Thursday, June 28, 2012

Guided Math Chapter 5

Guided Math Book Study
Chapter 5   Small Groups

 I will linked up this chapter with other blogs at

How do I think I can adapt Guided Math into my kindergarten classroom?  That is what I have been pondering for two nights.

Let’s start with what I already know and have in place that will help me.  I already have established Guided Reading in my classroom so I already have a teacher space set up.
My math supplies are already easily assessable and organized for my students to get to them and put them away on their own.  I have a lot of manipulatives to work with.

I already have a great mind set and truly believe that small group instruction is best for my students.  I want to spend time working with all my students and I want to meet my little ones at their instructional levels during small groups.  I agree with Lammons that small groups encourage young children to focus their attention and participate more thereby improving student behavior. 

So how do I see this working in my classroom with 25 students?
I like to work with four flexible groups.  Each group will depend on the concept being taught and teacher observations.  I would like to see all four groups as much as possible.
1.      Teacher Group-Introduce New Concepts
2.    .  Teacher Aid Station-Review Concepts
3.    Independent Work.  – Students work on their own work.
4.    .  Math Stations/ I Pad

I envision my stations about 15 to 20 minutes.  If we do not finish, then we pick up there tomorrow.  So that way it will allow me to double check on all the groups.

My math groups will be different from my reading groups so they will have their own names, maybe something to do with math vocabulary.  How my groups develop from there will depend on my little ones. 

I would like my students who are working on math stations to be as independent as possible this was a problem for me last year.  My students always seemed so needy, they needed constant reassurance and feedback. 

Last year I thought I organized, set up, explained, demonstrated, modeled the stations, however many of my students needed constant help.   I made “I Can” Charts but they just ignored them. 

So this new school year I want to make several changes to my math groups:

1.      I want to spend more time teaching about procedures.  I read some neat ideas on the Daily 5 book studies that I would like to add to my classroom using music as a clue. Does anyone know good upbeat songs to use for clean up and changing centers?

2.    Right Now I have my math stations organized in these buckets.  The buckets are always disorganized and cause lots of confusion. 

I want to switch to a simpler, cleaner, looking system. I saved this idea from Pinterest
3.    Set Up a System for Trouble Shooting
·      Did you give it a try?
·      Did you ask a friend for help?
·      Put it in the Help Pocket
·      Try a new Activity
·      I could use some advice here!!!!!  What are your steps so your little ones do not interrupt your group time but still get their questions answered?
4.  I want to have some differentiating activities.  I read  at The Differentiated Kindergarten how she has different activities based on what level is a good fit for each student. 
Green = Good for Everyone
Yellow = I’m ready for a little bit of a challenge
Red = Really Needed More of a Challenge
What a great way to meet the different needs of all the children in your classroom.  

Although this chapter gave me a lot to think about I love the comparison that the author makes that for the same reasons you teach Guided Reading so should you teach Guided Math. 

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Thank You :)


  1. Love the pics!!

    Jessica Stanford
    Mrs. Stanford's Class
    I need your help! Please check out my last post ♥

  2. I teach 2 sessions of kindergarten and do not have a classroom aid. I was thinking about doing guided math... Do you think this book will help? I have the Debbie Diller book... I'm willing to try anything once, but with common core, I don't want to miss anything...

  3. The book has not yet offered practical ideas of how to do the groups. It has just compared it to guided reading. I struggled with doing Debbie Diller's stations because my little ones had too many things to focus on. I am hoping just four stations will be better however I will have an aide, without an aide you may want to rethink. The book is very theory based and gives you a lot to think about. You have to connect the dots of how you want it to work in your classroom. However teaching in small groups is always best if you can in kindergarten.

  4. You have some really good questions. I'm afraid I can't offer much in the way of answers. What has worked best for me to not have interruptions during small group is to make sure that the activities I have set up for math workshop are ones with which my kiddos can be independent. They have to be activities that are review or practice.
    Another thing to keep in mind (which I find I also have to remind myself of), is that small groups & workshop don't necessarily happen every day. that knowledge helps me think about managing small groups and workshop in a different way.

    Primary Inspired

  5. Something I do is have my students write me a note about whatever problem they are having while I am in a meeting... but seeing as you have Kinders, I'm not too sure that would work! Have you seen the ask me hats on pinterest? One student each day wears the hat, and if anyone has a problem, they ask that student. Could you put one in charge? I also have my students with math partners, so they can always ask them for help. I wish I had some more ideas! I'd love to hear it when you decide on something though! :)

    Reaching for the TOP!

  6. I teach 2nd grade, so I'm not sure if this will help - but at each of my math tubs, there are two activities that practice the same skill. That way, if they get stuck, or "finished" there is something else for them.

  7. Hello, I have done guided math for just one year in Kindergarten and also changed my math tubs to math stations using Debbie's book as a guide. Having permanent partners works. If a new math station was challenging then I practiced with groups of four during our exploration time. Then those four could teacher four more and the new station quickly became familiar. Having student experts in the classroom and a culture where the teacher is not the only expert really cuts down on interuptions. It worked well in my room last year and I encourage you to try it. My kinders had access to sticky notes so that if they really needed to speak with me they put then on my teaching easel. I was consistent in getting back to them. Hope this helps. I have a blog about math stations at my site if you think it might be helpful.


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