The Foundational Principals of Guided Math
All students can learn mathematics
A numeracy-rich environment promotes mathematical learning by students.
Learning at its best is a social process.
Learning mathematics is a constructive process.
An organized classroom environment supports the learning environment.
Modeling and think-alouds, combined with ample opportunities for guided then independent problem solving and purposeful conversations, create a learning environment in which students' mathematical understanding grows.
Ultimately, students are responsible for their learning.
I had a really hard time picking which foundational principal was the most important. I think they are all critical, but I think the most important foundational principal is that all students can learn mathematics! AS all teachers know, all children can learn. They learn at different speeds and have different abilities. BUT they all can learn. I think it is crucial that math is a priority in a classroom. I think students need to be convinced that they are SMART and that they can do math! As a math person myself, this comes naturally to me. I build my class up with confidence, as Laney Sammons recommends build a classroom learning community, this gives the kids a comfortable space to take chances and make mistakes.
Here are some of my darlings working together on a project.
I feel like my students are a part of a mathematical learning community. I spend a great deal of time establishing our classroom "family". We work together, play together and learn together. I model appropriate interactions, we practice, practice, practice! Our school teaches the Boys town social skills, which are explicitly taught. Step by step. It really helps establish a compassionate, caring classroom. I model making mistakes, so that the kids know it is a safe place. We take risks, we make mistakes, and it's ok! I establish routines and we follow classroom procedures. The predictability of the routine helps the students know what to expect.
What do you do?