Thursday, August 22, 2013

Guided Math Using BUILD

I have now done Daily 5/ Guided Reading in the formal way for the past 5 years. I have to admit, when I started out, it was more like the daily 2.5. As I grew more confident in the process and flow of how class time is scheduled and how groups are formed and reformed and reformed, I am able to apply that foundation I have from the Daily 5/ Guided Reading  to Guided Math as a frame work for instruction. 

Guided Math (& Reading) allow for differentiation using a flexible framework to meet the needs of all learners. It is NOT whole group instruction, nor is it an emphasis on pencil and paper learning so as to become a worksheet wonder. Instead, by providing more opportunities for 1:1 engagement and observation, I can use guided math then to observe so much more closely what the standards the students are excelling in and which they need more help in. As we move into a standard based grading (SBG) I find that my background now with Guided Reading and my two years so far of Guided Math have helped me understand the content so much more deeper so that I can reach right to where the student struggles. I really enjoy this process. 


My favorite way to do guided math is to use the acronym BUILD.  BUILD is not a curriculum, it is a way to manage math centers.  Each letter stands for something different and you choose activities/assignments for students to complete. What I like the most about BUILD is the flexibility it offers to myself as the lead learner in the classroom as well as the students.   Using this management system creates learning process much like a choose your own adventure book. 

BUILD stands for:

B: Buddy Games: We have been blessed with a variety of tangible games as well as technology for games. 
U: Using Manipulatives: We have clocks, cubes, pattern blocks, tangrams, fake money, counters (just for starters)
I: Independent Learning : This is the time where students can work on a small in class assignment then select some books from our math book bin to read when they are done. 
L: Learning About Numbers: We have number charts to work with, number scrolls just for starters!! 
D: Doing Math: This is the time for small group learning with the lead learner (the teacher). We will have 5-6 children in our small group rotations which means, that this precious time is a valuable part of the day to see where they are struggling and help them make connections. It is really personal and fun. 

Theoretically this year in First Grade it might look like this: (I say theoretically because we are still working on skills needed to do this but today we got a good start) 



10 Minute Rotations With 5 min for whole group at beginning and end
Group 


Group


Group


Group 


Group 


Buddy Games
1
2
3
4
5
Using Manipulatives
2
3
4
5
1
Independent Learning
3
4
5
1
2
Learning About Numbers
4
5
1
2
3
Doing Math (small group learning)
5
1
2
3
4



With two lead learners in the classroom, it is VERY possible for one to take over the small group learning 10 min segments while the other oversees the other elements. It is also possible to switch off. For example, Mrs. Gotfredson does NOT have to teach each small group. We can tag team throughout the Math time.

We also want to take into account that on Thursdays we use the lab for Math and I can't wait to get the students started on ixl.com.  Here is the specific link for the First Grade of SBG skills.

And we are happy as clams and on a roll with our Wonder Wall Wednesday which if you refer to my earlier post, incorporates important elements of Math through exploration! It is part of my #geniushour #20%time #youmatter #passionhour philosophy of education. Did I mention how much the students LOVE it!?!? I do as well.

This BUILD Math  is a very vigorous schedule for life in the First Grade. I refuse to use the word RIGOR in education because RIGOR has NO positive meaning whatsoever.

Rigor:

1. a (1) : harsh inflexibility in opinion, temper, or judgment : severity (2) : the quality of being unyielding or inflexible : strictness (3) : severity of life : austerity b : an act or instance of strictness, severity, or cruelty
2. : a tremor caused by a chill
3. : a condition that makes life difficult, challenging, or uncomfortable; especially : extremity of cold
4. : strict precision : exactness
5. a obsolete : rigidity, stiffness b : rigidness or torpor of organs or tissue that prevents response to stimuli

Does that sound like fun? NO. That is a horrible horrible way to learn.

www.parishepiscopal.org
So I will use VIGOR  (click below for one of my favorite articles from a friend in my PLN) instead!

1 : active bodily or mental strength or force 
2 : active healthy well-balanced growth especially of plants 
3 : intensity of action or effect
4 : effective legal status