using centers/small groupo with Everyday math

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by HeatherY, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Dec 29, 2009

    I heard about teaching EM in small groups and I want to try it. Does anyone else do anything like this?

    I plan to have 4 groups of 5 kids for 15 minutes each. The centers are: 1. (lesson) with me, 2. math boxes 3. games 4. ? more games?

    So the kids can do games and math boxes before they see me if they are not on the first lesson rotation. And I can pull the slower workers first and use the games as an incentive for them to finish the journal pages.

    Has anyone done this? I would love some advice.
     
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  3. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Dec 29, 2009

    I used to to this when I taught 2nd grade and the kids LOVED it. Grouping the kids is tricky. I ended up grouping them homogeneously because I was really able to differentiate the center with me (lesson) to meet their needs. It was hard for the lower kids to do the math boxes on their own though - that was the only problem. I could also differentiate the games easily (higher cards, lower cards, etc.).
     
  4. mrs100

    mrs100 Comrade

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    Dec 30, 2009

    If you have more than one third grade in your class, you could consider grouping your classes. We started that this year and its fabulous. We have 4 second grades, and we split them into high, middle high, middle low, and low classes. It sounds like grouping within your own class would probably work well too. You could put together a math packet full of review and practice fun pages as a fourth station, or some kind of puzzles, like tangrams.
     
  5. teach1st

    teach1st Comrade

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    Dec 30, 2009

    I have three math groups. 1. Lesson with me 2. Math facts practice 3. Smartboard. I have a math CD that teaches the kids lessons on the smartboard and then they progress at their own pace. I don't know if you have a smartboard. But I know there are premade lessons for EM on the internet. You could download the lesson you are on and have the kids practice the lesson as a group.
     
  6. MissH225

    MissH225 Comrade

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    Dec 30, 2009

    I know a 4th grade teacher does it at our school. She does the 1.small group w/her 2.game 3. math boxes or some practice and then 4. problem solving or some sort of logic thing
     
  7. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Dec 30, 2009

    This sounds fabulous to me!! I am up for anything to get my kids "less afraid" of math-especially with EDM. I teach 5th-do you think this is doable? Is 15 minutes enough time in the upper grade? Perhaps I could do 3 stations-lesson, game, math boxes. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
     
  8. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Dec 30, 2009

    I think it sounds fantastic. My only question is about the time frame. I would allow 20 min., then be flexible with that extra 5 min. If the group only needs 15 min., then rotate. But if they need more than 15 min., you will need to have that flexibility. And it will take training time. I usually do training time without the lesson with me included. Then I work the lesson time in after they are trained to centers (by me circulating the room).

    You can also use some of that extra 5 min. to answer questions, because you are going to have to train them to not interrupt your lesson group. They do better at this if they know that when the timer goes off, they can ask you a question.
     
  9. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Dec 30, 2009

    Yeah, I was thinking just 3 groups with a little more time, but my back table only has seats for 6 and that is already tight with me too. So if i do four groups I have less kids and can focus a little more. If I did 15 minutes with a couple minutes of flex time I think that might help.

    I suppose that the fourth center could also be to finish if they did not finish something, perhaps from the day before?
     
  10. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Dec 30, 2009

    4th center could be used for anything! Just as long as it will keep them engaged and working independently from YOU!

    I'm excited for you! I love centers and small groups. You've helped me get excited about January, February, and March. Now I just have to get into my classroom and get that silly Christmas tree down!
     
  11. jday129

    jday129 Comrade

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    Dec 30, 2009

    We just started doing this at my school. We divided the kids into three ability based groups (each class stays together)
    We start out with a minilesson whole group that includes the mental math
    then 15 min rotation that looks like this
    low group-1. w/ teacher for more support 2. on own to finish pg/ do math boxes (and we actually have them do a teacher created set of math boxes based on skills that group needs) 3. math games

    medium group- 1. math games 2. w/ teacher for some support 3. finish pg on own/ reg. math boxes

    high group 1. do math pg/math boxes on own can work cooperatively 2. math game 3. time with teacher for extension

    As the inclusion teacher, I help out the middle and low groups but there are other classes that do the same thing with just one teacher
     
  12. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Hmm.... I like the idea of the high group getting an extension activity. I will have to think about this new idea..... This would change my plans, but I like it! How long for each center?
     
