for a book study of
Chapter 7-Building Mathematical Proficiency in Guided Math Groups
Dr. Newton talks about the importance of making connections with students as to why they need to learn math. When students don't understand, they tend to act up as all teachers know. If they know why they need to learn something, they may be more motivated to learn it. She also talks about how beliefs are very important.
Chapter 8-What Are the Other Kids Doing?
My first few years of teaching math, all students were doing the same thing at the same time. This led to little engagement. Since I started using guided math many years ago, math is one of their favorite parts of the day from what I can tell. I love using math centers!
There are many factors which make math centers run smoothly:
-math anchor charts
-organized centers with everything that students need (she provides many examples of how to store math materials)
-math centers that have been taught and practiced so that students can be using them independently
-centers should be differentiated so that they are not too hard or too easy for any student
-you should have a mixture of centers: individual, partner, and small group
I store the current unit's math centers in these bins. There are a few games that are too big, so I store those on the top. When I taught the split, 1st grade materials were in bin 1, and 2nd grade were in bin 2.
When it comes to grouping students, it depends on the day and what you are doing. If the students are working on a class project, they can be in a heterogeneous group. You may also want to sometimes pick a day to also mix students this way.
Dr. Newton suggested having various types of centers. The way that I have done it in previous years, is to have 5 centers each week, and by the end of the week, students (unless they were absent) should have completed all 5 by the end of the week. Depending on the centers, some would remain for two weeks, and others would be replaced but students would see them again. After reading this book, I think that I will start to do centers by unit instead. So students will have a list of many activities that they need to complete by the end of the unit.
Some of the center ideas she provides include:
-fact practice center
-hot topics (any "big skills" such as money that need a lot of work)
-word problems (I made 1st grade ones)
-math poems & books (could be reading or writing)
I must admit that I have never had a math vocabulary center, but I plan on adding that to my list!