Sunday, 31 May 2015

Running a Guided Math Lesson

Yesterday I wrote a post about how I plan and manage my guided reading lessons. You can read about that {here}. Today's post is about how I do my guided math lessons. It's very similar. I run a modified version of Daily 5 for literacy and a similar version for math. While other students are doing various literacy or math activities, I am meeting with small groups (usually no more than 4 or 5) and teaching a math lesson.

This is a peek into my guided math plan book. My reading and math planners are bound together in one book. I do all of my lessons at the same table, so why not keep all my materials in the same place! I have a sticky tab in each section to easily find the day's lessons.


I split my kiddos into five groups based on their ability level of the topics or skills we are learning. I find that my math groups change a lot more than my reading groups because students can really vary with their math knowledge and skills. I use a dry erase marker on my group page because the groups can change every week or two weeks! My math groups are colour-coded and each group has a shape--the blue diamonds (or rhombuses? rhombi?), green triangles, yellow stars, pink squares, and purple circles.


I also keep a laminated version of our Grade 1 Math outcomes in my planner book, so I can refer back to them easily or check them off with a dry erase marker if I wish.


I keep each group's lesson materials in a matching tub. The math tubs are buried somewhere with my reading tubs, but these are the tubs I use from Really Good Stuff with these cute shape labels.


I spend about 30 minutes a day with my guided math groups, so I see two groups a day for 15 minutes each. Unlike my reading groups where I see my lowest group the most, I see all my math groups equally, twice a week. (Unless it's a short week. Then I might not meet with my higher groups. Oh well. C'est la vie! Does anyone else remember that song by B*Witched? Oh how I miss 2000's pop music. Oops. *squirrel*)


I only have 15 minutes with each math group, so we fit in as much as we can in that time. I break my lessons into 3 mini parts:

{1.} Warm-Up - 3 minutes
{2.} Lesson - 5 minutes
{3.} Activity - 7 minutes

Here's a close up of how my lesson plan book looks. My math group lessons take a bit more planning than my guided reading groups, because I have to go through my activities, games, worksheets, and centres to find something that fits with the lesson I want to teach. I have to get more organized in this aspect so all of my stuff for each topic/skill is in one place! In my lesson plan book I write down the date, group name, the outcome or skill we are working on, the warm-up, the lesson, and the activity.


Here's a break down of each part of the guided math lesson:
The warm-up is just an activity I use to get our brains ready for math. It's like stretching before gym class! I have a small group set of Regan Tunstall's Rise and Shine Binders, so sometimes students will complete a page or two in there with a dry erase marker. Sometimes we might do flash cards in partners. In the example lesson above, our warm up was a Ten Frame activity from From the Pond's Fast Ten Frame Activities. I show the ten frame and say a number. If they match, students put their thumb up for true. If the number doesn't match the ten frame, they put their thumb down for false. I get a student or two to explain their thinking after each one. Quick and simple! Sometimes it might be something even simpler, such as practicing counting or skip counting or writing their numbers out on mini whiteboards.
The lesson is where I introduce the new concept or reteach a concept that the group is having trouble with. This usually involves me modelling something, such as an addition or subtraction strategy, a counting skill, or using a math tool. In the example above in my lesson plan, I was demonstrating how to see dot patterns in different ways, using Emily Hutchinson's Part Part Whole pack. We circle how we saw the dots, then filled in a number bond to see how different numbers can make up one number.
Then the last activity is something to take the skill we just learned and apply it. It could be a partner game, an individual activity, or something we work on as a whole group. For the example, after we practiced with ten frames and dot patterns, we played Ten Frame BUMP (from my 10 Frames Centres & Games pack). While they are playing, I observe to make sure students are subitizing the dice (not counting) and ten frames. I write down my observations to help me decide where to go in my next lesson. Often the games or activities we play here end up in my math stations, so that they can continue to practice the skills on their own.

Usually my guided math groups are working on a similar skill, but I differentiate the activities and difficulty levels based on the group's skill level. A group that was having a harder time with subitizing would practice with small numbers first. A higher ability group might practice adding two ten frames together.

**Edited** You can now download all my guided reading and math pages (planner cover, group organization page, group labels, group schedule, and weekly lesson plans) by clicking the picture below:


I hope these posts have been helpful for you. I don't think I will be back with Math Book Monday tomorrow. Maybe soon though! Have a great Monday!!

Saturday, 30 May 2015

How to Make the Most of Your Guided Reading Lessons

So a little while back I shared my guided reading toolbox with you. If you missed that post, click {here} or the picture below. It talks about some of the goodies I keep on hand to use during my guided reading lessons!


