01 09 10

Saturday, September 6, 2014

How We Do....Guided Math Groups

Howdy Friends! Holy Smokes I'm blogging! I'm full speed ahead but I want to stop in and share a few posts with you that I'm calling the "How We Do" series. Each post will be a descriptive sharing of "how we do" a certain aspect of our day, and this week, it's HOW WE DO...Guided Math Groups.

I've tried them all... Daily Five, Rotating Calendars, Meeting with One Group at a time and changing three times during the period...And to tell you the truth, I hated them all. So much to manage, Little Johnny in the corner drawing pictures and then Susie and Sarah playing hair salon instead of Multiplication War. I was just tired of the hassle, and seeing my kids off task. I wanted to make the most of what time we had every day, so this year, I changed it up...A LOT!

To give you a little background, I have a fifty minute segment for guided math/intervention beginning at 8:00 in the morning. It's hard to get revved up that early, but I manage. To begin with, my intervention time actually starts with my kids doing their morning work. Every day, we do a Spiral Math Review that I project, rather than copy. If you're interested, you can find it here

The kids see something every day like what you see below. They do all of the work in a notebook and then read for the remaining early morning time.

The problems get harder, and the concepts spiral throughout the year... Put it to you this way, every single kid will remember expanded and base ten form, as well as rounding by the end of the year.

As soon as 8:00 hits, we pull out a crayon and go over the Daily Math Review, checking our answers and discussing the word problem..in detail. This takes a total of about ten minutes. Once that's finished, we take ten minutes of practice time with partners, and then take our daily math facts timed tests. I get all of my tests from Multiplication.com and have them all ready to hand out and test.

Once this is all done, we jump into our Math Groups which are based off of the poster that you see below.

Groups are color coded based on their skill levels, and they will change later on. But for now, these groups are where we will stay. Each day of the week, a specific group has a station for the day. They stay at that station for the entire period and complete whatever it is they have been assigned. The stations are as follows:

Odyssey Math- This is a computer program we use based on each students' individual test scores.
Dice Games- We do Multiplication War, Race to 5,000, and lots of others.
Rainbow Write- Simple and easy, they use markers and write their facts in rainbow colors.
Task Cards- I have tons of them and pull out a review set every week for practice.
iPod Math- We pull in a set of eight iPods and the kids practice their facts on them.

Wait, what's that you say?? There's no GUIDED Math.. Actually there is... Based on performance in the classroom, I will pull individual students out of their rotations for the day and work with those kids on the specific skills they are missing or need a little more practice with. 

And that's it folks...No crazy calendar thing to deal with, no rotating groups through the room. We stay in one spot, deal with what we've got, and move right on through. 

In case your interested in the poster, I'm attaching it below. Just a note, it's formatted to print 16x20. All I did was type in my stuff, save it as a pdf, save that  to a flash drive, take it to Office Depot, and they printed it for me on their jumbo printer.. (I WANT ONE!!) It cost me about eight bucks to print it. It is editable in PowerPoint and the fonts are embedded so they should still work for you! I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for stopping in and I'll be back again soon with another "How We Do"
Have a great week!


  1. When do you teach new skills and do testing?

  2. That happens during my regular math block. The first block is intervention time and the second 50 minute block is grade level math.

  3. I do very similar. I have 5 ability based groups and they go to computer, ipods, smartboard, task cards, and guided with me. I see one group a day and it's manageable. I spend about 45 minutes to an hour on whole group teaching new skills then 30 minutes in math groups. Makes its so much easier to manage.

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