Guided Math Book Study Chapter 4 and 5

Time slipped by on me over the last two weeks.  Must have been all of the crafty things I've been doing.

I've been trying to wrap my brain around "just math" for next year and it's been hard/fun/overwhelming all at the same time.  I'm excited to focus on just one subject.  I've never taught that way before.  I have departmentalized before, but I always taught at least two subjects.  Next year will be full of changes; that is for sure!

Anywho- Chapter 4 was hosted by these fabulous bloggers:

Sweet Seconds

Make sure you head over there and check out what everyone else has to say about Chapter 4. 

My thoughts on Chapter 4: Using Guided Math with the Whole Class-
Whole group instruction is inevitable, isn't it?   There are times when it a) just has to happen to make things easier or faster  and b) assessments need to take place in whole group settings (in my opinion).  

I will start a Topic (or chapter) as a whole group lesson.  This is where I will introduce the concepts in the chapter and we will usually complete some type of foldable/notes/diagrams, etc in our math notebooks.  I like do this on the first day so that they have a visual reminder of the concept.  For example, when teaching mean, median, mode and range last year, we made this foldable:  

It helped them throughout the entire Topic when they had to complete independent work on their own.  They had a point of reference to refer to (one that was created by them).   

In addition to this introduction the to the topic "whole group" day, I also use whole group instruction for mini lessons.
Next year, I will have the luxury of 90 minutes, so I will start off my Math Workshop (I call it Math Rotations) with a 10 minute mini-lesson every day :) Yay!

Another activity that I found in this chapter that I am going to use is the Math Huddle.  For me, it will be a culminating activity at the end of my math rotations. We will spend time discussing what we learned/explored/figured out during our rotations.

OK~Chapter 5 was hosted by these fabulous bloggers:

My thoughts on Chapter 5: Using Guided Math with Small Groups
Make sure you head over to their blogs, too.

This is the chapter that I found myself shaking my head in approval the most.  Let me tell you a little story about a precious little girl in my class this past year that {for me} puts small group math instruction into perspective.

Keep in mind that I didn't start teaching math with small groups until January. 

I had this student, I will call her Lucy {not her real name, of course}, who was struggling in math.  I couldn't quite put my finger on it.  She just couldn't pass tests.  She looked as if she were paying attention and would answer questions during my whole group instruction.  But, come test time.  Nope.  No good.  She was frustrated.  I was frustrated.  Her parents were, too.  We tried everything including having the push-in teacher pull her and work one-on-one.

Well, January rolls around and I start teaching math in small group.  I started to notice that she couldn't hold her attention in small group.  Ah-ha!  It wasn't a math problem, it was an attention problem. 

Now, because I have a child of my own with ADD, I pride myself in being able to "catch this".  But, I didn't with her.  Not until SMALL GROUP instruction.  Why?  Because, y'all, she was doing her best to look like she was paying attention because she is just that darn precious. 

Well, after talking with her parents, we turned this little girl's grades around and she was able to pass...not only that, but she made A/B Honor Roll the last quarter.  I couldn't be more proud of her!

Now, I know this whole post wasn't about the small group instruction that I do, but it was just one small example of why teaching in small group can be OH...SO...BENEFICIAL.

OK~If you stuck around this long, here's a freebie for you.  It's one that I have offered before, but many of you are new here. (Of which, I am most humbly grateful.)

That foldable from above?  As much as I loved the student-created one it took FOR.EV.ER to complete.  This one is printed for them and then they add more examples of their own to "make it their own".  Click {here} to download for free. 

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for this:

Click on that awesome pencil sharpener to go to the giveaway link. The giveaway ends on Friday, so hurry!

Have a terrific 4th of July :)


  1. Great foldables!!


    Jessica Stanford
    Mrs. Stanford's Class
    I hope that you'll join me for my giveaway ♥

  2. Thank you for sharing the foldables & your thoughts on Guided Math. I enjoyed reading about your success story :)
    Stories by Storie

  3. Hi there!!

    Love the foldables! This is yet another idea from you that I will be using in my resource room!! :0)


  4. I love your blog! I wanted you to know I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award.

  5. I love your blog!!! One thing I've noticed is that you're a WBT teacher and implementing guided math with journals & foldables. How do you mesh guided math with WBT? I love both but I'm having difficulty wrapping my brain about how to combine both worlds since WBT seems so big on whole group whereas guided math is focused more on small group. Ideas or suggestions?

  6. Great question, Shannon~ I was wondering the same thing. I LOVE WBT but really want to make it work within my guided math situation...without distracting those who are working independently.

  7. Hi,I am a new follower and had what may seem as a silly question. I saw something about a "two questions" activity where the students answer two questions and then discuss how they arrived at the answer with a partner. I couldn't sleep last night and read through your past blogs. I also looked at several others and cannot remember where I saw the idea. Was it on your blog? BTW, I have ordered my guided reading book after reading through your posts. Thank you