“When a teacher tries to teach something to the entire class at the same time, chances are, one-third of the kids already know it, one-third will get it, and the remaining third won’t. So two-thirds are wasting their time.” Dr. Lilian Katz
At Lake Harriet Lower Campus in Minneapolis we have considered this quote and have ventured into teaching mathematics using Guided Math as the structure.
What is Guided Math you ask? Simply, it is one component of a balanced mathematics block where students learn in small flexible groups based on their instructional level.
To get started you must:
- Decide on rules and routines
- Analyze student data and set up groups
- Create a schedule
- Plan Guided Math lessons
- Design workstations
Guided Math is based on the following block structure:
|Whole Group Launch||10 – 15 minutes||The whole group participates in a launch focused on grade-level learning targets.|
|Rotation 1||15 minutes||See rotations below.|
|Rotation 2||15 minutes||See rotations below.|
|Rotation 3||15 minutes||See rotations below.|
|Whole Group Closure||10 minutes||The class regroups for a brief whole group summary.|
The rotations include:
|Core||The students meet with the teacher who teaches grade-level differentiated core lesson.|
|Core Application||The students complete the corresponding workbook/activities and play games that support the core lesson.|
|Independent Station||The students work at an independent station on games, partner activities, ‘Dreambox’, fact fluency, or other activities|
Guided Math creates scaffolding; it allows you to determine the needs of each student based on math data and create groups with an appropriate focus. It enables you to take your students from where they are to where they need to go.
Blog post by:
Merry Tilleson, Principal
Lake Harriet Lower Campus
Minneapolis School District
Want more math tips? Check out the Bedtime Math App
A staff member in the Teaching and Learning Department in Minneapolis found this interesting article on NPR, that discusses a new app for improving children’s math abilities: Bedtime Math. Click below to listen to the short 3 minute story.. and maybe try the app in your school or home!
Do you have a best practice in your classrooms or technology you’ve found useful? Leave a comment below!