Each year, at the close of the school year, I like to reflect back on things that worked in the previous year. This year, as many of you know, I changed grade levels from first grade back to Kindergarten. At many times during the year, I almost felt like I had come full circle in my teaching cycle. My first job out of college was teaching kindergarten and coming back was a joy! What was really great was the ability to take all that I had learned in my years away from kinder and to apply them to this new position.
I would have to say, one of my favorite parts of teaching this year was my Guided Math groups. Each day, I met with every single child while the rest of my class was happily working on either their centers, interactive notebooks, or standard based technology apps and programs. The classroom had such a fantastic hum during this time and at the end of the year, I had that nostalgic twinge of… oh man, I have to train another group to get back to this point when August hits! However, that’s part of the joy of teaching. We get to take a new group of children and pour our hearts and souls into them and meet them exactly where they are every year. I know that after a few short weeks, my new group of students will be right back in this place that I love so much.
But…. How do you get them there?! That’s what this blog post is all about. How to set up Guided Math in your classrooms, what to do with your other students who are not with you and what to TEACH your students in your guided math groups. After looking back at the progress my students made this year, I wanted to compile a year long set of DIFFERENTIATED lesson plans that not only worked in my classroom but helped ALL of my young learners succeed. I created a new packet on TpT called “Kindergarten Guided Math: lessons for the entire year!” In this packet, I offer you day by day, step by step, differentiated lesson plans for you to use next year. However, I am getting ahead of myself. In order to make guided math work for you in your classroom, you need to set up a procedure that your students will become very accustomed to.
Setting Up Guided Math
In my classroom, during my math block my students are working on four different things at once:
1. Interactive Notebooks
4. Guided Math (with me)
At the very beginning of the year, I set the tone for how this structure will work in my classroom. I (slowly) introduce my students to all of the math manipulatives we will use throughout the year and get them used to working in small groups, cleaning up their centers, and rotating. The first week of school students work on building stamina, expectations and procedures, and how to use the math materials in our classroom. In the packet, I give you detailed lesson plans on how to run each exploration day in your classroom.
After your students have had the opportunity to learn the procedures for your guided math block and are familiar with some of the manipulatives and games, they are ready for you to begin pulling groups.
What Do I Teach During Guided Math?
I have gotten many questions over this year about the next step in the guided math process. Many of you have messaged me saying that you have your centers running; however, you weren’t sure what to teach during guided math groups. I totally understand!! I had the same questions when I first started using this model as well. That’s where this packet comes in handy. As I was trying to navigate the, “What do I teach during my groups?” question I realized that using a spiral based scope and sequence was key to the success of my students.
I compiled all of the TEKS (because I teach in TX) and the CC standards and created a scope and sequence to help me know WHAT to teach and when to teach it. I came up with this sequence and it worked WONDERS.
In the packet I created daily lesson plans that are differentiated to meet the needs of ALL the learners in your classroom. Students will daily get small group, hands on lessons to take them where they need to go by then end of their kindergarten year. You will not have to struggle with WHAT to teach or what games to pull because it has all been done for you!
Each week is aligned to the Common Core and focuses on specific standards. Each week also builds on the others making sure you will spirally review concepts that you have previously taught. To give you a glimpse at the packet, here are a few pictures.
Each day has its own lesson plan including the objectives, materials needed, and procedures.
Every Friday, I offer you a STEM extension that goes with the standards you were working on that week.
Each activity that is listed in your lesson plan, is provided for you in the packet.
These games have all been played in my classroom and my students LOVED them!!
Organizing The Packet
To organize the packet I purchased a large 3 ring binder. When I sent the packet to the printer at school, I chose the option for the machine to 3 hole punch each page. Then I added the lesson plans to the binder.
In the packet I also offer a variety of practice opportunities. I will put the extensions in folders so that they are readily available for me to pull.
Literally EVERYTHING you need to make your Guided Math groups a success is included in this packet. You will no longer need to question what to teach during your groups or have to buy games to play in the groups. Numerous teachers have already RAVED about this product and how easy it is going to be to set up, teach, and ENJOY their Guided Math groups next year.
You can purchase the packet from my Teachers Pay Teachers store for a MAJOR bundle discount today! (click here) Currently quarters 1 and 2 are included in the growing bundle but quarter 3 will be added later on today!! Hurry to save over $50 off the bundle. You will not regret it!!
Now available: a first grade version!!