Thursday, May 29, 2014

Guided Math Chapter 1

Welcome to the Primary Gal’s Guided Math Book Study!

I am super excited to participate, since I am always working on math instruction.  I teach first grade in a very diverse suburban school in the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area.  My classes typically include a mix of native English speakers and non-English speakers.  The students come from a variety of backgrounds; some having pre-school and others never having set foot inside a school prior to Kindergarten.  This provides a HUGE range of ability levels.

Our district uses Guided Reading in addition to a Shared reading (whole group) approach to reading instruction.   This gives each student reading instruction at their level, and instruction with the group that might be at a higher level.  The students benefit from both.  It only makes sense to investigate Guided Math as a way to supplement my whole class instruction with enVision. 

  I feel like my whole group instruction is very successful.  I have developed the daily routines and structures.  My students have a chance to explore using manipulatives.  They watch an interactive video clip prior to a guided practice session.  I have an ELL aide that is fabulous!  She takes students that need more practice with adult support.  I also am fortunate enough to have a para that works with another group of special friends. This allows me to float among the other students as they complete their independent practice.  Since I have taught a variety of grade levels I have materials to extend the lesson for my higher students. 

I also really like that we use the EnVision math curriculum.  It is easy to use, has a great lesson set up, and plenty of support materials.  I think the units are systematic and sequential.  I also like that they encourage you to incorporate math literature.

Another aspect of my math instruction that has been successful was implementing a rotation of Daily Math during my Daily 5 rotations.  I started in January when I realized that my students were not getting as much hands on practice as I thought they needed.  I have been making games for the students to practice their skills.  Here's one of their favorites!

One of the things that troubles me the most is the lack of individualization. Many students are developing at the same rate; however just like young readers, many are advanced mathematicians or struggling mathematicians.  With EnVision we are able to easily asses student strengths and deficiencies.  I have supplemental manipulatives, and even support personnel (Paras and ELL aides), but not everyone is as fortunate as me.  I really need more time with each individual student.  I need to work with my high students and my low students, not just my middle of the road kids that the math curriculum for which it was designed. 

Even though I have support materials, I don't feel like they are highly engaging.  I feel like they are worksheets upon worksheets, and I am NOT a worksheet kinda gal.  So that leaves me to create appropriate materials to differentiate.  I am sad that I do not have enough time to always create what I need, nor do I have enough money to buy all the awesome cool materials on TPT.  (I wish!!)

I also feel like we need more time in the day for re-teaching and reinforcing activities.  I have carved some time out of my Daily 5, but wish I had more TIME!!!  Who's with me?  Please give me more time!

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  1. Hi Kim! Stopping by from the book study. I agree that I need much more time for math, especially using the framework from the book. I like that you incorporated daily math into your D5; I hadn't thought of that. Off to check out what everyone else thought.

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    1. It only makes sense for me to add it into D5. My kids read to self EVERY time they finis something early. SO why not swap out Read to Self for Math? :)