individual math tasks that focus on the four critical areas of third grade math in the common core standards, namely:
  • multiplication/division relationships
  • unit fractions
  • area of two-dimensional regions
  • properties of two-dimensional shapes 
Critical Crumbs provide a daily practice and warm-up activity that focuses on these four critical areas. I can see how they can fit in during Math Stretches or Math Workshop. Here is an example of our Critical Crumbs.
 Also, our Math Anchors and Math Jumbles could work nicely as Math Workshop activities. Check them out and let us know what you think. 

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