Thursday, May 29, 2014

Guided Math Book Study: Chapter 1

I have been experimenting with guided math in my grade 1 class for the last couple of years, but it has never worked the way I envisioned it. I've always felt like I was missing something, so when Amanda from "The Primary Gal" suggested a book study and the book was called "Guided Math", I knew I was on board!

So here we go Chapter 1! Even just reading the first chapter has my brain buzzing with ideas. 

Since I started teaching grade 1, I have become a firm believer in the power of play. They are still little, they need time to play! I attended a workshop put on by my school board last year, and the big idea that I got out of it was "work is play" for students. When they are working they are playing and vice versa. Which makes total sense to me. 

So where am I going with this? My math program is based on three main things that I feel I do well:
The first is games. Play? Games? Makes sense, right. Math games are amazing tools for students to build confidence. When I first found TPT about three years ago, I came across a game called BUMP! If you haven't played it, you have to try it! My students loved it and had my students building math fluency with adding numbers to 12. It then got me thinking about what other areas in math could I incorporate the ideas of games and I came up with all sorts of ideas. Check out my math games. What I love about using games in my classroom is that my students are engaged, they are learning and most of all it makes math fun.

The second thing I do well is integrate a variety of centres in my program, This allows my students to be hands on. I find that I have moved away from a lot of "paper and pencil" or "kill and drill" type activities (Not that I don't think there is a place for those type of activities). I try to create centres that give my students an opportunity to explore with manipulatives, to integrate technology and have topics that interest them.

The third thing, I have really worked on this year is open ended problem solving. I participated in a series of  Collaborative Inquiry for Learning in Mathematics workshops this year that really open my eyes to something.  I have to say it was the most nerve racking experience of my life (But I'll leave that for another blog post some day). What I got out of the workshops was the importance of using open ended problems to help differentiate for students; how to use a parallel problem without making it seem like the easy question and the hard question, and finally that we shouldn't be teaching students steps to solve the problem but giving them strategies. This gave me the idea for my animal themed problem solving posters! I love, love, love, these posters!

What am I excited about?
  • I love the idea of building a math community. How easy would it be to have a "Math Warm Up" each morning? I want to integrate more math into my calendar's getting kind of dry by the end of the year.
  • I also love the idea of using math read alouds to build engagement, set up problems and give the students authentic situations to use math
  • I love the idea of a "Math Huddle". It's very similar to the "reflect and connect" that we do as part of the three part lesson
  • What I really want is to provide more opportunities to conference
Thanks for stopping by! I hope that you stay with us on our book study! There will be some great prizes as part of the weekly giveaway and maybe even some freebies.

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