Friday, June 6, 2014

The One With The Guided Math Book Study-Chapter 2

Today (a day late...sorry) is the chapter 2 book study of Guided Math by Laney Sammons.  If you would like to start at the beginning, please click here: Chapter 1.

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

This chapter goes over they many different portions that help make up a positive mathematical classroom experience.

In a classroom, students' environments are rich in reading and writing concepts.  As teachers we have word walls, anchor charts, posters, books, journals, and conversations all pertaining to reading and writing.  Laney Sammons says that the same needs to be applied to mathematics instruction.  We can help get there using the Foundations Principles of Guided Math.  I have jazzed up the graphic Sammons used in the book.

These principles are actually adapted from the Guided Reading principles.

There is not a specific way to teach but I have noticed that the traditional way of teaching math was not working.  I noticed I was not able to actually teach to all students.  Some students got it and others didn't.  Well, in a realistic classroom all students are valued and respected.   Teachers need to have the expectations that all students can do math.  There is no more excuse of "this student is just not good at math."

Just like with reading, we need to have a mathematically rich environment.  Your classroom needs to be set up in a way that promotes this kind of environment.  This can be accomplished by using word walls, math focus boards, anchor charts,  math journals, and a space designated for calendar time.  I don't currently use my word wall for math but it is such a great idea.  Since I am moving into a brand new classroom next year I am finding ways that I can make my classroom more mathematically rich.  I have decided to plan a space for a math focus wall.  This wall will include our math vocabulary and other math concepts for the week.

Also, your classroom arrangement plays a huge role in the success of your students.  The classroom needs to be set-up for Guided Math.  The classroom needs appropriate spaces for each part of Guided Math.  It needs to have places for group work and individual work.  Students also need to have access to the supplies and manipulatives they will need to complete their work.  The classroom arrangement can help promote a students' independence.

The home area  can be any area where the students' supplies are kept.  These spaces are using their desks or tables.  Students need to be able to access their supplies quickly and easily.  

The large-group meeting area is a space that the teacher has deemed appropriate for the entire class to be able to take part of the lesson.  This is usually a carpeted area, or any place that is comfortable for the students. 

The small-group area is usually a table that will fit up to 6 students and the teacher.  The small-group area needs to have all the supplies needed to teach the lesson.  The teacher usually has some way of taking notes or to keep records on the students.  This could be a clipboard, binder, or a notebook.

Lastly, Sammons talked about the math workshop area.  This area is a space where the students will work independently.  These spaces could be a desk, table or a place on the floor.  During this time, the teacher will be working with a group of students.

Organization and Storage of Materials

The materials need to be organized in two ways.  One way for teacher use and one way for student use.  The area organized for the teacher is done in a way that the teacher can easily find what he/she needs.  The materials for the students are organized in a way that the students can quickly and quietly get what they need without bothering the teacher.  The student materials can be organized into Steralite containers (usually 97 cents at Walmart).  For students to identify the supplies they need quickly, you could tape a picture or label the side of the container that faces out.  I would suggest not to put the teacher materials in the same space as the student materials.

This was a long chapter full of ideas and plans to make the classroom a mathematically rich environment.   As I'm reading I am finding ways to make my classroom more enriched for math.  Take a look around your room and see what can be changed. We all want our students to be successful.

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