Friday, June 29, 2012

Guided Math Book Study -- Chapter 5 -- Freebie

I am hosting the discussion on Chapter 5 of Laney Sammons' Guided Math along with Alison over at Toad-ally Exceptional Learners. Each chapter just gets me more and more math-motivated!

One thing I learned from our new State evaluation procedures this past school year is that I put more effort into planning my whole group lessons than I do my small group sessions. I've used small groups in math off and on for the past two years. It is the BEST way to meet the needs of each child. While I am working with a small group at the table, the rest of the students are either in a small group with my co-teacher or in math learning stations completing activities that reinforce our skill. Always spend time teaching procedures for the workshop activity and transitioning from one activity to the other.

One of the most interesting points Sammons makes is that manipulatives are only effective when students understand what they represent. Rather than giving a set way of using the manipulatives, the teacher should give some time for students to explore and examine them. The students might even come up with representations and ways of using them we might not think of.

Teachers group the students in order to provide flexible, needs-based instruction. They can be grouped according to pre-tests provided by textbooks, performance on previous concepts, formative tests, performance tasks, observations, teacher-student conversations, or benchmark tests. Teachers should keep this data close by, so that it is easily updated as new formative assessment occurs. Students move in and out of groups depending on formative assessments. 

Teachers may teach the same "big idea" to all  students, but provide differentiated activities for each group. 

I think one of the biggest benefits of small group instruction is the opportunity for students to actually talk about math with their teacher and classmates. Teachers can give one-on-one feedback and help based solely on the needs of that child.

Just click on the pic above to download the doc.

And don't forget to join the Linky Party below to share your thoughts about small groups in math!



  1. Mary, Thanks for co-hosting Chapter 5 and the freebie!I agree about using small groups to meet the needs of learners better. They really open up more when they're in a cozy small group or one on one.


    I didn't see the inLinkz below the post. Am I just missing it?

  2. We break up for a half hour to ability group our third graders after math workshop. This is an excellent tool to help guide those small groups - thank you so much!

  3. Thanks so much for hosting Mary!

  4. Thanks for the freebie! Awesome help for organizing small groups! One of my big take aways from this chapter was the fact that not every group needs to get the same amount of time. I've been pulling my hair out trying to make that work, & it doesn't even have to! Thanks again for the freebie!

    Primary Inspired

  5. I awarded you the One Lovely Blog Award! Stop by my blog to accept it!


  6. I so agree with the math manipulatives part! I have made sure to allow for exploring/play time with them this year, and what a difference it has made! It's also neat to see all the different ways they decide to use them, and the thinking they employ. Thanks for cohosting! :)

    Reaching for the TOP!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your great ideas! I always look forward to checking out what new ideas have been shared. I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Stop on by my blog to pick up your award: http://cantmakethisstuffup-hmichaud.blogspot.com/

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