  13. GD2BQN

    GD2BQN Comrade

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    Dec 30, 2009

    I actually just started doing that the week before Winter Break. The children loved it. My groups met for 20 minutes each. Sometimes I was done before the 20 minutes and they could finish incomplete stuff. Our math block is for 90 minutes but it comes out to be just 75 minutes since the other 15 minutes coincide with dismal time. Ha! Ha! Anyway, I:

    lesson-20 minutes
    Math Boxes-20 minutes
    Computer lab or games : 20 minutes (I set a timer and send them to the lab across from my room-prearranged w/lab teacher)

    The last 15 minutes I spend reviewing Math Boxes and assigning the study link.
     
  14. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    Jan 2, 2010

    Can someone explain to me what 'math boxes' are? I don't use Everyday Math, so maybe that is why I am clueless. I would also love to use centers for math, but I use the Abeka curriculum, so I am trying to figure out how this would be possible.
     
  15. gottagoodgig

    gottagoodgig Companion

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    Jan 2, 2010

    I have done this and really like it too! My centers: 1. lesson with me 2. math boxes/some other worksheet 3. game or hands-on acitiviy 4. another game from EDM, some other game the reinforces math concept (Mailbox, Evan-Moor, etc), drawing with straight edges, old math boxes, Smartboard, geoboards, read from the math book bin, seasonal math page, etc.

    One aspect I really liked is that when it was time for manipulatives, you only have to prepare enough for a small group...not the whole class. Could any parents help you during this time? I do interdisciplinary centers once a day and I have a parent for each day of the week. That way, at least 2 of the centers have adults and the other two are independent. It helps a lot. Even having a parent help with a game or with math boxes really can help kiddos...esp. your low/below grade level kids. Also, for that 4th center...if you don't have another math idea for the day....maybe it could be something from literacy, science, social studies, etc. that you wanted to cover. IMO, math time doesn't have to ALWAYS be all math. (Or any subject for that matter!) ;)

    Good luck!

    Good luck!
     
  16. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Jan 3, 2010

    Okay, I am going with this plan. This way I can also hold the kids who need additional practice with the journals with the second group. My class does not work very well in groups, but I am also introducing literacy centers next week, so we better figure it out quick! I am also going to do the Whole Brain scoreboard too. It is going to be a crazy week! Anyway, I'll let you know how it goes. I am excited about it.

    Math boxes are these extra pages in the kids workbook. In the third edition, boxes 1 and 2 relate to the stuff just taught, 3 and 4 are some older skill and 5 and 6 are supposed to relate to the next lesson. So in theory you could just check the math boxes for understanding and a quick assessment. I am going to have the kids leave the math journal out on their desk - I can quickly look at the math boxes at recess and get an idea of what us going on. I might even record it on a clipboard for better analysis.

    I need to get some extension activities together for my higher kids!
     
  17. gottagoodgig

    gottagoodgig Companion

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    Jan 3, 2010

    Hey, I just thought of a resource that I'm using for both my grade level and my above grade level kids. It's "Activity Cards for Early Finishers" by Mailbox. You could get Grade 3 for your grade level kids and Grade 4 for your above grade level kids. I love them because they reinforce all the same concepts as EDM. All you have to do it rip out the cards and use a paper cutter to cut them in 1/2. Generally, the kids only need to get a piece of paper to complete the activities. I use them for early finishers sometimes. However, they also make great centers. They could be great for that 4th center that you don't know what to do. Good luck!
     
  18. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Jan 5, 2010

    Okay, I only had 13 students for math this morning because so many were absent, but it went really well. The 15 minutes is not enough to finish the work though. I started literacy centers as well, so I just told them that when they were finished with the lit center they needed to go back and finish math. That worked for about 80% of students. Unfortunately, for the most part, the slow workers in math are also the slow workers in reading. But overall I liked it. I alkso kept a clipboard with me so I could take notes on the kids and I ended up shifting their groupings a little already. I hope it goes as smoothly when all the kids are there too.
     
