Setting Up Your Math Block

Welcome to 2018! It is no secret that I am huge believer in guided math. I’ve been teaching in this format for the last 4 years and I’ll never go back to whole group teaching again. The new year is perfect for trying out new things so let’s get started! I’m so excited about my new blog series to go along with my biggest passion, GUIDED MATH! Over the next few weeks we will be talking about the following:

Does that sound like a lot to process? Don’t worry we are going to take it slow. Let’s get started.

Are you struggling with out to organize your math block? This post is full of ideas on how to organize your math block efficiently in order to teach whole group and small group instruction.




What is guided math? It is a structured way of teaching with a mix of whole and small group instruction. It consists of the following components:
-whole group lesson
-small group lesson (at your teacher table)
-group stations (or centers)
-technology

Before we dive into all of the components, lets talk about your math block. First, you need to make sure that you have your math block set up to run smoothly for this transition and this style of teaching. One of my best tips for  you to take away from this is to BE FLEXIBLE!

There are going to be days where your stations do not run smoothly. There will be days when you don’t get to everything planned or to all the groups you have planned out. You’ll have a fire drill or a parent will show up unexpectedly with cupcakes. 

I’m lucky that my district gives me a 90 minute math block. In years past I’ve only had 60 minutes so I’m going to share examples of both time frames.

This is currently how my math block is structured and has been this way for the past 2 years. I have a total of 90 minutes and I always allow time for 2 brain breaks during this time.
 -20-30 minute whole group lesson
-3 rounds of math stations (15 minutes each)
- 2 brain breaks (3-5 mins each)
 Here it is broken down in detail.

Are you looking to start math stations in your classroom? This blog series breaks down everything you need to know about guided math and managing math centers in your classroom.

The first half of the year I spend 30 minutes for my whole group lesson. The second half of the year I try to cut it down to 20 minutes. Some days it works and other days I need that extra 10 minutes.
I also have my schedule set up to where I see 3 math groups a day for 15 minutes each. I have 5 groups total and with my schedule, I see each group twice a week. I’ll go into more detail with this in my next post.

Here are two other examples that go along with a 90 minute math block.

Are you looking to start math stations in your classroom? This blog series breaks down everything you need to know about guided math and managing math centers in your classroom.


The main difference with these and my current schedule are the following:

-Example 1 includes 2 20 minute rotations
-Example 2 includes 5 10 minute rotations

I’ve found that 10 minute is too short for ME but I know others who prefer it this way. You can adjust the time to see what works for you. 15 minutes is the perfect amount of time for me. As your kids build stamina you can also increase your time.

Here are some examples if you have a 60 minute math block. When I had this amount of time, I followed example 3. I also allowed time for one brain break.

Are you looking to start math stations in your classroom? This blog series breaks down everything you need to know about guided math and managing math centers in your classroom. One last option that I would like to share with you is a technique called Power Hour. This is when your core teaching is done during this time at your teacher table. It consists of the following:
-      Mini lesson (5-10 minutes)
-      4 15 minute rotations or 3 20 minute rotations of stations.
Your mini lesson consists of a quick introduction or review and then you are practicing those concepts at the small group table.

Are you looking to start math stations in your classroom? This blog series breaks down everything you need to know about guided math and managing math centers in your classroom.

 I hope this gave you a few ideas on how to organize your math block. In my next post I’ll be discussing how to create a vision for your math block. I’ll go into detail on what I do during my whole and small group times.

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Are you looking to start math stations in your classroom? This blog series breaks down everything you need to know about guided math and managing math centers in your classroom.




2 comments

  1. Thank you for breaking guided math down for a new math Texas teacher! Still working on the kinks while feeling like I am missing something, i.e., data keeping, etc. I look forward to seeing your next post! 😊

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    Replies
    1. Hi! I love hearing from other Texas teachers! I am happy to help with any questions you may have. The second post will be done this week! Feel free to email me anytime.

      Marcy

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