Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Interval timer and math workshop

Something that I changed this year during math was doing math stations/guided math instead of whole group lessons.  Well, I guess I never really did whole group lessons in math (or maybe when I did, I wanted to rip my hair out because I've always had groups with SUCH a range of abilities that I felt like I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off!) and so I quickly decided any other way was better than whole group!  I've tried a few different ways but could never find something that felt manageable to me and I would wind up changing things up after awhile or changing everything all together...

This year, I decided that our math time would be spent doing math stations/guided math (I use these terms interchangeably) so that I could see every student every day and differentiate as much as needed.  For example, our focus the past few days was adding and subtracting on a number line.  I was able to use the same number line in wipe-off sleeves but I changed the addition or subtraction sentences depending on the abilities of the group that I had.  It worked really well!  

To explain the math stations and what they are and what the students do:

Math With the Teacher - I will either repeat the mini lesson or continue on from where we left off the day before...I also do assessments during this time when needed.

Math With a Buddy - Students work with their group to play a game that has been introduced before.

Math With Technology - Students use either iPads or the computers in our class.

Math By Myself - Right now, we have the students doing Number of the Day journal pages but plan on doing different things throughout the year. 

They rotate through all 4 stations each day.  We usually wind up having about 45 minutes of math so this works out perfectly.  Something else that has made things SO MUCH EASIER was setting up an interval timer that we use every day during math.  I set it up using  Here it is:

While it's not the best picture, if you look at it closely, you can see that the intervals are labeled and it just automatically runs through (with clean up time added in!!) so that I don't have to worry about setting a timer after each station!  The students know that they have time to clean up and head to their next station.  They all have pretty much gotten it down pat and know that they need to get to that station before the chime goes off to begin the next interval.  Does that make sense?  We use bookmarks that help us know where to go next.  I can share them tomorrow.  I hope something from this post was helpful to you!

Until next time!  

1 comment:

  1. I use a variation of this too! I love it! I did your exact plan last year but this year i added a 5th group - exploring math (pattern blocks linking cubes etc) its a bit harder some days to get to all but the smaller groups are heaven! Never thought math would be my favorite time. Lol