Guided Math Book Study Ch. 1

Welcome to summer!  How sick are we that we have barely turned off the lights to our classroom, and we are prepping for the fall!  LOL!  I'll admit that these summer months staying focused on being a better teacher are a joyous time for me.  I drink my coffee, read blogs, cruise Pinterest, and rethink what I've been doing.

The question is: what brings you to explore Guided Math by Laney Sammons?

I think Chapter 1 really addresses what brings many teachers to explore teaching math outside of the district-issued curriculum.  The author even admits that she felt very comfortable differentiating in reading and knew that math needed to be addressed the same way!  I have felt this way for years.  I feel very successful and confident in my knowledge base in teaching math.  My whole group teaching is extremely effective.  And yet-I know it is impossible to reach all my students that way-now matter how interactive and engaging my lessons are.  Laney ('cause she's our friend now, right?) acknowledges that whole group instruction has its place and it is effective.  I love that she also calls this teaching being a bit "on the fly". Duh, it really is!  You never really know what questions will pop up.  And boy do you have to know your stuff!  You can't really stand with your manual in you hand.

The framework of the book is pretty much laid out for the reader in this chapter to know the path we will follow in our journey in implementing a Guided Math classroom.  Since Laney will go deeper in the upcoming chapters, I'll just share the components that will be coming in the weeks ahead.

  1. Environment of Numeracy
  2. Morning Math Warm-ups
  3. Whole-Class Instruction
  4. Whole-Class Instruction with Small Groups
  5. Math  Workshop
  6. Individual Conferences
  7. Assessment
At this point, I can't help but think about what I'm doing now, what parts might fit with this framework, how does this look like what I've done in the past?  I am a super-reflective reader, so I will try to make connections at every turn.  Pretty hard to blog about THAT much!  Laney must know teachers are like this and closes the chapter with questions to ENCOURAGE this kind of thinking.

I just completed my second year of Envision Math-Common Core edition.  We've had a lot of inservice training.  Not all of it good.  What I do like about the manual is the "Pose the Problem" section.  This is a time to ask a question before instruction has taken place and allow kids the "struggle time" to try solving it.  Group work is strongly encouraged.  Laney refers to the good aspects of Whole Group teaching as Math Huddle.  I never skim past this section, as it forces my kids to think.  I know very quickly who already senses or is going to quickly be on track and those who need more questioning to get on track(and to watch a bit closer later in the lesson) as I monitor the room.  Once we all come back together, I often display their whiteboards on my Elmo for all to see.  Showing that several groups can have a right answer-but get there in a different way-is very empowering to my students.  Some like to be unique and others want to be validated.  Even wrong answers can have interesting problem solving strategies that others can benefit from. 

Something has to trouble us or give us a feeling of doubt if we are looking for new paths, right?  The traditional path of guided practice and independent practice doesn't work for all kids.  While Envision gives these great center activities, I have never used them.  Whole group teaching takes up so much time that there is little time for book work AND centers.  I'm not confident enough in the centers to let THEM stand alone.  Knowing they have to read and problem solve in assessments, I tend to make sure they do a sampling of those for classwork.  Envision does not have a "looped" mixed practice except in the Daily Common Core Review.  Some of these are multiple choice and some aren't.  I want open ended problems to solve each day, so I use Math 4 Today as morning work to fill that gap.
 I don't think the program does enough to build the academic vocabulary on its own, so I do a lot of Interactive Notebooks.  I also use A LOT of task card sets for review. You only need to look at my blog posts HERE and HERE to see a sampling that I make all the time.  I can really focus on a strand or multiple strands to guide my teaching.

All these extras take time.  When you have 60 minutes, it is really important to choose wisely.
I'm extremely hopeful that this book with help me choose WISELY!  Every minute counts and every CHILD counts.

Finally, no math curriculum is going to embed an environment of Numeracy.  This comes from us.  I'm grateful that Laney recognizes this component to be explored deeply before we ever get to what a Guided Math classroom lesson or week looks like.

