Guided Math Book Study Chapter 4

Thursday, June 19, 2014
Chapter 4 of our book study was all about whole-class lessons.  How do you teach math using whole group lessons?  In this chapter, the author Laney Sammons discusses what can happen during whole group math lessons.  Whole-group lessons can provide a chance for teachers to present mini-lessons, students engaged in activating strategies, teachers reading aloud math related literature, setting the stage for the math workshop, conducting a Math Huddle, providing practice and review, or formal testing and assessments.

During Mini-Lessons, teachers should make a connection (from yesterday's lesson, with the ongoing unit of study, with the student's work, or with an experience outside of school), provide a teaching point (present and demonstrate), allow for active engagement (students try out a skill or strategy, students watch, students plan out loud,), and teachers link the lesson to ongoing student work (students turn to their own work and apply the teaching point).

1 point of interest from this chapter is students can complete KWL charts for math.  I haven't ever used a KWL chart for math that I can remember.  Have you?  Instead of the traditional KWL chart (K for what you know, W for what you want to know, and L for what you learned), in math it can be adapted.  The First Column can be: what do you know for sure, the second column can be: what are you trying to find out, and finally the third column can be Are there any special conditions in the problem?
Of course, you can come up with a name for this chart if you would like.  Any ideas or suggestions?  Maybe KFC Chart?

2nd Point of interest from this chapter is a topic of Word Splashes!  I really like this idea.  It is kind of like making a list of vocabulary terms related to the concept of study.  Teachers can put the list on the board as a preview for the lesson or unit of study.  Students can also use the word splashes as a review of concepts learned.  

During my math whole group lesson, I use a video to introduce the concept.  Before using the video, we do a quick review of the concept we are learning.  The video generally comes from BrainPop or our math series Envision.  After watching the video and demonstrating the skill, students practice a bit with me during the whole-group lesson practice time.  After practicing together, the students have a few minutes to work independently on the task for practice.  During this time, I walk around and assist or make notes of how students are doing.  After our mini-lesson and independent practice, students participate in independent work.  During this time, I pull out small groups.

How do you teach whole group math lessons in your classroom?  Do you have a math series?  Do you like your math series for whole group instruction?

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