Then a few weeks ago I was guest blogging over at the Hameray Publishing blog, where I shared a few more ideas about how I use some of my favourite tools. I also shared a freebie guided reading notebook cover that you can download. Go check it out {here} or by clicking the picture below.


Today I am going to share with you how I set up my guided reading lessons. Here's a peek at my guided reading plan book. I keep my reading and math group plans in the same planner. I just keep a sticky note on the current weekly pages.


I split my kiddos into five groups based on reading level, but these groups are fluid and change throughout the year. My groups are colour-coded and each group has an animal--the blue dogs, green frogs, yellow ducks, pink cats, and purple fish. In my guided reading planner, I have a laminated page for my groups. I can write the names in dry erase marker, but I prefer to use little post-it flags. I can move them around easily as the groups change. Plus the colours match. Love it!


I keep each group's books and lesson materials in a matching tub. Of course the tubs are buried in a box somewhere, but I use these tubs from Really Good Stuff with these cute labels.


I only have about 40 minutes a day for my guided reading time, so I see two groups a day for 20 minutes each. I usually try to see my lowest group three times a week, my middle groups twice a week, and my highest group once a week.


I have to make the most of that 20 minutes, so I break my lesson into 4 mini parts:

{1.} Reread/Fluency - 2 minutes
{2.} New Read - 8 minutes
{3.} Comprehension - 3 minutes
{4.} Word Work/Writing - 7 minutes

Here's a close up of how I plan my lessons. It doesn't take a whole lot of planning. Just a few minutes to jot down the name of the group, the title and level of the new book we will be reading, some tricky words that I want to address, check off the reading strategy we will focus on, a comprehension activity, and a word work or writing activity.


Here is a break down of the four parts of the lesson:


The group that is working with me grabs their book box, sits at the horseshoe table, and picks a previous guided reading book from their book box to start reading while they wait for me. This gives me a chance to make sure that everyone else is at their correct station and there are no problems before I settle in for (hopefully) 20 minutes of uninterrupted guided reading time! In their book boxes, students keep about 2-4 guided reading books from our previous lessons and four books of their choosing from the class library. 


Once we're all ready to go, I introduce a new book to group. We usually do a quick book walk, look at some tricky words we might come across, and make some predictions. We might also review the reading strategy we are focusing on before we read the book.

Then I give each student in the group a copy of the book and have them whisper read the book to themselves. Sometimes they just read normally and sometimes I let them use the whisper phones (made out of PVC pipe and duct tape). And if anyone is struggling with one-to-one matching, we might use some of my favourite tools such as glow-in-the-dark fingers, mini laser pointers, googly eye rings, or highlighter strips. 

I take turns listening to a few or all the students reading, making notes about who used what strategies and who struggled with what skills. If someone finishes their book before the others, I make them go back and reread! Fluency, fleuncy, fluency!


After everyone has finished the book once, we do a quick and simple comprehension activity. It might just be orally answering questions from a spinner, beach ball, or task card. We might do a story map together, practice sequencing the events of the story, or make connections to the story. 

Various spinners and cards from TpT sellers


Then the last thing to do is a word work or writing activity in our guided reading notebooks. It usually has to do with the book we just read, a phonics skill we are working on, or some sight word practice!

**Edited** You can now download ALL of my guided reading and math pages (planner cover, group organization page, group labels, group schedule, and weekly lesson plans) by clicking here or the picture below:


That's it for now! Enjoy your weekend!

**Edit** Freebies are now available on TpT if you are having trouble downloading them from Google Drive:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Guided-Reading-Freebies-2623187
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Guided-Math-Freebies-2623189

Friday, 29 May 2015

Explore Tubs for Weather & Seasons {with Freebies}

Here are some more Explore Tub ideas! Explore Tubs are like early finisher tubs in Science class for when students finish their Interactive Science Journal page. You can read more about the tubs {here} and see my Senses tub ideas {here}. I will change these six tubs out with each unit. I teach four units in Science: Weather & Seasons, Five Senses, Objects & Materials (although I usually combine the Senses and Objects & Materials units together), and Living Things. These are my Weather & Season explore tub ideas!


*Four Seasons Floor Puzzles by Lakeshore Learning
*Four Seasons Picture Sort {by me on TpT}--I used sticky velcro dots to make my sorting game. Students sort the picture cards by which season they would do the activity.


