Thursday, June 19, 2014

Guided Math- Chapter 4

I can not believe how much I am re-learning by re-reading this book and my old posts!

It's been a very interesting journey so far and I am very thankful to Amanda from The Primary Gal for allowing me to take part in this book study. 

Once again you'll find my original thoughts in pink italics below with my new thoughts in black. 

This is a bit of a longer post but if you hang in there you'll find a freebie at the end!

So teaching the whole class, eh? Yep, that's kind of been my style. This is the first-ish year that I have taught math. I taught it for 4 months only last year before I went on mat leave so this was my first full year of being a math teacher. To my surprise, I really enjoyed it. I worked hard to use problem based learning as much as possible and to work with small groups when I could. I was learning as I went to I can honestly say that I didn't work with small groups as much as I should have and I probably used worksheets far too often. But that's the whole point of reading and participating in this book study right? To get better at teaching!

Working with small groups has definitely become the norm in my math class after reading this book for the first time 2 years ago. I can't say that I officially have a guided math/math workshop program in place but it's getting there. I found that switching grades and attempting to implement guided math was too much to do all at the same time.

This coming year will be my second year in Grade 3 and my 4th year teaching math so I think it's finally time to really focus on having a Math Workshop program.

To that end I started a series of posts back in the winter outlining my plans. If you are new to Thinking of Teaching (welcome!) you can follow the links below to check out my posts. The series isn;t finished yet, although it's been a wile since I posted, I do plan to go back and add more posts. 

Math Workshop Series 

The Three-Part Lesson is by far my favourite way to teach a whole class, especially when it ends with a Math Huddle...or a Bansho as it's called in Japan. 

I have several example posts of Math Huddles I have done in my class-

Sorting by Two and Three Attributes

Math Problem Solving

Using a T-chart to Solve Patterns

Addition and Subtraction Strategies

Two years ago I wrote this...

On page 108, Sammons writes "Even experienced teachers using  whole-class instruction often find that the lesson goes over the heads of some students, leading to passivity and lack of attention, while failing to challenge others, leading to boredom." YEP.

The one thing I have learned is that no matter how great your lesson or your activity- there is always someone who has no idea what you just taught!

And that's where the guided portion of Math Workshop comes in.

Some standout moments-

* Mini-lessons: good for setting the tone and introducing concepts, can be used to summarize the learning that took place, no more than 10 minutes, identify the teaching point, demonstrates/models strategy, students try out strategy in a brief guided practice, teachers need to provide activities for those students who quickly finish so they are actively involved in further learning, end off by reminding students to remember the strategy and link to future work when possible

Love doing mini-lessons, especially when I notice a mis-conception that is common through the entire class as well as when I notice that my students are really getting something...then it's time to push them even further. 

* Word Splashes: I have often used this to start off a math topic and I think it is because of my literacy background, you always go to where you are most comfortable! I have always had my students create the word splash with me, however, I have not presented it to them all at once. That will be something new to try. 

I kind of forgot how much I love Word Splashes....gotta do more of these in the new school year. 

* Math Related Children's Literature:  This is a huge goal for me. I really want to focus on this next year and tie in math related literature as often as possible.

Still a goal...sigh.
Don't you wish you could just do everything?

* Math Huddle:  This has been a focus for my school in the past few years as we have worked towards a problem based teaching model. Our province has been promoting a teaching method known as bansho, which comes from Japan. I like the name Math Huddle much better! This is also a goal for me. I want to be more comfortable discussing my student's math understandings on the fly and in class as their problem solving takes place. I like the idea that students are "held accountable for expressing their ideas and listening thoughtfully to each other and justifying their mathematical thinking". 

As I stated above...LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

And now for the freebie(s)!

In the winter I completed a course on teaching mathematics to primary/junior students and I was required to create three three-part lessons (say that three times fast!) for my final assignment. It's based on the Ontario Mathematics Curriculum for Grade 3 but if you know your own curriculum well enough I'm sure you'll be able to see if they are usable/adaptable for you. They might also just be good to look at for an example of how to plan a three-part lesson for your whole class. 

Click HERE to download the lessons. 

If you head over to my TPT store you'll also be able to download a free Three-Part Lesson Plan Template

Don't forget to check out all the other posts by my fellow book study hosts....

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