Do you use guided math or small group instruction during your math block? I have done whole group math with the occasional partner game sprinkled in for novelty and a more math workshop approach. I loved using math workshop and can’t imagine going back to whole group instruction.
What Does Math Workshop Look Like?
In short, Math Workshop follows the workshop model:
- Whole Group Mini Lesson (10 to 20 minutes)
- Small Group/ Independent Practice (40- 60 minutes)
- Share Time (5 minutes)
Want to know more about math workshop? Click here for more information. I am still building the site, so only this one page is available right now!
How Did I Plan for Math?
I have used many, many planning sheets over the years. This is my most recent planning sheet that I have created. I like this one because I can see EVERYTHING at a glance. This math sheet can be used to plan your entire block for the week. Click on the picture to grab this completed planning sheet!
Since I have taught small group math for so long, my plans can be super simple. Also, please remember that this is just an example of what to be teaching your groups. I highly suggest that whatever the teacher choses to focus on during small group time should be a result of the information gathered on the pretests and mini assessments. These mini assessments do not have to be formal or fancy, I often just wrote them on a sheet of computer paper and copied them. There are some mini assessments available in some of my packs, BUT they may not follow this sequence perfectly.
Please note that according to this plan, there are not any small groups on Mondays and Fridays. Teachers can use these days to assess, introduce centers, conduct mini lessons, pull students to remediate as needed, and give students any extra work time if needed.
So What are the Other Kids Doing?
I used this M.A.T.H. acronym to help me organize my math block, and changed it a little each year to meet my students’ needs. The M.A.T.H. acronym in this pack stands for the following:
- M (Math Activity) – These can be partner or independent games.
- A (All by myself)–These are independent interactive notebook pages or worksheets to practice applying the skills from the whole group mini lesson. Often the pages chosen reflect skills from PAST whole group lessons to keep concepts refresh a natural, spiral review.
- T (Technology) – This is a website with a game for students to complete. Since I do not know each classroom’s technology requirements or even materials, I kept it simple.
- H (Hands on Math) – This is some kind of hands on math activity that can either be a craft or manipulative based for students to apply the skills they are learning.
Some years I did not have access to enough Technology. The T became “Teacher Time” and this is when I met with students. You will note that in this system, meeting with the teacher is not built into the acronym. The teacher will pull groups of students in addition to the M.A.T.H. time.
How does this system work?
When I used this system, I did not meet with all groups equally. I did lots of flexible grouping and tried to meet with my lowest, struggling students more often. However, that was a personal preference and something I did after using small groups in math for several years.
In this sample system I created, all groups are met with over a 2 week period. This rotation sheet shows what students would be working on over the two weeks.
If you use this system, over the course of two weeks, each students will:
- Play two math games (M)
- Complete 5 independent worksheets or interactive notebook pages (A)
- Play one online game (T)
- Have one session to complete a hands on project (H)
- Meet with the teacher 3 times
So, what materials are being used in this example?
When I wrote the sample charts above, I tried to keep the materials super simple. Each of the materials are linked when you download the pdf.
Here are a few examples of the interactive notebook pages students will be completing for All By Myself practice.
For Math Activity, I actually have two games selected. However, only one is pictured below. Please note that these activities can be differentiated in the pacing chart I have described the differentiation options. Most activities include games/ activities to the tens place OR hundreds place. I didn’t include it on the planning sheet because the box was too small to type it in! This is a simple way you can differentia for each group.
For technology, all students will be working on this simple counting game from ABCya- which is a free website!
For the hands on activity, students will be creating a math scroll. I LOVE this activity because it is never ending 😉 AND practices a very important skill. This is not an item from my store, but is actually a freebie from CampingTeacher!
What Can I Do for Mini Lessons?
I have an entire pack of interactive place value lessons (and more) that are perfect for the interactive board! You can check them out here!
What Can I Do for Small Group?
Do you need some ideas of what to teach in small group? This pack has tons of activities including assessments, games, and small group lessons! You can check it out here!
Where Can I Get Other Ideas and Activities?
I have included a pacing chart with links to multiple products to help organize your math time. This pacing chart reflects place value as the first math unit of the year.
The chart includes suggested whole group mini lessons as well as activities for each part of M.A.T.H. Please note, that students will not be able to complete ALL the activities in this chart each week. I just pulled several to allow the teacher to have choices when selecting the 2 math activities and 5 all by myself activities for the two weeks (week 1 and 2, and then again for week 3 and 4).
Also included are all the planning sheets (and several more!)!
Mandy Gregory is a 2007 and 2012 Teacher of the Year. She has taught 4th, 3rd, and 2nd grade in both the general education and inclusion settings. She is the owner and creator of Mandy’s Tips for Teachers website (www.mandystipsforteachers.com) and has over 10 years of teaching experience. She is married with two beautiful children.