*Animals That Hibernate, Adapt, and Migrate Posters {download free here}--I copy the posters back-to-back so one side is blank and one side has the animal pictures. Then I have a variety or small plastic animal toys that the students can sort onto the pictures. They can use the blank side for a challenge, or match the toys to the pictures for an easier task.
*Books about hibernation, migration, and adaptations: All About Hibernation, Bear Snores On, Animals in Winter, Migration, A Den Is a Bed for a Bear!, Animals in Fall, Sleep Big Bear, When Will It Snow?, Very Hairy Bear, The Busy Little Squirrel, Over and Under, and Why Do Animals Hibernate?


*Weather Bingo Game {by me on TpT}--A game for up to six players to practice weather vocabulary.
*Dress for the Weather Bulletin Board Set from Amazon--I laminated all the pieces of the kid and clothing, attached the kid to a cookie sheet, and put magnets on the back of the clothing pieces. I made {these cards} to go with the centre so students choose a weather card and dress the kid up for that weather!
*Books about weather: What Will the Weather Be Like Today?, Weather, Raindrop Plop!, Weather Watching, What's the Weather?, Split! Splat!, Weather Words, Like a Windy Day.


*Cloud View Finders {free from this blog}--I attach the view finders to a popsicle stick. Students can look out the window and try to identify types of clouds.
*Cloud Mat {free from here} and White Play-Doh. I print the mats on blue card stock and laminate them, then let the students make cloud shapes using the white Play-Doh.
*Books about clouds: Cloudette, It Looked Like Spilt Milk, The Cloud Book, Clouds, I See It, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, The Little Cloud, and Clouds.


*Shadow Card Matching Activity {free here}--Students match the animal picture to it's shadow! They can play memory or just match the cards up.
*Small Flash Lights
*Hand Shadow Puppet Idea Print Out pinned and printed out from here
*Free Shadow Puppet Print Outs free from 100 Directions. I laminated the puppets, cut them out, then hot glued them to popsicle sticks to make shadow puppets!
*Books about shadows and light: What Makes Day and Night, What Makes a Shadow?, The Sun, and Bear's Shadow.


*Types of Tornado Matching Activity {idea pinned here}-- You can download my tornado mats and pictures cards for free here. I used sticky velcro dots to make my matching activity. Students match the types of tornadoes with the pictures.
*Tornado Tube from Amazon--fill one bottle with coloured water and attach it to Tornado Tube. Add another empty bottle to the other end of the Tornado Tube. Students can swirl the water to the tornado!
*Tiny Tornado Tube from Amazon
*Thunder Tubes from Amazon
*Books about extreme weather: Barn Storm, Extraordinary Wild Weather, Underpants Thunderpants, Just a Big Storm, Fires and Floods, Blizards and Tornados (from Science Vocabulary Reader Set), Hurricanes and Tornadoes, Danger! Eathquakes, Extreme 3-D: Wild Weather, Franklin and the Thunderstorm, Thunder-Boomer!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Colourful Binder Organization--What's Inside?

I posted this picture on my Instagram and Facebook and got a lot of positive feedback. I just love colourful, organization. Tubs, binders, containers.... love it all! I will give you a peek at what is inside each of the binders. I will put a list of links for each binder of different units that I use in my teaching--some from me and some from other bloggers!


I have to go purchase two more yellow binders. I only have one binder for all of my writing activities so far and it's bursting at the seams! I will split up my activities into three binders. I have all of my activities sorted by the 6 writing traits and by type of writing (how to, lists, letters, non-fiction, etc.). I like to focus on a different type of writing each month. I put all of my blackline masters and lesson pieces into clear page protectors.

Engaging Writing Activities by Reagan Tunstall
Writing Freebies {here}{here}, and {here} by me



I also have a monthly poetry binder. Each week we read and study a poem. On Fridays they put a copy into their poetry folder, which they keep in their book boxes to read. Most of my poems come from various blogs or websites, but I also have a lot from Deedee Wills' poetry packs.

Poetry Stations by Deedee Wills


My Guided Reading binder is full of activities that I use during guided reading lessons. There are alphabet, phonics, sight words, fluency, and comprehension activities. I keep his binder near my guided reading table so I can pull activities as I need them. I have activities from a bunch of different packs.

Small Group Staples by Babbling Abby
Guided Reading Mini-Lessons by Rachelle Smith
Guided Reading 101 by Deanna Jump 


The blue binders are a huge project that I just undertook this spring! I created a yearly phonics and sight word scope & sequence for me to follow throughout the year. You can download an editable version of the scope & sequence {here}. Each week we focus on a particular phonics skill and we have five sight words that we practice and add to our word wall at the end of the week. I have two page protectors for each week--a sight work page and a phonics page. In the sight word page I keep any printables we might complete, our word wall words, and our list of sight words for word work centres (there are actually three weeks of sight words on one list). In the phonics page I keep any games, our weekly picture match cards (from Reagan's big phonics bundle), a list of phonics words for word work centres, and any printables we might complete that week.

