Sunday, January 12, 2014

Guided Math: Lean In, Lean Out

This week is the second semester kick-off for my guided reading and guided math time, as well as our tier 2 and 3 time (MTSS for you Kansans, and RTI for everyone else in the country!).  I wandered over to the school today to be sure my centers were ready.

Last week we did centers in our class, but I didn't meet with any of my small groups.  I wanted to be sure everyone remembered our guided reading/math rules before we dived in.  We had a few friendly reminders about staying on task, but it seemed to go smoothly.

This week I will start pulling groups.  I've read a bunch of blogs about how different teachers work their small group time in their classroom.  Every classroom is just a tad bit different depending on what works for each teacher.  I love that about education.

In July, I traveled to Chicago and attended a three day training to become a Guided Math trainer.

I had attended Guided Math training before, and I was already using this approach in my classroom.  I love it.  I feel like I have a much better understanding of where my students are in math and I am able to help them more.  

I was going back through my scribbles and realized I had some great notes jotted down.  I thought I'd share over the next few days, either as a refreshing reminder of how guided math goes, or as an aha moment to consciously try next time you're teaching.  

First, what is it that your students are doing in your math class?  What verbs come to mind?  
 Math should be very active and involved.  Students are doing a lot!

One of my favorite take-aways was this nice reminder:
It's like exercise, y'all.

Sometimes our physical movements and gestures can send a strong message.  Leaning in during instruction is an active movement to show students you are teaching or helping.

Leaning out lets them open up and talk to each other rather than just to you.   We want them to have mathematical discussions and get involved in their learning.  We want them to teach each other or figure something out collaboratively.  The teacher is the tour guide, not the lecturer.
Most importantly...stop, listen, and wait.  Give them "think time".  Sometimes, as teachers, we forget to give students ample time to process and solve.  Silence is golden.  Let them figure it out before jumping in.

Tomorrow I'll post about those struggling learners who are waiting for you to swoop in and rescue them from all that silence.  

Please leave a comment and let me know if there is anything you would like me to blog about,  any conversation you would like to discuss, or ideas you want to swap!

Have fun jumping back into your routine!  


1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    Oh my gosh! I just love this post you wrote- how you described Math as "Leaning In" and "Leaning Out" is so PERFECT! :) I have never thought about it that way! But it's so true! I am going to think about this tomorrow as I am teaching my math lesson and during my guided math groups! I am looking forward to seeing your ideas for struggling learners.
    Thanks for sharing! Have a great week!
    Collaboration Cuties