In a differentiated guided math classroom the teacher provides quality math instruction and purposeful and challenging activities for all students. Teachers use a variety of formative assessment tools to determine and address the varied learning styles and needs of each student. In the guided math classroom students are empowered to not just do math but to also think, write and talk about math like real mathematicians.
Math Daily Schedule
- Warm-Up: The teacher gets students excited about math with a rap, song, whole group game, story , etc.
- Whole Group Lesson: The teacher teaches a lesson to the whole class on grade level skills then guides and supports students as they work independently or in a small group.
- Small Groups / Math Centers: The bulk of the guided math block is spent in small groups of 2-6 students where students receive appropriate math challenges according to ongoing formative assessment.
- Reflection: Students reflect on what they learned, how they feel, what was tricky, what connections they made, etc. Students may reflect by writing in their math journals, having small group discussions and/or sharing their thoughts with the whole class.
Small Group Lesson Steps
- Introduction: The teacher introduces the task by modeling a strategy, reviewing a skill, giving directions, reading through the problem, finding out what students already know, etc.
- Independent Work and Coaching: The teacher coaches and guides each students as they independently work on the task. If the students are play a game together, the teacher will coach each student as they take their turn. The teacher will focus on each student to ask questions, prompt, guide and assess their mathematical thinking.
- Sharing: The students share their thinking with the rest of the small group. The students should be encouraged to share the strategies, solutions and connections they used during the lesson. During this time the teacher might find it necessary to review or clarify math concepts.
In the differentiated guided math classroom students are involved in interesting projects, games and many other choice activities. Teachers choose the lessons and activities which will work best to empower all students with challenge, success and joy in learning.