Thursday, May 29, 2014

Guided Math- Chapter 1

I first participated in a book study for Guided Math by Laney Sammons two years ago when it was hosted by Brenda from Primary Inspired.  Then last year I helped to host the Building Mathematical Literacy Book Study, also hosted by Brenda from Primary Inspired.

So, when I saw that The Primary Gal was hosting Guided Math for this summer I wanted to do it all over again! 


Well, first of all...this book changed how I teach. 
Not just math but all teaching.

I love teaching math now and love using a guided approach in all subject areas when possible.

I am also on a year long mat leave with my second daughter and thought a refresher would be a good idea before I return to work in September.

I've included parts of my post from two years ago...they are the parts in italics and pink

I have been devouring this book. Each night after I finished my feverish typing of my reports I snuggled into bed with my copy of Guided Math, a yellow highlighter, a pen and some post it notes. And my mind has been exploding! At one point my husband actually asked me to stop because the squeaking from my highlighter was waking him up!! LOL 

I can definitely say that this book is going to change EVERYTHING about my math teaching. For those of you that are new here, or are new followers, math is not my thing. I spent the first 6+ years of career teaching Grades 7 and 8 on rotary. This means I only taught Language Arts, Geography and History (with a few other subjects...French!..sprinkled in), but two years ago I loved to teaching Grade 4 and ALL the subjects. Which meant that 7 years into my teaching career I was a first time math teacher. YIKES.

I now have 4 years of teaching math under my belt and it has become one of my favourite parts of the day!

After reading Guided Math for the first time I successfully implemented Math Stretches, Math Huddles and some Guided Math. I think I have become very good at differentiating my math instruction and providing my students with instruction at the level that they need. My use of manipulatives to teach as increased and I am much more comfortable using and teaching with manipulatives.

Last year I started Math Journal with my students and LOVED every minute we used them. I followed the outline provided by Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes and found them to be a valuable part of my math program.

Here are my thoughts from two years ago...

My current school follows a problem-based teaching model for math and we have been doing a lot of work surrounding this in the past few years. However, when I read on page 16 that "the traditional, whole-class instructional method continues to be what most students encounter in today's schools" I wrote TRUE in the margin. Even though I try my best to differentiate as soon I feel a time crunch or a little uncomfortable with the material I revert back to this teaching method in my math classes.

I don't want to do this anymore.

I love then Laney Sammons writes "It is no longer acceptable to have a portion of our students underachieve in mathematics". YES! YES! YES! We have to make sure our student are achieving in math, and we have to do this with the same passion we bring to our reading an writing lessons.

I need to get MUCH better at planning and integrating guided math lessons. In the past they were a goal for me but something always seemed to pop up, or I just couldn't make them work.

I've spent a lot of time this year thinking about my current program and have done a tonne of blog reading and research. You can check out my Math Work Series here. It's not done yet...I still have more to look at, blog about and decide...but all in good time!

On pages 29-31 Sammons lays out a weekly instructional plan for integrating Guided Math and a Math Workshop approach in your classroom and I had TOTALLY forgotten about this outline.
Oh dear!
I'm bookmarking it and will be back to look at it more deeply in order to use it in my class this coming school year. 

Are you loving this book? I really hope so.

Make sure that you link up with your post below and enter the giveaway!

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10 Brilliant Teaching Thoughts:

Anonymous said...

For which grade levels is this book targeted?

Sabra said...

I'm in the same boat! I've only taught 5th grade Reading, Language Arts, and Social Studies but I just know math will be sneaking up on me soon. You made me very excited to read it and learn new ways to help my homeroom kids who need extra math help.


Amanda said...

I'm so excited to see new people embracing Guided Math! It truly is a wonderful concept. I've been doing it for 2 years, and cannot think of how I was able to teach math before! It's been lonely not hearing a lot about guided math in classrooms, so I cannot wait to hear other ideas! Especially your thoughts on warmups! :)

Ms. Wilkie's Second Grade Class

Ms. Fritze said...

Is it too late to join your book study? I have the book and I want to start something like this next year.

Heather Mathews said...

Do you have a math curriculum, or are you pretty much on your own? I'd love to hear how the philosophy and practices in this book could be used in partnership with a curriculum like Everyday Math (which is our district mandated math program).

Loved hearing your thoughts on chapter 1!


Unknown said...

My goal is to have my classroom be as numeracy-rich as it is literacy-rich!

Pitner's Potpourri

Unknown said...

@ Heather-- I think you'll find that Guided Math aligns well with Everyday Math. I used the Guided Math framework with EDM last year & it worked well. Part 1 fits well as the whole group mini-lesson, Part 2 can either be part of small group or workshop (depending on the activity), math boxes can be workshop, & Part 3 is perfect for small group. Remember that the whole framework of Guided Math is meant to be flexible & should work FOR you!

Thanks for linking up, Beth! I'm so excited to read what the other chapters hold for us!

Primary Inspired

Innovatecreater said...

I am so glad I found your blog. I love the book club idea and am going to follow along.


Innovate, Create and Relate

Unknown said...

Ha!! I had forgotten about the weekly schedule too!!

Kickin It Whole Brain In Texas

Brandi said...

I love reading your thoughts from 2 years ago and now. I can't wait to read how you've implemented guided math and how it's working for you!

Swinging for Success
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