We are back again with Chapter 4 from Laney Sammons book "Guided Math". I'm not sure if I mentioned it, but I am in love with this book. It is such an easy read. It makes sense, and it's useful. If you haven't picked up a copy yet, do it soon. :)
This is a good question. How much of my mathematics instruction last week was whole class? Maybe 25%? Perhaps 10 minutes per day.
We have just begun a unit on Fractions. Since for some of the students in grade 1 it's the first time they had heard the term fraction, a whole class lesson is a great way to introduce it.
Monday: We did a mini lesson on what a fraction is and when we might use fractions in real life (i.e. to cut a cake, pizza, sandwiches, apples, etc).
Tuesday: I did a read aloud of the book, " " as an introduction to what a fraction is. We then got our lunches and found things in our lunch that were broken into fractions.
Wednesday: We did a mini lesson on how to write a fraction and we made an anchor chart of what a fraction is.
Thursday: I set the stage with a problem. I gave them paper plates and told them that they were to cut the plates to show as many different fractions as they could.
We then came back to the carpet to do a Math Huddle. Students looked at the fractions that the other students had created and decided whether they were correct or not. The students really began to understand that it has to be fair or equal.
Friday: was a PA day. So no school for students. :)
I use whole-class instruction when I want to:
- teach a brief mini lesson to all the students so they get the same information at the same time.
EffectivenessDepending on how long and engaged the students are, I'd say its partially effective. I'm sure I'm reaching the middle of the pack. Those struggling mathematicians are lost, so I know I will need to work with them.
- present a read aloud: this is something that I'm trying to do more often. I'm extremely disappointed with our math related read aloud section in our library. It's almost non-existent.
EffectivenessI think read alouds are very effective. Students love to be read to, especially if it's an engaging story. Using read alouds also allow students to make connections.
- setting the stage: either explaining math centres or engaging the students in a problem
EffectivenessSetting the stage, when explaining math centres is not overly effective. I'm always hoping that enough of the students will get the idea so that when they go to their center at least one person knows what they need to do. When engaging student in a problem, I feel that it is highly effective. My school has really focused on authentic, open ended problems. I think because they are authentic, that students buy into the problems, and because they are open ended the students know that everyone can be successful.
- Math Huddle: In my board we call it reflect and connect. It's a time to share our learning. A time for students to look at what they have done to solve a problem, and to reflect critically on their work.
When a Math Huddle involves all of the students it is more effective. I'm always trying to look for ways to get my students involved in the discussion and to develop strategies that they can use.
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