  19. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Jan 5, 2010

    I am so depressed about this-after reading this post, I was so excited about implementing this way of doing EDM. However, my team of 5th grade teachers would like to try ability grouping. That is fine, but our admin MUST have approval from the asst. super-who has taken it upon herself to basically take away our academic freedom-mapped out our entire series, and we must follow it. We are meeting this week, but I don't have a good feeling right now. some of the reasons slated for "discussion" is: why are we doing this? how will we ability group? how is it going to work? why are we choosing to do this now? and so on. I just want to help my kids. I can' t believe how our academic freedom has been taken away. We are scripted to death, we do not teach to mastery, and I am beginning to think a robot could do my job. Sigh. I just want to be the teacher that is hidden inside of me!!!
     
  20. gottagoodgig

    gottagoodgig Companion

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    Jan 5, 2010

    knitter63--why can't you do centers with instructional groups? Even if you a certain group of kids (say...med....they still will have a range that you could subgroup within that range). Centers would still be great!
     
  21. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Jan 6, 2010

    We are meeting tomorrow-I will keep you posted. If we ability group, I may still do the instructional groups/with centers anyway. I think my kids will really respond to this!
     
  22. ahodge79

    ahodge79 Companion

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    Jan 6, 2010

    hi there, it's been a few years since I've done EDM with small groups, but I totally love it! Here is what I did...

    Instead of trying to get through all the rotations in a day, I did it over 4 days. So I had one day of whole group (because some lessons led themselves to this) and 4 days of groups. I generally would actually start it on Thursday because we had early release on Wednesday so it gave me extra "non-rushed" time to get it ready. I put the group activities into bins. It's so nice because then you have 4 days of lessons ready to go all at once and don't have to worry everyday about getting math stuff ready! Also, I looked at the lessons to be accomplished for the week and picked out what could be done within small groups, whole group, and with me.

    With grouping, I tried to just group by ability at first but then the major problem is the lowest group gets off-task on their individual days because they don't know what to do; so I modified it- I keep a larger group of the highest ones so I could do extra things with them but then mixed up the lower 3 groups. If you have a child who is WAY below the others, but them in a group of 3 (hopefully you can do this by having the highest group with more).

    If you do try to rotate in one day, I'd suggest only 3 groups... or longer math time...

    Also, I always had a computer group as one of the rotations. I created a way to organize a bunch of icons on the computer (because I also did this for literacy and self selection) so they could just come up and click on the activity that I selected for the week.

    Hope thats helpful!
     
  23. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Jan 7, 2010

    Okay everyone, we had our big meeting. As I thought-much opposition on the teaming by ability grouping. However, my admin says" what about ability grouping within your room?" Sigh. As if this was a new, wonderful idea she thought of, when it was suggested to her earlier that week by guess who-yep, you guessed it! So...instead of being proactive and getting started ASAP-we have to wait until the mid term assessment. Well, a couple of weeks for me to get it all together.
    I still think this will be the way to go. The only down side we have to follow is the suggested pacing guide by the editors. No slowing down when we need to!!! I plan on reading each lesson, and teaching the most important concept for that lesson.
     
  24. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Jan 8, 2010

    When I went to a training recently they trainer brought up that you are actually only supposed to teach 4 lessons a week and the 5th day should be a flex day. Your stronger kids can do extension activities or games while you work with a small group on skills. I don't think this is common knowledge! I had never heard this. So if you have to stick to their pacing guide- just let the admin know that this is the recommended pace.
     
  25. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Jan 9, 2010

    Thanks, HeatherY! I am not sure the admin will listen-so far this year, there has been absolutely no listening going on! However, I am doing the best I can with what they tell me. I am worried about my kids' performance on the state tests, but as callous as it sounds, if they do not perform well, I will look my admin in the eyes and say" but I did exactly as YOU said we should."
     
  26. GD2BQN

    GD2BQN Comrade

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    Jan 9, 2010

    Last year....

    was the 1st year we used EM. We all didn't do too well on state assessments. Oh, well! We've learned now to supplement on some areas.
     

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