Guided Math Set up and organization
I know I've said it over and over, but small group time is my fave!! Having a diverse group of learners means differentiation is key! Small group is the best way to do that!
Guided math allows your students to have personalized, focussed attention and help from you and a group of selected peers to complete some math work. If can be simple basics or tricky multi-step problems. You can use guided math for any topic in your math program! But, if you are anything like me - you can't begin to think about the content until you have a structure. So, I'm sharing my structure (prettily packaged up in preppy colours!) with you!
To get started, think about your students and how many small groups you would like to typically run. it is important that these groups are flexible, but overall I find that I have some failry consistent groupings or group sizes (just like guided reading!).
I have some planning sheets (that match my super cute preppy daybook, of course!) that can help you prepare your groups. I like to plan out my groups and decide which activities/questions I will complete with my students on a 'peek at the week' style planning sheet. I always use pencil because I change it up a lot throughout the week. I also note any copies or materials I will need so I can use all of my small group time to be with the students not running around the room looking for 37 red cube-a-links last minute.
I make notes in the reflections about how my student did in the activities as well as potential groupings or activities for next time.
I have made a little assessment notes page that I'm sharing with you here!
I use this to make quick notes about their work. I use 'checkmarks' to note when I see this skill in action and write a comment if needed. I find it SUPER helpful to write your 'plans for next time' in the reflections box because I always think of good next steps (or "I wish I had 10 more minutes") ideas when I'm in the moment, then forget by the next session (teacher ADD right here!). So take advantage of that space! Here is a sample of it empty and filled out! :)
So far, so good, right? You and five of your lovelies sit around your round table, making sense of math and breaking barriers. Beautiful. ...oh and the other 17 kids in your class? Hmm... oh them.
There are tons and tons of cool activities they can be doing, I personally prefer Math Centers, but also like "Do by Yourself Math Paths" to switch it up, but many people like Daily 3 math, BUILD math or using technology to keep your other students working hard.
Whatever system you chose, make sure your students know how to be accountable and hard working mathematicians. Make some anchor charts about what students do and what teachers do during math, review the procedures you want them to folow (problem solving strategies, communication ideas, etc) and set the standards high.
Keep your students accountable with goal setting and self reflections. These are great for parent-teacher conferences as well as students can reflect on their learning, growth and goals.
Help your students set goals in fun ways that you can display to keep them on track (I like craftivities, students are engaged and they are cute up on a bulletin board!)
And have them reflect frequently (I'm a fan of weekly, but you could do daily or monthly!).
Having your students reflect on their work habits will help keep them accountable and hard working, ensuring that the time you spend with other small groups isn't 'wasted' time for the rest of your kiddos.
I meet with my "lowest" group at least 3 times a week, and each group (even my high fliers!) at least once per week. I don't get to guided
So there ya go. Give it a shot, try it out and let me know how it goes! Trust me, your students (and your test scores) will be thanking you! :)
To find my whole packet, with the pages shown, student activities, craftivities and more, check out my Intro pack or dive right in (and save money!) with the bundle! (Common Core and Ontario Available)