Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thinking about Math

I've been looking forward to tackling my long range plans for math since the school year ended!  I made many changes throughout last year to my original plans, but I still couldn't feel ready until I officially changed things up on paper. I had also ordered a professional book to read through and help me along this summer as I thought about how I could better teach math.  It's not my favorite subject, nor is it my strength. 

I ordered this book called Guided Math.

Come to find out, this book really speaks more to a "Balanced Math" type approach instead of solely focusing on Guided Math.  Elements include: Morning Math Warm Ups, Whole-Class Instruction, Guided Math Instruction in Small Groups, Math Workshop, Individual Conferences, and Ongoing Assessment. I am very inspired by the beginning of this book.  As teachers, we focus so much on creating a "literacy rich environment", but rarely do you hear of anyone focusing on creating a "numeracy rich environment."  I find myself asking, "What can I do better to create a numeracy rich environment?"  

I am also thinking about "Math Out Of The Box".  Are you familiar with this curriculum?  One of my colleagues got a pilot kit for me, and after exploring, I am really excited!  This curriculum involves the children in investigations, reflections, applications and allows them to experience math through problem solving.  My kindergarten kit is Numbers and Counting. 

Better still, everything you need to teach this unit is.......IN the box!  I am planning to get some solid pre-assessment data in hopes of presenting this opportunity in more hopes of getting funding for more kits!  I am positive that I will see big results from this 21st century style of teaching and learning.

My wonderful kindergarten team and I got together to talk about Math today!  I love professional conversation, especially when we can share, agree, disagree, and brainstorm something new! 4 brains are better than 1!

So, I have added my tentative Long Range Math Plans to a page at the top bar on my blog.  Be sure to check it out!  I would love to hear how it compares to yours!

Best of all....I am excited about Math!


  1. Would you say that the Guided Math book is appropriate for 4th grade or is it more for primary grades? If it is for intermediate grades too, then I am all over that book! :-) It is just what I need.

  2. Kim, I just emailed you too, but I absolutely think this book is appropriate for 4th. I actually thinks it's a K-8 based book. I hope you get it and enjoy it! I am learning a lot!

  3. We use math out of the box! It is very hands on and has a great teaching guide and manipulatives. The lessons are very detailed and help the students a lot with math terminology and thinking skills. There is a lot of partner work and exploring for the students. One difficult aspect is that the lessons can be very long.

  4. I'm also planning to focus more on math this year! I looked at your long range plans and I'm curious - has your state/district/school adopted the common core standards for math?

  5. Erin, YES! My state is in the process/or has just recently adopted the Common Core. However, we'll still be responsible for teaching our other state standards as well. Which, from what I've seen of Common Core, it's nothing that I'm not having to teach already!

  6. Interesting! Our district (and state - KS) has decided that kindergarten and 1st grade will now follow the common core standards - and only common core. We completely revised our math assessments and curriculum to match; therefore, we will no longer teach money and time and will spend a lot less time on patterns, measurement, and graphing (any time we do spend on these will be in relation to the concepts in the common core standards). I like finding out what others are doing with them. :)