Sunday, October 25, 2015

Spooky Fact Families- Guided Math

Happy October!
I love this time of year with my firsties.  We are finally in the swing of things with our routines and procedures and they are gaining independence.  One of my favorite times of the day is Guided Math. We were working with fact families last week, so I thought I would walk you through my guided math time and share a fun little Halloween themed math lesson at the same time!

We start math with a little warm up and a short (15-20 min) whole group lesson.  I tend to switch back and forth between place value concepts (number of the day type activities) and problem solving for our warm up.  Then we meet as a whole group on the carpet.  For this lesson we made an anchor chart about fact families and practiced creating the equations.  We talked about how Big Papa likes to sit in his chair, so Momma and baby do most of the moving.

After our whole group lesson we break up into small groups and do stations.  My stations are:
1. Teacher Table
2. Technology
3. Independent Work
4. Partner Games

At my table we review the concept I just taught, or a previous concept the group struggled with.  I often use lessons from Kristen Smith's Guided Math lessons, or sometimes I use my own lessons, depending on what my kids need.

At the technology station my kids use their Chrome Books to practice skills on  If you haven't checked out this website, you should!  It's amazing, and free!

During independent work my kids will work on a task at their seat.  Most of the time it is an interactive journal activity (I use Reagan Tunstall's stuff- she's great!), but some days we do a seasonal activity or use a page from our workbooks.  With this lesson my kiddos created a haunted fact family house, and they came out so cute!  I totally stole this idea from the fabulous teacher across the hall from me, and my kids loved it!  Here are a few hanging in the hall.

Our fourth station is partner games.  My kids LOVE working with partners and I love that they are working together and learning while "playing".  We spent a lot of time at the beginning of the year modeling what this should look like, and practicing "math talk".  We discussed how Mrs. Piña has magical powers and even from my table I can tell the difference between "math talking" and "recess talking".  Here are some of my cuties playing games from Kristen Smith's October Math Stations pack.

The kids spend about 15 minutes in each station and then we wrap up.  I like to pull everyone back to the carpet and we talk about what we learned and practiced that day.  It gives a sense of closure to my math block and allows my kiddos to reflect on what went well and where we need more work.  All in all, it's a very productive 90 minute block, and my students are engaged the whole time.

What does your math block look like?

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