Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Guided Math in Action Book Study: Chapter 9

This is the last chapter in the Guided Math in Action book study hosted by the ladies at Adventures in Guided Math. I really loved this last chapter because it got me excited to organize my math block just in time for school to start on August 13. I have been sketching out my super huge math focus wall and working on planning for the first weeks of school. This chapter is all about the first 20 days of implementing math workshop.

Focus Wall

I am lucky enough to be team teaching this year so I really don't have to worry about teaching Language Arts and I can completely focus on math. Yay me! I am dedicating one huge bulletin board to my math focus wall. I plan to have a place for vocabulary, number of the day, featured anchor charts, informational mini posters (like the ones inspired by chapter 2), math center organization and rules and a spot for the number of the day. I do calendar and number of the day on my interactive white board but I like to post the actual number of the day on the bulletin board.

Math Block Schedule

This is really going to change! I used to start with the Number of the Day and Calendar but because it is so repetitive it would lull my kiddos' brains into sleep mode. This year, I'm starting with either an energizer or a number talk (see chapter 2 for more info) to get their brains pumped up and ready! Next, I'll dive right into my mini lesson followed by the problem of the day and independent practice. Then, we'll start math centers and finish with Calendar and Number of the Day routines before I send them off to lunch or recess. I'm going to have to be really focused and on top of my schedule because I only have 90 minutes! I'm also using interactive math notebooks as part of the mini lesson or as math centers (for the simple ones).

We Need to Talk!

I'm going to spend way more time listening to students and less time talking.  I know it will be uncomfortable and awkward at first, but I have realized how important it is. I will have to teach them how to answer, and especially, ask questions about math. Click the pic to get your free Math Thinking Prompts.

Show Me

I'm going to make sure students can show me their understanding in multiple ways. One way is to use the 4 Ways to Solve a Problem graphic organizer I mentioned in Chapter 7's post, which you can download for free by clicking on the pic.
Another way students can demonstrate understanding is by using an iPad app called Explain Everything. See a tutorial about this app by the amazing April from Appsolutely April.You can assign a problem to solve and students can record their voices and annotations as they solve the problem. I think this would be valuable evidence to show parents at conferences. I want students to feel so comfortable explaining (or defending) their thinking that it becomes second nature. I know I will have to work hard to accomplish this and creating the right environment is where I'll start. See my post from Chapters 1 & 2 for more info.

Anchors Away!

Since my focus is on math this year, I'll have more space to display anchor charts. When making an anchor chart I often have a framework for what I want it to contain and then ask students to help me fill in the details. Since I usually do these on my interactive white board, I can save them and bring them up when needed. If we make a really great one that should be displayed for a longer period, I will often type it up and make a mini poster out of it so that students can access it when they need to. 

Well, that is the start of my plans for my math block this year. My district adopted a new math program and I'll have to incorporate it into my plans as well. I'm really looking forward to this year and have learned so much thanks to this book study!

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