Guided Math is such an important part of our day in kindergarten. This is where my young mathematicians get the small group attention that they need. However, before I can start the rotations, my kinders need to know what is expected of them during our rotations.
In order to successfully launch guided math, during the first two weeks of school, I slowly walk my students through guided discoveries of our math materials. This is a time where I have my students explore and play with the materials. I want them to have ample amount of “play time” before I expect them to use them as tools.
During our guided discoveries, I pass out the materials to all of my students and slowly model how they can clean up the materials. (I have found that clean up sometimes becomes crazy and chaotic if this is not explicitly taught.) Therefore, before we even begin playing, I show them how to clean up. Then I have a student show me that they too can clean up. After this, I let my students free play with the materials. (During this time they can play however they want with the items.)
As the guided discovery goes on, I stop my students and ask them if they can do something else with the material they are using (in this case it was the teddy bear counters). They decided that they could sort them!
After a few minutes of sorting, I asked them what else they could do. They decided that they would make bear families.
I taught them how they can trade items with their friends.
And then they practiced cleaning up nicely.
After the bears, I took out another math tool: unifix cubes. (I pass them out in plastic cups– each student gets their own.)
Again my students carefully explored the cubes. After a few minutes, I asked them if they could make a TALL tower.
They eagerly got to work creating bases for support (a student suggestion) and tall towers.
By doing these guided discoveries, it gives your students more ideas on how they CAN use the materials. It also teaches them how to treat supplies with respect.
The next day, I introduced partner games. During this time, I had 5 different activities going on at once. I had each group of students go to each rotation for 5 minutes. Two of the rotations were playing with materials from our guided discoveries and three were new activities that I helped them with.
The first game was called Bump. This is a game we will play OFTEN. In this game, my students roll two dice and then count the dots. They then have to cover the number they counted. We play that if you roll the same number twice, you get to LOCK your number and start building a tower on it. If you only have one cube on a number, your friend can BUMP you off if they roll that number.
They LOVE this game!
While some friends were playing this game, I had other students working on their interactive math notebooks. As this was the first time they completed one, I worked with them in small groups on HOW to complete them.
They did AWESOME with their cutting, gluing, and coloring and are ready to do the next page on Monday!
The last game that I had my students play was a game called “more or less”. My students each took out a card and counted how many cubes were on it. Then, they compared numbers and sorted them correctly.
During these games I rotated between the different activities to make sure that everyone was on task and doing what they were supposed to be doing.
On Monday we will continue with rotations very similar to this one. As soon as I notice that my students no longer need help or redirection, I will begin pulling my guided math groups!
These lesson plans and games and activities are all found in my Guided Math pack for kindergarteners. Every day’s lesson plans are specifically written out for you! You can purchase them by individual quarters or purchase the whole year! I am so excited to have everything written out for me. It has made lesson planning a breeze!