Friday, June 29, 2012

Guided Math Chapter 5

Teachers spend more time planning for whole group instruction than for small group instruction. Yes, I fit into that statement. The ideas presented in this chapter will help me plan effectively.

In the past, I gave a pretest at the beginning of the year and created groups using results. The same students would stay in that group for almost half a year. Then, I would move some students around because personality clashes occurred. That was me being lazy -- "Ugh, do I really have to make another test and use more copies?" 

I'm glad this component has been addressed. I don't always have to give pretests to create groups. Observations of student work, simple math conversations, and performance tasks are options I now have to form small groups.

So, how do I plan for small groups?
  • Identify the big idea of the unit of study
  • Decide what the criteria of success will be in mastering the standards
  • Form groups based on formal and informal assessments
  • Select teaching points
  • Prepare differentiated lessons
  • Gather and organize materials
Ok, ready to what?

  • Introduce lesson - this must be brief. Teachers can demonstrate how to use manipulatives, discuss vocabulary, connect concept to their own lives, or reflect on concepts already learned
  • Present task
  • Encourage use of multiple strategies - WOW! This was an eye-opener! Word problems appear at the end f a worksheet and students just plug in whatever procedure was used for the rest of the page. No real problem solving has occurred with this word problem. I need to release control and allow the students to choose their own strategy. 
  • Scaffold learning
  • Mathematical discourse - reflect on what they are doing and communicate it to others. 
  • Feedback
I hope you are enjoying this book as much as I am! 
Love to hear your thoughts.


  1. Aren't you glad our professional judgement is valued in forming small groups? I really like that Sammons says to use your observations, conversations, etc. in addition to pre-tests. It doesn't always have to be pre-tests! I feel a bit relieved and validated.
    Thanks for posting your thoughts on this chapter!

    Primary Inspired

    1. Brenda,

      I love your comment! It does feel good *pat on the back*

      Thanks for reading.


  2. Thanks for coming by my blog! I am now following you!
    Conversations in Literacy

    1. Great!! Once I dive into my new adventure I will need all the blog friends I can to come to my rescue when I create a post titled "HELP!!!!!" LOL


  3. I moved towards informal pretests in math this year. It was so freeing being able to present problems and then walk around taking note of what the students are or aren't able to do. Glad we found each other's blogs, and I'm looking forward to reading more!

    1. Thank you for the feedback!

      Glad you are following :)


  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog this weekend! I am a new follower!

  5. I am checking out all of the blogs in the QR Mystery Blog Hop. Since mine is in grades 3-6, I thought I would look at all the other grades as well. Yours is awesome! I teach math, and you can't have music without it!


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