Several of us got together to read the book

__Guided Math__by Laney Sammons.

All summer we will be blogging once per week about each chapter of the book and reflecting on how we can implement some of these strategies into our own math instruction. There will also be a giveaway each week! Plus, you are likely to find freebies (like at the end of this post!) and new products along the way! Fun stuff!

So let's get started with chapter one! The first chapter included a rational and an overview of the framework of a math workshop style of instruction. Sammons starts by talking about how math instruction was when we were in school--- teacher talks, students listen and then do a worksheet. That is exactly how I remember math! Sammons contends that this type of math instruction does NOT work and the fact that so many people cannot calculate a 10% tip in their head is proof. I got a good laugh out of this because it is so true!!! We learned algorithms but didn't have number sense! Sammons suggests that, just as we did with literacy, we need to switch from a purely whole group model to one which includes the following components:

1. A Classroom Environment of Numeracy

2. Morning Warm-Ups and Calendar Activities

3. Whole-Class Instructions

4. Guided Math Instruction with Small Groups

5. Math Workshop

6. Individual Conferences

7. An On-Going System of Assessments

I am intrigued and look forward to a chapter on each of these components!

This was a

You can read more about it HERE.

But this year EVERYTHING changed! No team teaching. No curriculum. No assessments. Complete Common Core implementation. Standards Based report cards. So I am the first to admit that math was a bit messy in my classroom!!!

None the less, I feel like I am ending on a high note! I think I figured out a schedule that works for me! At the beginning of the year, we were asked to have three math small groups and to meet with them every day for 20 minutes. That was a

I think that the activities that students complete during the workshop time are meaningful rather than just busy work. I incorporate math journaling, spiral review, fact practice and technology. And the best part...no weekly prep for me! That means I can focus more on planning the small group and whole group instruction.

Now that I have the small group and independent centers working for me, my biggest struggle is the assessment component. As I mentioned, we are not really using much in the way of curriculum as we wait for the curriculum to catch up to the new standards.

During the year I purchased math assessments on TpT that covered every math standard. The problem? Every question required the exact same skill to solve. I couldn't really tell where my students' understanding broke down.

For example, I gave a time and elapsed time assessment. A few kids scored a zero!!! But every clock showed a time to the minute and every elapsed time problem was to the minute since that is the third grade standard. So can they tell time to the hour? Can they tell time to the half hour? To the five minute? Can they do elapsed time to the hour? I had NO idea! So I had no idea how to group students and where to begin my instruction.

I fear that my groups were not fluid enough and were not always focused on the exact area that the student was struggling with.

My solution? This summer, I am making assessments and task card sets that are scaffolded! They will start with simple problems and gradually become more complex. I think these will help me to quickly tell where my students are in their understanding!

**TIME FOR A FREEBIE!!!**

Would you like to try my first one for FREE? It's for assessing time and elapsed time. Just click HERE to download. Then leave a comment about what you think or about your strengths and weaknesses as a math teacher.

Be sure to hop around and see what other bloggers are saying about the first chapter. And don't forget to sign up for this week's giveaway! I donated my Telling Time Task Cards which are scaffolded very similar to my free assessment!

a Rafflecopter giveaway