Today we are blogging about Chapters one and two in the book Guided Math in Action written by Dr. Nicki Newton. If you do not have this book and would like to add it to your collection of GO-TO books, click on the link below:
Reading through this book, I realize again how much I love to teach math! I was not of that mindset when I began to teach almost 30 years ago! Back then, I came to the plate with a background of unsuccessful experiences with math in elementary and high school. Oh, I learned the basics, but the way I was taught to do math was through rote practice and lots of worksheets! How BORING!!! No wonder math had become lackluster in my world.
Becoming a teacher was the best thing I ever did for my own self-esteem! I discovered I am a great math teacher, and what’s more, I make it a point to put FUN! Yes, FUN! Into every lesson. I realize that my own feeling of failure is due largely in part to a system that worked for some, but did not cater to kids like me who needed MORE! I am a natural pianist and musician. I am an auditory learner, but also a hands-on learner just like many of my students. WE MUST DO A BETTER JOB OF FINDING OUT HOW KIDS LEARN.
I always remember this quote as a tenet to follow in my own life, but see it more from the perspective of a teacher who allows students to touch, to explore, to EXPERIENCE learning:
To foster success in our students, we have to sometimes step out of our comfort zone to allow it to occur. Dr. Newton talks about stretching your own pedagogy as a teacher, leaving behind the more “comfortable” methods you know. It’s hard for many teachers to do this, and sometimes behaviors or distractions in the classroom make it even harder. This is a barrier Dr. Nicki encourages us to get past! We are better than the old methods we have grown “comfortable” with!
Share time at the end is always an eye-opener! I like using Plickers to check individual understanding on some days. This helps me find out who still needs support without alerting the entire class. I constantly remind students that being wrong is a “learnable moment”. They will learn from making mistakes, so no one is to be sad they didn’t know the correct answer!
Both Number Talks and Turn and Talk are my favorite parts of our routine! We work in pairs talking about the number of the day:
Teacher: I want to work with the number that comes before 3 and after 1.
Turn/Talk. Students look at their number lines and reach a concensus by pointing to the number, then wait.
Teacher: What number did you find on your number line that fits that description? 2! That’s it! You are so good with numbers!
I make sure to model my own thinking process as I help them understand how I arrived at the number.
Teacher: Here is my number line. I know how to count, so I will count to five (pointing as I count to five). Do I know where three is? Yes, there is 3. Do I know where 1 is? Yes, there is 1. Can I find what comes between 1 and 3? Yes!!! It is……..(class responds loudly) “2”!!!
Do you see how I delayed telling them the number! I WANT them to experience success as a group, for the group support to lift up those little doubters. This is how you foster independence in math! Students will know that you have confidence in them understanding it when they are ready!
It is a neverending process of seeing the positive and focusing on it! If students see the teacher as someone to seek out help from–not someone who will tell them the answer, and we focus on what they were able to do on a particular day that meant something to them, they WILL keep persevering! That is the most important thing we can foster in our students. Never to give up! Never let a concept get the better of you!
Chapter 2 addresses just what is contained in the Guided Math Block. There are several parts, and it is important to do some strategic planning to implement it into your current schedule. Here is a breakdown of what is involved:
Here is my page of notes (download if you need one too!):
Look around your room. Do you think it reflects Dr. Nicki’s idea of a “numerate environment”?
A Numerate Environment is one that includes lots of visuals, manipulatives, space to work, differentiates for all learning styles and is easily accessible to all students. Recording devices such as iPads with @Seesaw for recording not only student “proof” of understanding, but also voice records of their processes. So much can be learned from this, and sometimes they are more willing to talk into a device than they are to speak one-one with a teacher. Provide for all possible ways for students to respond!
Our room has a calendar, numbers on the floor for line-up, numbers on the wall and in our small group area, students have removable desk plates with their names and a number line, a basket of dry erase boards near our group area, and the list goes on.
For the kinesthetic learners, we use our bodies to represent the count of the number, or the hands of the clock on a large clock face. We use the smart board with manipulative graphics, and ten frames to move objects to. We watch videos that reinforce concepts through music and movement for the little auditory wiggly learners. We use dry erase boards for visual learners who need to write it to let it soak into their brains. We also do some cross-lateral movement to help us get ready!
Students are encouraged to add to the concept of the day in our math journals. The key concepts are represented by numbers, ten frames, etc., while allowing for student response using whatever response tools they want to use on a particular day: markers, bingo daubers, stickers, cut-outs, drawings…many choices. Some may choose to add a note on Seesaw about that day by showing their journal entry and describing what they did to show their learning.
Here is a sample of the math journal we use:
This sample came from my bundle in my store at TpT. Find it HERE.
Students work on their entries into the journals BEFORE starting their tub station activity. Activities are ones that can be completed in 10 minutes or less (manipulatives, matching one-one, count to match number, etc), play-doh number formation, and more!
Be sure to look at our schedule for the book study! Please join us and please visit our facebook page to make comments and follow along as well!! Please check our my co hosts blogs to read about what they thought about these chapters!