Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Guided Math Book Study-Chapter 3

Three posts in three days on the Guided Math book study.  Fortunately I am now caught up and will be able to share other posts other than just the book study.  I feel like I have been cramming since my book arrived on Monday.  I will be sharing some ideas of how I will be implementing components of Guided Math into my classroom next year in upcoming blog posts.  I also set a goal for myself to open up a store at either Teacher's Notebook or TPT.  Look for that coming soon.  Thanks to Michelle for hosting Chapter 3.  There is a lot of great information being shared so make sure you check it out.


“Using Math Warm-Ups in Guided Math”

Math Stretches to Begin the Day
Math stretching activities will vary according to grade level, mathematical standards being addressed, and students’ needs.  A math stretch must be relatively simple so that it doesn’t take much time, and it must be able to be completed independently by students with a minimal amount of direction by the teacher.  

Math Stretches
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Number of the Day
  • What’s Next?
  • How Did My Family Use Math Last Night?
  • _____ Makes Me Think Of...
Planning Morning Math Stretches
  • They are very brief
  • They can be completed by students independently
  • They prompt students to think mathematically
  • They generate mathematical communication

Mathematical Current Events
When current events are included in mathematical instruction, students become aware of the ever-present relationship of mathematics to the world around them.  Mathematics becomes more meaningful and relevant, and students begin to notice how it frequently impacts their lives.  As this occurs, these connections offer teachers valuable opportunities to incorporate real-life mathematical contexts into class investigations and problem-solving activities.

Mathematics-Related Classroom Responsibilities
One way to bring real-life mathematical experiences to students is by involving them in classroom responsibilities that require the use of mathematics.  Turning the responsibility for these tasks over to students gives them practice with daily problem solving and builds a sense of community as students work together.

Calendar Board
The Calendar Board allows teachers to offer consistent, daily learning opportunities covering a range of mathematical concepts.

  • gives students support in learning mathematics incrementally as they develop understanding over time
  • provides visual models to help students recognize mathematical relationships
  • fosters the growth of mathematical language acquisition and promotes student reasoning ability through mathematical conversations
  • promotes algebraic thinking
  • allows teachers to informally observe their students’ mathematical understanding and then adapt instruction to meet students’ needs.

Planning for Morning Math Warm-ups
Although the amount of time allotted to the Morning math Warm-up is relatively minor, these routine events can have a major impact on the attitudes of students as the participate in the regular mathematics lesson later that day.

Review and Reflect

  1. Think about how your students begin their day in your classroom. Is there a mathematical connection? Does it involve more than a worksheet? I teach middle school so I have four separate math classes. My students begin their day by doing a warm-up that is typically on the SMARTBoard while I walk around stamping homework. After we correct the warm-up we check homework. Some days we skip the warm-up depending on what we have going on that day.
  2. Why is it important to help students recognize the links between math and their own lives? What are you doing in your classroom to help students make this connection? How can you make the link even stronger? It's important that students realize math is everywhere in their lives and that the skills they learn in math class with help them with real world situations they will encounter. I try to emphasize this to my students all the time. Whenever we learn a new concept I try to link it to a real life experience they can relate to. I think the link could be stronger by doing this on a more regular basis, so it doesn't just happen when we are working on the math curriculum.


  1. Glad to have found your blog. I am now a follower :)

    I know exactly what you mean about posting for the last three days. I was also late in joining the book study and feel like I'm back in college cramming for a test. LOL
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    On The Road To Success

    1. Welcome Patti! I look forward to checking out your blog.

  2. Hey again! I was wondering how you handle a few things in your room. Up until last year, I thought my system of doing things worked pretty well - ha! I definitely see where strengths and weaknesses exist. Here are some of my dilemmas:

    1. Warm-ups: How do ensure all the students are actively working on those? Students can become masters at what I call "deceptively" working. Do you check those other than as a whole group?

    2. How often do your students journal? How do you assess that?

    3. Do you formally assess student notebooks? (This may go along with questions #2) If so, how and how much time is involved?

    I attempted to implement interactive math notebooks last year. As it turns out, they weren't very interactive. They were VERY time consuming gluing and attaching everything too. I didn't realize that I should have devoted time to teach how to use rubber cement. It was crazy! On the positive, my students were referring to their notebooks months later. They could actually find the material! That is reason enough to try this again! :)


    1. Hi Julie,
      Answers to your questions:
      1) I don't really have a good answer to this. I would say that visual monitoring is the biggest key. I am walking around and stamping papers while kids are working on warm-ups so they know I am moving about, they key is to not take more than a few minutes. Each student corrects their own warm-up himself. I guess I could collect them, but I try to collect as little paper as possible (thereby lessening my piles).

      2) My kids really did not journal at all, but that is something I would like to incorporate this year, maybe as a component of my conferencing with them (which will be new this year).

      3) I give the students a notesheet every section and some years I would collect and grade them, because the kids were such slackers. The past few years the students have been so awesome taking notes that I have not had to do this. The kids'notebooks have warm-ups and in class things we do, I only assess the in class check-ups they do. They have to get them all correct in order to get their homework worksheet (on days we have a section review). This will all be changing with our new curriculum this year.

      I am hoping to implement some sort of math notebook this year, but with everything else being so different that may be put on the back burner. My kids did love doing the foldables, and we just did not glue them into a notebook. They loved having them as a review before a section quiz.


    2. Hi Sherrie!

      Thanks for your response. I'm sorry I didn't realize you had until now. I definitely think there is a benefit to all of is just the logistics of everything that I continue to grapple with.

      Thanks again!


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