Guided Math Book Study: Chapter 3

I cannot seem to put this book down.  This chapter had so many great ideas that I can't wait to use in my classroom!
This chapter was all about math warm ups, which is an area that was definitely lacking in my classroom this year.  Sammons discusses using Math Stretches to begin the day.  A Math Stretch is a quick activity that students complete independently at the beginning of the day. After completing it, the classroom community engages in a math discussion where vocabulary, relationships, and strategies are discussed.

Sammons describes 5 different types of Math Stretches:
  • Data collection and analysis: students respond to a question and create a real, pictorial, or symbolic graph
  • Number of the day: ways to show a number using place value and multiple representations
  • What's Next?: uses chart paper for students to complete and extend a number pattern
  • How my family used math last night?: focuses students on the role of math in their daily lives and encourages them to make math connections (math to self and math to world--similar to making connections in reading)
  • Makes me think of: a mini-activating strategy to introduce or review a concept where students record a word or words that they think of when given a concept or word (math to math connection)
Kim from Splish Splash Ms. Lander's Class has a great poster set for math connections which you can check out at her TPT store.
Math Connections Posters
Sammons discusses the planning of these stretches and gives a sample outline where the class engages in a different math stretch each day.  In reading this section, I think I will use the following schedule:
  • Monday--Number of the day
  • Tuesday--How my family used math last night
  • Wednesday--What's next?
  • Thursday--Data collection
  • Friday--Makes me think of
The chapter then moves into a discussion on the calendar board, which I call Calendar Math.  Again, this is an area that I want to tighten up.  I had a good structure last year where students engaged in a variety of activities, but I want it to be more focused on the standards that they are struggling with, are "heavy" or not taught until later in the year, and need to be reviewed on a consistent basis.

Doing professional summer research (AKA finding resources on Pinterest), I found links to some great blog posts about Calendar Math.  Stephanie from Teaching in Room 6 has a great series of posts.  So does Tara from 4th Grade Frolics.  I plan to use a combination of their ideas in my classroom next year.

I have enough space to have a dedicated Calendar Math area as part of my bulletin board.  I like the idea of changing out the items that I want to review as needed.  I created this set of display posters that can be used as part of a Calendar Math routine.


My calendar set contains 38 different posters that can be added to a Calendar Math board.  I plan to use the pieces interchangeably as needed, allowing me to meet my kids' needs better.  I've marked it down 50% for today if you want to check it out in my store (click on any of the pictures to snag it).

 I mentioned earlier that I did not have a mathematical connection to the beginning of the day.  Math was taught as an isolated subject between recess and lunch.  This will change this year!
It is very important for students to see the link between math and their own lives.  Math is everywhere.  I am a sports fanatic and so much of sports centers around statistics and numbers.  Current events also involve math, as does just basic functioning in life.  I think that by using the "makes me think of" and "how my family used math last night" stretches, my students will see that math is all around them.

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  1. I love the math stretches idea. I didn't teach math last year (i was in a team teaching situation), so I'm looking for all sorts of new ideas for next year. Thanks for sharing your schedule, too!

  2. Thanks again for sending me your Calendar Resource. I'll be sure to mention it on my next Guided Math post! I love it.
    Thinking of Teaching

  3. It is amazing how students are often unaware of the math all around them. I love your idea of making connections to sports. I hope you enjoy the rest of my book!
    Laney Sammons


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