Sight Word Intervention by Deedee Wills
The Big Phonics Bundle by Reagan Tunstall
Word Work Activities by Babbling Abby




In Science I will be using my interactive journals. In each page protector I place the lesson page, journal page, and any lesson pieces I need. I have two binders for all four clusters.



I organized my Social Studies unit the same way as my science. All three clusters are in one binder though. I place the lesson page, journal page, and any lesson pieces I need into a page protector.



And finally health! Organized the same way. Lesson, journal page, and lesson materials all in a page protector. Health isn't divided into clusters or units.. it's all one big unit but covers topics such as bus safety, fire safety, food groups, dental health, stranger danger, bike safety, and more!



I still have tons of files at school that I will organize into these binders. So far I've only organized the stuff I have at home and new things I have created/purchased. The only thing I have not quite organized yet is my math. All my math worksheets are in topic binders. But all my centres are in my holiday tubs, boxes in my garage, and all over the place. My goal this summer to organize them all into topics like Reagan's beautiful boxes {here} and put my centres into labelled envelopes like Miss Pich over at Apple-y Ever After!

**Update: I have put all of my binder covers and spines together into an editable PowerPoint file on TpT. Check out the preview to see all of the pages included. All of the text on the title pages and spines are editable, so you can change the fonts and wording to suit your own needs! Click {here} or the picture below to check it out.


That's it for now. Happy organizing!

Monday, 11 May 2015

Math Book Monday - 100 Snowmen

I made it! I almost forgot about it, but I'm here! Baby is bathed and asleep, hubby is working nights, so I get to just chill out in my pajamas with the dogs sleeping beside me all night. Not a bad way to spend a Monday night.

I feel bad about tonight's post because it is the middle of May, but my friends to the south inspired me. Usually it's us up here in Canada with the crazy winter that never ends--snowstorms in May! Poor friends in South Dakota got over a foot of snow yesterday! So sad. I hope it melts and you can get our your shorts and flip flops soon!!

Until then, how about a fun snowman math book! :) This one is called 100 Snowmen by Jen Arena. The illustrations are adorable. The snowmen are hilarious and also a tad bit creepy, with their black coal eyes. I love them despite the creepiness. Click the picture to check it out on Amazon.



It starts with one lonely snowman with a carrot nose. Then more and more snowman join him until there are.... 100 SNOWMEN! It's fun because each time more snowmen come, there is an addition sentence to see what the total is at. This is a great book to talk about addition, counting to 100, and numbers to 100. I thought this book would go great with my Snowman Counting & Number Activities {0-120} Freebie! This is one of my more popular freebies at TpT. It has snowman number cards to 120 and seven different activities to go with them--counting on forwards, counting backwards, ordering from least to greatest, numbers one less and one more, comparing numbers, and counting forward to 100 or 120.


Now, if you feel like these activities would be perfect for your kiddos right now but you don't quite feel like pulling out the snowmen in May... DON'T WORRY! I've got you covered! I made an identical pack featuring a generic Melonheadz cutie theme. Check out my Math Kids Counting & Number Activities {0-120} Freebie on TpT!


Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week!



Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Math Book Monday (on a Tuesday!) - The Great Graph Contest

Sorry folks! I tried to get this up last night, but I was pooped! I had my first evening course last night. Gave myself plenty of time to get there, but there was a major accident on the highway and I ended up being twenty minutes late to my first class. How embarassing! Oh well, it was still pretty good!

So I'm here with you today for Math Book Monday on a Tuesday! Today's post is about a new math book that I have bought recently. It is called "The Great Graph Contest" by Loreen Leedy.


It is a super cute book! It's written all in speech bubbles and it's about two friends who keep trying to outdo each other's graphs. It talks about surveying, bar graphs, pie graph, sorting, Venn diagrams, and more. 





I created a fun survey and graph activity to go with the book. This activity could be used as a math centre or a whole group lesson. Click the picture below to check it out!


Students choose a survey questions (there are 12 example cards or they can create their own) and four possible answers. Then they survey 10 students in the class and record the results with tally marks.


Then they create a graph based on their results. There are three options--a vertical bar graph, horizontal bar graph, or pie graph!




I also have this "Grab and Graph" centre in my TpT store for free. Use any manipulative you have, such as bears. Place the manipulatives in a bag. Students grab a handful, then graph what they picked up! Check it out by clicking on the picture.


Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!