Guided Math - Chapter 2

Guided Math, Chapter 2 - Using Guided Math to Create a Classroom Environment of Numeracy

In this chapter, Sammons discusses various elements for a successful math classroom.  Here are some of those elements:
- Large Group Area
- Small Group Area
- Workshop Area
- Manipulatives
- Calendars
- Problem of the Day/Week
- Word Wall or Vocabulary Display
- Math Journals
- Class-Made Charts
- Math Literature

Some of these elements I have already had in place with a lot of success.  I already have designated spaces for whole group and small group reading lessons.  They can double up for math lessons.  I think the areas where children are taught to work independently or in partners for Daily 5 choices could also double up as workshop spaces. 

My manipulatives have been stored in tubs on shelves for years.  The only modifications needed would be to add labels to the tubs.  The books touches upon the fact that some teachers shy away from manipulatives because the kids play with them, they take too much time to distribute/clean-up, etc.  I have a plan in place that has worked for years with my students to avoid these types of problems.  I won't get into details about it here, but leave me a comment with a way to contact you if you want more info.

I have done problem solving journals one day a week for several years now.  I teach the problem solving steps and we focus on different strategies for several weeks before moving on to another.  I think I could modify this, too.  I'm thinking I could post the problem around the room.  During workshop, students could make their own attempts to solve the problem.  Students could share their approaches to solving the problem to allow for mathematical conversations.  Then, I could model a way to solve the problem to really drive home the pieces I expect students to include (labeling work, using words to explain thinking, etc.).

Now, the pieces I still have questions about:

Calendar - I have used this as a time during the day to orally review various skills.  We d on't always do the same skills day to day.  With second grade students, do any of you have them fill out calendars or do calendar related worksheets?

Word Wall/Vocabulary Wall - I agree that these words need to be on display.  However, I do not feel strongly that I have enough games/activities to engage the students in using the word wall regularly.  I saw one example in the chapter, but would love to hear more ideas from you.

Class-Made Charts - I have always posted learning targets for each unit of Everyday Math.  We review the learning targets daily and I make sure the students know which target is our focus of the lesson.  I do most of my math instruction on paper under the document camera.  I'm trying to imagine how I could transfer this into an interactive chart during workshop.  Any ideas?

Math Literature - I'm going to be honest and tell you that this is a very weak portion of my math instruction.  I feel like there has to be an easier way to incorporate this.  For those of you that use Everyday Math, when and how often are you reading math literature to your students?


Lisa R. said...

I feel like using math literature is a weak part of my instruction too. I feel so pressed for time that unfortunately this falls by the wayside. Thanks for sharing these tips! I'm following along with everyone as they share their thoughts about this book.:)
Learning Is Something to Treasure

Tammy said...

I hope you don't mind another comment from me. (I really do love chatting about math.) When we do contextual problems in our math journals, the kids are given free reign as to how they solve them. While they're working, I find usually 3 to 5 kids to draw their solution on the board. I make sure to choose kids who use different strategies. Then each of those kids explains/teaches their strategy to the rest of the class. Often, they'll come up with something that no one else thought of. The class walks away with several helpful strategies instead of just one. It's been a fun process to try.
❀ Tammy
Forever in First

Storie said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has not put math literature as a top priority. I'm glad you're following along with the book study!

Storie said...

I'm glad you have had such luck with problem solving with first graders. Do you have a particular curriculum or book you have been using?

Alyce said...

I would love to hear about your plan for manipulative. I was in third grade last year and am moving to first in August. Thanks, Alyce

Mrs. Bartel’s School Family

Sue said...

I use a lot of literature to introduce a math concept, sadly I do not do a follow up activity with it. I would like to do some class books or journal writing about math.

The Very Busy Kindergarten

Tammy said...

It's not really a curriculum. It's more of just a different way of approaching and teaching math. I did just recently finish reading Student-Centered Mathematics by Van de Walle. It's a great book and matches up very well with what my state has been pushing. I'd highly recommend it.

Storie said...

I sent you an e-mail. I hope the info helps :)

Storie said...

Thanks for stopping by :) I like the idea of student-written math books. I'm not sure what those would look like, though.

Storie said...

I will have to look that one up on Amazon. Thanks for the info!

Brenda said...

I'd also like to hear about your manipulative plan. You already have my email....

Primary Inspired

Dana said...

Thanks for linking up, Storie!!! And great questions! For math lit, that could even be included in one of your centers with some type of follow-up activity. Or it could be whole group for a 5-10 minutes then used during an independent center. Just a couple thoughts. :)


kilgosclass said...

I'm weak in incorporating math literature because of time limits. However, even though I can't fit it into math time, I need to do more book blessings for math literature during Self-Selected Reading. I also thought the same thing about activities for the math word wall. I'm thinking of looking back through my Month by Month Phonics book and modifying some of those word wall activities for math words.


cdeherrerasavoy said...

I would love to hear your plan for manipulatives. I have attempted to have them more accessible this year, but it has been a struggle. Any tips would be great!

Thank you,

Patti Wilson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patti Wilson said...

One of my stations is called Math Reading and Writing. In this station I have various literature related to a certain skill. After the book has been read, they answer questions or complete a worksheet.
The only downside to this is my struggling readers. They shy away from the books because they have difficulty reading them. Hopefully, I can fix this problem next year with a listening center I received. I plan to record the books so they can listen as they follow along in the book.
Thanks of sharing your thoughts!
On The Road to Success

Mechele said...

Hi, I would also like more info about your manipulative plan.
Barrow's Hodgepodge

weaverteacher1 said...

Hi! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book study. I love reading others thoughts and comments.
I would love to have more information about your manipulative procedures. My email is

Missie in NC

weaverteacher1 said...

Hi - thanks for sharing your thoughts on this chapter.

I would love more information about your manipulative procedures. My email is

Missie in NC

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