I was wondering if teachers who teach math could share how they utilize their math time. For instance, one teacher recently shared with me that she first introduces each new lesson to the whole group. Then while students are practicing the concept either with a hands-on lesson or practice worksheet, she pulls small groups of students, who seem to have difficulty grasping the concept, aside to work with them in a smaller group setting. Do you teach math in a similiar way or do you have another unique approach that works for you?

What I usually do is this: teach the lesson to the whole group - on board, no textbook. Do practice problems from the board on scratch paper. Go over them together. Do practice problems in a workbook. They work and ask questions one-on-one. Then we go over them together. Then I assign the rest of the page for homework. If I have an introductory page (re-teach type) I will give that for homework and do the regular workbook during classtime. For 5th grade I took about 3 weeks on our geometry unit. I reviewed daily and introduced new concepts and vocab daily. I used manipulatives (plane figures, solid figures, protractors, graph paper) and we created solid figures by cutting and taping together - so they could see and feel the various shapes that made up each face of a solid figure. They actually touched the vertices and edges and faces as they counted them. They touched the angles as they named them, etc.

I begin each math lesson with about 5 minutes of POD. These are problems that I create containing skills we have been learning (for example this past week my POD had lines, rays, segments, factors, and multiples. We also do Math4Today. For that they work a row each day and after 4 days we take about 20 minutes to go over the paper. That leaves me a solid hour left for regular math (except on review day, of course). It really depends on the skill, but I will always start with whole group instruction, then either independent or group work from there. I sometimes like to pick kids who have the skill down and have them help their classmates, or I will have my higher group going a step beyond the others. It all depends on what we are covering. We always take a few minutes at the end to come back together and talk about what we did. Christy