As guided math is a flexible way of teaching, compared to the traditional standard whole-class instruction, students will receive a variety of learning opportunities.
When you implement the guided math framework you’ll be able to plan specific lessons and activities which will stimulate your students in different ways, you can tailor the lessons to match the way your current students learn.
Don’t forget these pointers when planning for your students as they will make sure your students can make sense of concepts and help them to gain a better understanding:
- Ensure your students celebrate their mistakes as they learn from each one, and from each other.
- Make sure you provide challenging activities which involve problem-solving strategies.
- Set up activities that your students will need to use new and learned strategies to solve.
- Your students need to know that it is ok to struggle and celebrate when they achieve the correct solving skills.
- Always provide constructive criticism and helpful feedback, and set up situations where your students will receive feedback from their peers.
- Try to use mathematical vocabulary when conversing with your students, and encourage them to use the correct language too – this will help your students to think like a mathematician!
- Help your students to understand, and expand, their mathematical knowledge via problem-solving.
If you make sure yourself, your classroom and your students follow the above points, you’ll notice your students grasping concepts quicker, and not giving up as easy. Your students will learn that mastering one concept, will help when learning a new one as they build on their skills.
The structure of guided math requires all seven components to be utilized for it to be effective, so make sure you have the following included in your classroom plans:
- Numeracy-rich classroom environment
- Morning math warm-ups
- Whole-class instruction
- Guided math with small groups
- Math workshops
- Teacher-student conferences
When you implement the guided math framework, which contains seven components (listed above, excerpts taken from this book - ‘Guided Math – A framework for Mathematics Instruction’, by Laney Sammons) – you’ll find more time to cover certain topics in greater depth, as you will not be tied up with all the lesson planning that you currently do. This will be very beneficial to your students as they will find that they aren’t struggling as much because you would have been able to offer more of your time on one subject, making sure they grasp the concept and know the strategies before having to move on. Unlike traditional teaching, you’ll be able to work with the students who need extra support with a certain concept, whilst letting other students move on – therefore, your students will not feel out of their depth, or feel like they are being held back.
This is the end of my guided math series – I hope you have learned everything you need to be able to implement guided math in your classroom. Let me know how it goes for you – and if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.