Sunday, July 8, 2012

My Plan of Attack: Math

Math:  (90 minutes) Yes, I said 90!  That's what our district expects, and that's what they are going to get!  Our district is in love with Scott Foresman, however the first grade team was not.  Before I got there, they saw that it was not working and asked the principal if they could try Everyday Math.  (My co-op for student teaching was an Everyday Math trainer and the district only used Everyday Math!)  Needless to say, I was ecstatic when I got the first grade job last year and found out they were using Everyday Math.  The teachers were gushing about how much the kiddos were learning!  Picking up that Everyday Math manual that first week was comforting.  It was one time throughout the day that I truly felt like I knew what I was doing.  

Now, here's where I am twisting it a little.  Guided math is becoming insanely popular!  I love the concept, but I had a hard time wrapping my brain around how to fit all of the components of in and still meet with guided math groups.  So here is my plan...Start the unit with a pre-test.  This is really the exact same test as the unit test, but the kiddos are 6 and cannot remember what they ate for breakfast, so I don't think it will be a problem.  I will take the pre-tests and gather information to form groups based on the data.  Everyday we will meet for roughly 30 minutes and do a whole group lesson.  This will focus on Part 1 of the lesson. (If you are familiar with Everyday Math, you know what I am talking about.)  Then for the next hour, I will meet with small groups, focusing on part 2 of the Math Lesson and whatever the pre-test tells me.  Math Boxes will be completed as morning work.  I will only be using this format Monday-Thursday.  Friday will be our catch-up day and Everyday Math game day.  If there is a fun math related craft for us to do, this is when we will complete it.  We will also play all of those wonderful Everyday Math games.  Some are better played whole group when it comes to first graders.  

While I'm meeting with groups:  At first, the rest of the kiddos will be working on concept of number activities.  (Google Math Their Way)  As the year progresses, they will move into my math binders.  I saw all of these wonderful teachers posting math tubs.  Again I ran into the problem of management.  I don't want to have to trade out math centers every week or create three different versions of the same math center.  I live almost an hour away from school, I don't want to be there all night.  Please forgive me.  So here was my solution:  Math Binders!!!  I created two sections in the binder.  All pages are in page protectors making them dry erase!  All binders are labeled with student numbers.  The first section has concept of number and math fact activities.  (I highly recommend visiting to grab some.)  The kiddos will gradually work through pages based on the concept of number/math facts that they need to work on. (Differentiation - Check!)  The second section is games.  These are all different games that I came across while blog hopping and snooping on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I also created my own games which you can find in my TPT store.  The kiddos will simply grab their math tool kits (thank you Everyday Math) and find a comfy spot around the room.  Of course, I will model each page before allowing the kiddos to try them out.  (I am thinking about a post-it note system, green means you can try it, pink means you cannot.)  

You cannot imagine how much thought I put into this plan for math.  It's the only one that met my needs as well as my students' needs.


  1. I've done guided math with EDM in my classroom in much the same way as you describe. I don't necessarily meet with small groups daily. I find that sometimes I want to do a lesson whole group.
    I do do workstations. My workstation activities are EDM games, math fact games, computer, geoboards, and sometimes explorations.

    I am really intrigued by your math binders! I'm going to try to wrap my brain around that & see if I can make it work in my room. Do your kiddos have partners with whom they work on their math binders?