Now for the GOODIES!  To thank you for popping in each week, Primary Gal is putting together the giveaways for us!  You're not going to want to miss a chance at any of these!  I'll be donating, too!

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That's it for this week!  Be sure to check out all my friends!  We're all in this together.  I know I'll be popping in to read their perspectives.  I'm looking forward to getting the creative juices flowing this summer!

See y'all next week (or sooner if you follow me on Bloglovin')



Mastering Multiplication with QR Code Task Cards

We're to the point in the year where my kids are rusty, but they still need to test their limits for a challenge.  With that thought in mind, I put together a few QR Codes activities for my kids.
So, here's my contribution to:

The first one is for the rusty kids.  In doing our Math 4 Today recently, I was seeing some regrouping errors and even some rounding problems.  So, the first set I made was this one!

Usually when I do task cards as a whole group activity, we play Scoot.  This time I decided to set up stations to rotate.  This set has 24 cards with 8 cards for each task that include:
  1. Rounding
  2. Addition w/ Regrouping
  3. Subtraction w/ Regrouping

Using a different answer document, the kids were allowed to choose a set to practice. Kids numbered their sheet inside the circles.  In this set, once you were finished with your 8 cards, the final card had a QR code to check the answers for the set worked on.  That really helped the kids share my cell phone pretty easily.  If more than one child wanted to work on the same set, it was fine since they could do the 8 cards in any order.  If you'd like to use this answer document with your own task cards, grab this quick download by clicking HERE.

I loved seeing how diligently they worked!  If there were errors, they would see me and we'd work it out together.  I have a better handle with these last days leading up to testing.

The set I put together for enrichment really tests the strategies for my kids.  These are correlated for 4th grade CC, but within this differentiated set, there was a challenge to be found for everyone in my class near the end of the year. 

I created this 24 cards set to have sets of 8 cards that included:
  1. 2-digit by one digit multiplication
  2. 3-digit by one digit multiplication
  3. 2-digit by 2-digit multiplication

Some of my kids are using an area model to multiply, some are using the traditional method.  Either way, these task cards have a QR code on each one.  I expected my kids to complete fewer problems during their rotation, so again, sharing wasn't an issue when checking their work with my Ipad and Iphone.  
Again, the shorter answer document made it easier to focus on one skill at a time.

In all, it was a great way to use my task cards in a new way.  They loved getting up and moving around in rotations!

If you'd like to try this with your class, click on the links under the pictures above!   I'm gearing up my  store and my cart  (hope my hubby doesn't kill me!) for the big Teachers Pay Teacher Sale coming up this week.  I don't know about you, but I am already thinking about NEXT year!

Have a great Monday y'all!. 


The Best FOR the Best Blog Hop : My Perimeter Pirates Task Cards

Welcome teachers!  SO excited about all the great ideas to be shared and new teachers to follow.  I don't know about you, but I'm most inspired by the fellow teachers in the trenches.
Be sure to give some love to our wonderful hostess, Teaching in Blue Jeans!

Now to share my best with you!

 My very BEST selling item isn't my newest or my oldest item.  It's my Perimeter Pirates Task Card set.  I've written about my set as a Monday Made It, but I haven't shared it in action.

One thing I like to do with task cards is to play a whole group game of Scoot.  If you are new to Scoot, here's how it goes.

  1. Place a task card on each child's desk in random order.  Place extras around the room.  Most sets come in 24 or more.
  2. Students will need: 1 Answer Document, Clipboard or white board, pencil
  3. Students complete each task card and move to another spot.  I prefer to have extra cards laid around the room so the kids can keep moving.  Some teachers prefer a more organized movement.  It's really up to you! 
  4. Wrap it up!  
  • You might want your kids to complete every task and meet you on the carpet to review the answers on your document camera
  • You might want to set a timer with a goal to complete many with accuracy over quantity-check together on your document camera
  • You might also have your students turn in the answer documents to be grade
I like to use similarly themed task cards blended together for a Mixed Practice.  As we prepared for the ACT Aspire, I mixed in my ARRRea Hunt cards to review both skills at once.  You could easily do that with ANY task cards you have collected.

