Guided Math Book Study

First though, I'd like to tell you how much I've enjoyed reading about your favorite summertime activities on my comments for my giveaway.  I feel even more connected to all of you because we share so many of the same favorites :)

If you haven't already done so, go and join the giveaway.  Up for grabs is a $25 gift certificate to either Target or Amazon.  Who doesn't love to shop?

Now, on to today's excitement:

I've joined up with Brenda over at Primary Inspired for her book study for Guided Math:

If you are new, click here and here to read all about how I incorporated Math Workstations into my classroom this past year.

I call mine Math Rotations because we "rotate" through four different stations each day.  I meet with every child in a small group every single day.  It has completely changed my ideas/thoughts/beliefs about teaching math.

At the end of this year, our principal approached the 4th grade (and 5th grade) teachers about departmentalizing next year.  Yes!  So, I will be teaching three periods of math with 90 minutes per class.  I am so excited :)

I asked her to buy the book Guided Math by Laney Sammons.  Funny thing is, she had already bought it for the teachers in grades 3-5 for us to use/create a book study/love next year.  Score!

Everything I am reading is "justifying" what I had already started this last year.  Double score!

Now, even though I've already read this book from cover to cover, I'm a little late linking up (remember all of the summertime activities...).

So, let me go back and re-cap my thoughts about Chapter 1:

This chapter titled "Guided Math: A Framework for Mathematics Instruction" explained how Guided Math is set up.  I found myself nodding furiously with each paragraph. (My husband was thinking I was a little bonkers, I'm sure.)

Here are the components:
1.  A Classroom Environment of Numeracy-  Think Guided Reading.  When you walk into a room where the teacher is using the literacy model, you know it.  Right?  The same should be true about Guided Math. (Explained more below.)
2. Morning Math Warm-Ups- For me, this will be where I incorporate Calendar Math (Yes, in 4th grade!).  I'll explain more soon, but most of what I'm planning on doing I learned from Stephanie over at Teaching in Room 6
3. Whole-Class Instruction- Yes, there is a time for this even with Guided Math.  Using the same procedures I used last year, I will used Whole-Class instruction on the day that I introduce a new topic.  
4. Small-Group Instruction-  Ahhh!  My favorite part for thousands of reasons.  Just as a classroom using Guided Reading would differentiate instruction, so too can a math teacher!
5. Math Workshop- For me, this means my rotations.
6. Individual Conferences-Yes!  There are times when I am finished with a small group before the next rotation, I have a few minutes to conference with individual students.  I used to NEVER have time for this when I taught math "traditionally".
7. An Ongoing System of Assessment-For me, this is what guides my grouping of students.  I found it much too difficult last year to group my students for each topic. I grouped my students based on their MAP scores, teacher judgment, classroom assessments, etc.  I kept the same groups for about 4 weeks or so. They were fluid, too.  If I saw that students needed to move to different groups, I moved them.  Next year, I'm going to group students at the beginning of a new set of topics (between 4-5 Topics or Chapters in our book).  I will use a pretest to determine these groups (but with teacher judgment in there, too).
Can it all work?  Yes, yes it can.  

Now, this week is the review of Chapter 2:
This chapter is being hosted by Dana over at 3rd Grade Gridiron!   Head on over there to read more about Chapter 2 from other fabulous bloggers.

This chapter titled "Using Guided Math to Create a Classroom Environment of Numeracy" was another head-nodding chapter indeed!
 See #1 above?  Well, this chapter explains it completely. 

Here's how I see it.  When students walk into my room next year, I want them to feel as if they can recognize that I am their math teacher.  The walls should "scream" math.  You know what I mean?  

*CalendarS-Yes, multiple calendars.  Why?  Well, don't you have several calendars of your own for different purposes?  I sure do.  The same will be true for my students.  Not only that, but I'm going to treat their agenda as a math tool, not simply a place to jot down homework and tests.
*Math Word Wall-I'm excited about this one.  It is one of the projects I'm tackling soon.  I'm going to align my wall to the Common Core Standards.  I've already purchased the vocabulary words from Ginger at Ginger Snaps.
*Manipulatives- Hello- Remember this?
They are neatly organized and waiting to be used.  By the way, you can grab my labels here or here.
*Small-Group Area-I scored a wicked-cool U-shaped table at the end of the year.  I'm so excited.  I found some great stools at Hobby Lobby when they were 1/2 off, too. 
*Station Materials- These materials are organized and easily accessible:

*Charts-These will be created with students and shown prominently around the room.  (Just as you would do with reading.)
*Math Journals-I'm going to have my students keep two notebooks for math.  One notebook is where we will complete all of our "notebooking" activities (think foldables) and complete notes and work.  The other notebook will be for journaling.  Yes, math can easily incorporate writing.  The whole idea of "thinking mathematically" requires students to be able to communicate their reasoning.  What better way to do this than in journals?
*Math Related Literature-Yes!  I've been accumulating so many great books and can't wait to use them for the purpose of explaining math concepts. 
Now that last one is where YOU come in.  I'd like to create a linky party just for Math literature.  Would you be interested?  If so, leave me a comment below letting me know you are interested and I will create one soon if enough people are interested.

OK-There you have it.  My take on Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.  If you haven't linked up with Brenda at Primary Inspired, do so. 


  1. I love how your math supplies are so organized! I really need to work on organizing my math manipulatives!

  2. My reading teacher partner is doing a book study on The Daily Five - I was hoping to find a math study going on somewhere!

  3. E-LIZ-A-BETH!
    I've been following you forever and I haven't been an "official" follower? How did that happen?!
    As Farley would say: That's just cray-cray!
    I'm sorry I didn't help you get to 400 one person sooner!
    So... Mega-GIANT apologies for following you without putting my itty bitty picture in the Follower box on your blog!

    I love the way you have organized your math materials. That's on my To Do list for next year.
    Great post--I learned a lot! Now I've got to go catch up on my Guided Math reading...

    I hope you will forgive me...
    In my heart, I was following you all along!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

    1. I had no idea you weren't "official" :)

      You've been officially a great bloggy buddy for a long time.

      How's that for official :)

  4. Ooooooh you do math similar to me! Don't you love it?!?! I sure do! Pretty sure math is my favorite thing to teach! I am super excited for you getting to teach math to 3 classes next year! It's going to be great for you to really be able to focus on one subject. I'm excited to follow you and hear all your great ideas too! :) Glad you are part of the book study! Can't wait to read more of your thoughts!

    Reaching for the TOP!

  5. A linky party would be great!
    I liked what I read of Ch. 1 and can't wait to get the book.


  6. Thank you for sharing where you find resources! They will be a huge help!
    I joined the book study a little late, but am still excited to have found it!
    Count me in for the linky party. One of my math centers is called Math Reading and Writing. I put math literature there and have students answer questions afterwards. I recently received a listening center and am trying to incorporate that with the literature. Always looking for new ways to incorporate literature into math :)


  7. Thanks for linking up, Elizabeth!!! And I would totally link up for a Math Lit linky party!!!


  8. Hi! I love the idea of multiple calendars! That would give me the excuse of doing calendar on the smart board and still having one posted in my classroom! Love your post!

  9. Hey there! Just got my book in the mail so I'm playing mad dash catch up!!! Just finished Chap.2!! Love your post and will be back to pick your brain:)

    4th Grade Frolics