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Guided Math in your kindergarten classroom
How to: Guided Math
2 Jun, 2015. 16 Comments. A Day In First Grade, Back to School, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Math. Posted By: Kristen Smith

Guided Math in your kindergarten classroom

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

2. Centers

3. Technology

4. Guided Math (with me)

Guided Math For The Year (kinder) preview.025

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.

An example of a lesson plan during the first 2 weeks of school

A student playing the "I Spy" game during her guided math group

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.Guided Math For The Year (kinder) preview.026

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.
Guided Math For The Year (kinder) preview.002

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!

guided math collage

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. A Day In First Grade-174

Each day has its own lesson plan including the objectives, materials needed, and procedures.

A Day In First Grade-176

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.

A Day In First Grade-179

These games have all been played in my classroom and my students LOVED them!!

A Day In First Grade-131A Day In First Grade-134

guided math groups

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.

IMG_9016I will put each week’s games and warm ups in pencil pouches so that they are easy to pull.

(Examples of some games/warm ups.)
IMG_9025

Count and write the correct number

Put the 100 chart in order

Put the 100 chart in order

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.

A Day In First Grade-180

A Day In First Grade-163 A Day In First Grade-170

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!!

Click here to get taken to my store!

Guided Math For The Year (first) Q1 cover.001

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16 Comments
  1. Trish -

    I teach first grade and was wondering if you would be willing to make a first grade version of this packet. I LOVE it and would like to purchase it…:)

    • I would also love to see a first grade version. Does your school use a math program? How do you go about doing guided math with a textbook?

      • Jamie we don’t have a textbook at my school. This program supplements the curriculum that we use as it lacks practice and depth. We still use the curriculum; however, this is a great supplement to ensure that our students truly understand the math concepts! I don’t currently have a first grade version. I am working on it!

        • Kristen,
          I was just wondering if you had an idea of when you would have the first grade unit done? I would love to purchase it over the summer and have it ready for next school year. :) Thank so much for all you do, I love your stuff! :)

  2. First , let me say I am so excited to use your resource next year! I am wondering if you would share or explain more in dept the PowerPoint used to rotate your groups. Also, what a great idea to use pencil pouches to organize the materials!
    Leslie Ponder in VA

  3. Kristen,
    I am also interested in a first grade pack. I have been wanting to do guided math for 2 years but have been overwhelmed trying to figure it all out! Please let me know when I can purchase your product. I am going to use your getting set up for school kit this August!

  4. Ruth -

    I just got my first grade pack and I am so impressed!!! You took all the sweat out of daily centers/planning for me. I can’t WAIT to get started with this. Thanks a million~

  5. I bought this resource for first grade and LOVE it! My grade level currently is not using a math program and so your resource is amazing. I have never done guided math before and was wondering what do you teach whole group before the guided math portion starts?

  6. How long will this be on sale??? :)

  7. Jenny -

    Would you consider doing a second grade packet?

  8. I LOVE THIS!!!!! I haven’t purchased it yet, but it is exactly what I was looking for and I can’t believe you created it! THank you! I wanted to ask a few questions. I saw on your example that the time length was 42 minutes. Do you do the four rotations for about 10 minutes each? Do you do these rotations after a regular full group math lesson? (We have a teacher math book but we have to supplement a lot of math, so using your guided math packet would be perfect for that). I was also curious what activities you have the kids do each day in their interactive notebooks. I’m curious if you have something you’ve made for people to purchase with those activities that are quick but effective?

  9. Hi there! I’ve purchased your Kindergarten unit. I’m so excited to begin teaching guided math! Thanks so much for your hard work!! I’d love to use a rotational wheel to signal the change of groups. Would you be willing to share yours or give the instructions on how to make one? Thanks again!

  10. jen -

    Hi Kristen, I was curious what your system for going over interactive notebook directions & centers looks like. Since you rotate everyday do you spend the first part of guided math explaining what to do at each station for the day?

  11. Hi Kristen,
    I teach second. I was wondering if you would be willing to share your powerpoint or how you created it. I teach second grade and am just looking for a way to manage and time my rotations. If you made an editable version for TPT, I would definitely be happy to purchase! Thx! Michelle

16 Comments

  • Trish -

    I teach first grade and was wondering if you would be willing to make a first grade version of this packet. I LOVE it and would like to purchase it…:)

    • I would also love to see a first grade version. Does your school use a math program? How do you go about doing guided math with a textbook?

      • Jamie we don’t have a textbook at my school. This program supplements the curriculum that we use as it lacks practice and depth. We still use the curriculum; however, this is a great supplement to ensure that our students truly understand the math concepts! I don’t currently have a first grade version. I am working on it!

        • Kristen,
          I was just wondering if you had an idea of when you would have the first grade unit done? I would love to purchase it over the summer and have it ready for next school year. :) Thank so much for all you do, I love your stuff! :)

  • First , let me say I am so excited to use your resource next year! I am wondering if you would share or explain more in dept the PowerPoint used to rotate your groups. Also, what a great idea to use pencil pouches to organize the materials!
    Leslie Ponder in VA

  • Kristen,
    I am also interested in a first grade pack. I have been wanting to do guided math for 2 years but have been overwhelmed trying to figure it all out! Please let me know when I can purchase your product. I am going to use your getting set up for school kit this August!

  • Ruth -

    I just got my first grade pack and I am so impressed!!! You took all the sweat out of daily centers/planning for me. I can’t WAIT to get started with this. Thanks a million~

  • I bought this resource for first grade and LOVE it! My grade level currently is not using a math program and so your resource is amazing. I have never done guided math before and was wondering what do you teach whole group before the guided math portion starts?

  • How long will this be on sale??? :)

  • Jenny -

    Would you consider doing a second grade packet?

  • I LOVE THIS!!!!! I haven’t purchased it yet, but it is exactly what I was looking for and I can’t believe you created it! THank you! I wanted to ask a few questions. I saw on your example that the time length was 42 minutes. Do you do the four rotations for about 10 minutes each? Do you do these rotations after a regular full group math lesson? (We have a teacher math book but we have to supplement a lot of math, so using your guided math packet would be perfect for that). I was also curious what activities you have the kids do each day in their interactive notebooks. I’m curious if you have something you’ve made for people to purchase with those activities that are quick but effective?

  • Hi there! I’ve purchased your Kindergarten unit. I’m so excited to begin teaching guided math! Thanks so much for your hard work!! I’d love to use a rotational wheel to signal the change of groups. Would you be willing to share yours or give the instructions on how to make one? Thanks again!

  • jen -

    Hi Kristen, I was curious what your system for going over interactive notebook directions & centers looks like. Since you rotate everyday do you spend the first part of guided math explaining what to do at each station for the day?

  • Hi Kristen,
    I teach second. I was wondering if you would be willing to share your powerpoint or how you created it. I teach second grade and am just looking for a way to manage and time my rotations. If you made an editable version for TPT, I would definitely be happy to purchase! Thx! Michelle

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