Small Groups
I like to use task cards in small groups, too.  I use a different answer document when we do small groups.  These sheets have 8 empty blocks, and my kids just fill in the numbers for the 8 cards I select.  If there is a certain part I need to reteach, this gives me the flexibility to focus on that strand of the skill to be mastered.  I've added these answer documents just recently as I found I needed that.  So, I'm passing that on to you.  I will definitely go back to my old sets and add them.   I keep a stack of about 50 ready to go at all times!

Independent Work
Task cards make a great independent activity to reinforce skills after time has passed.  I like to put them in 4 x 6 photo albums from Dollar Tree. Here are a few pictures from a previous blog post.  What's great is that there is room for two sets of cards in one album. Remove the cover, replace with a  reduced cover sheet, and you're ready to go.  Don't know how to turn an 8 1/2 x 11 paper into a smaller size?  Read THIS BLOG POST.
  • They are great for early finishers by using the Small Group Answer Document
  • Keeps your cards in order, easily stored, and no missing pieces.  (Your kids would NEVER do that!)  
To thank you for stopping by, I'm including a small group sample of Perimeter Pirates for you to try with your kids.  You can download this FREEBIE by clicking  here at: Perimeter Pirates Sample.

Can't wait? If you are interested in full sets of these, your can go to my TPT STORE to pick them up. But wait...there's more!  Geez, that sounds like an Infomercial!  

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I've bundled them together for the first time with a great price.  If you pop over, I'd love for you to follow my store.  Have many great things coming this summer that I'd love for you to see as they're released!
Pick the Bundle HERE

And here's the giveaway part!  Enter and you can win EVERYONE's best, including my Perimeter Pirates~  Earn an entry for each Like or Follow.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, for the next stop!
Continue on The Best for the Best Teacher Appreciation Blog Hop by clicking the picture below.



May the 4th Be With You: My Top 4 Sale!!

Whoo Hooo!  How fun is this!!  I'm featuring my Top 4 items in my TPT store and putting them on sale!  Great way to kick off  Teacher Appreciation Week, huh?  Hope you find a few winners to boost the last few weeks of school as we head into summer.  And for today only, I have them for 20% off  scratch that, make it HALF PRICE!

I'll be counting down......David Letterman style.

My Number 4 item has a spring theme but seriously cute and bright for year-round.  This product is.....

I think what has appealed to folks, and why I made it this way for me, is that it contains TWO sets of task cards covering the same sets of Homophones.  The first set of cards contains the homophones on the card to quickly choose, write on the answer document, and SCOOT away!  

The identical second set contains the same sentences but without the word clues.  Great follow up activity or for enrichment.

This set is one of my first products!  It's on my list to update this summer.  I've learned how to make things editable, so these Classroom Schedules will all be getting an update.

I created this set of cards to display in my classroom.  I actually have the green and gray version in my room, but this Aqua and Green combo was my best seller of the different combinations I created.  The complete list of all the parts of your day are listed on the selling page.  Probably more than you need!
Here is how it looks displayed on 2 small pocket charts.  Sorry this is so fuzzy.   :/

Super cute font filled in for you.

These are ready for you to write the time, erase at the end of the year, and ready for a new schedule next year.

Ooooh, you're gonna love these cute little robots.  I sure did!  All kids need fraction practice.  We all do the pizza activities, right?  But how cute are these robots with THEIR little pizzas!  The little nuts and screws are fun toppings.

Again, you can use these task cards for Scoot, for small group practice, or for independent practice.  Students can compare using like denominators, like numerators, and benchmarks.  All fractions are in eighths or less.  

Drum roll please....

Melonheadz Graphics are always a winner but these are super precious.....


Here it best seller.  Students will solve the perimeter using a variety of strategies.  I created this set and another set for ARRR-ea using the same precious Pirates.  What I really like about these is that I can combine them together for mixed practice.  They do great with this skill in isolation....but mix them up....THAT is the killer.

So, pop over to my TPT store, click "Best Sellers", and you'll find my TOP 4!

I hope you like these and will follow my store to see what's next!