Guided Math Book Study: Chapter 4

 Thanks for stopping by for my thoughts on Chapter 4.  You can read my thoughts on Chapters 1, 2, and 3 here.  This week's focus is using whole group lessons within the guided math framework.

The first thing that I loved about this chapter was that Sammons says there's a place for whole class instruction in the guided math framework!  So many times I feel like as educators we're told asked to throw out the baby with the bath water.  Whole class lessons have a place and it's okay to use this instructional approach.  Here are some of the scenarios Sammons suggests using whole class:
  • mini lessons
  • reading aloud math literature
  • testing
  • preparing for Math Workshop
  • leading activating strategies
There are challenges with this approach:  Student communication can be limited or intimidating.  Student feedback isn't as immediate. Assessment tends to be more summative than formative.

An area from the chapter that really struck me was on mini-lessons.  I have the habit of conducting maxi-lessons.  Sammons reiterates that mini-lessons should be brief and explicit, lasting no more than 10 minutes.  She then goes through the architecture of a math mini-lesson (connection, teaching point, active engagement, link to ongoing student work).  On page 116, she gives tips for effective mini-lessons.  I will be referring to this constantly as a reminder to improve in this area.

Another area that I loved reading about was using math literature.  I used to be really good about finding literature to go with every math topic, but unfortunately I have slacked off in that area.  Since I will be in a new grade level in the fall, I am determined to increase this aspect of my math instruction.  I made a spreadsheet to help me organize books I've used/want to use and to get ideas from all of you fabulous teachers.  
Click here to access the spreadsheet.  Please add to it so we can increase this list of resources!
Unfortunately, most of my instruction in math was whole class.  I tried a work station approach (click HERE to read) in February where my kiddos did the whole group lesson, then went to work stations.  This had its positives and negatives.  The biggest negative for me, which was why I eventually stopped doing it, was that I wasn't differentiating my instruction enough which means I wasn't meeting the needs of my students.  I love that the Guided Math Framework will allow me to do this better.
Since most of my instruction last year was whole-class, I thought about how I will use whole-class instruction next year...since it will be cut down!  I plan to read aloud math literature, use interactive notebooks, and play scoot.  I will also give assessments and play whole class review games before assessments.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love the spreadsheet! Thank you for sharing!

  2. The spreadsheet is awesome. I'll be back to add books very soon.
    Thinking of Teaching


Back to Top