Thursday, June 12, 2014

Guided Math- Stretches and Warm ups

I am loving this book study! This has opened my eyes tremendously and can not wait until I get into the classroom next year and set it up to be a Guided Math classroom! I will be teaching Math and Science next year in First Grade and I plan on utilizing everything I am learning from this book study and the amazing group of educators I am reading along with!

This post is about Math Warmups! So what better way to start the day than by stretching! The stretches will vary according to what grade level you teach but one thing they have in common in all grade levels is the way they make a child feel! By performing these stretches in the beginning of the lesson will increase the child's desire to be a part of the discussion later on! (Isn't this what we aim for?!)

So what are Guided Math Stretches? First of all, they must be simple because they should not take up a lot of time at the beginning of your math lesson! Another is the students' should be able to complete these stretches independently.

Some examples are:

Data Collection and Analysis: This is like question of the day. The students answer a question and need to respond. Once all have responded a class graph (depending on the age group will determine the graph being used)  is create using the responses. One important thing we must remember, before we use a graph it must have been previously introduced. Once the graph is completed, the class comes together to do some data analysis. Not all stretches will include a pre-made graph, the teacher could ask the students to create their own graph for a stretch.

Number of the Day Stretch: I love this stretch!! I am an advocate for Number Talks and this is an activity that I love to have my students do. Provide them with a chart with a number on it. Have them represent it in as many ways as they know possible. This will vary according to their grade level. Math discussions are a great way to wrap up these stretches! Students will share what they have done, others will agree or disagree and explain why.

What's Next Stretch: Patterns are a vital part of mathematics. What's Next stretches are a pattern that is begun by the teacher. There are lines where the teacher has left off. One line per student. It is the job of the class to finish the pattern together. each student will fill in what they feel comes next. If a student feels another has filled in their spot incorrectly, they discuss this with that student but one must remember the only person who can change an error is the person who made it.

We must train our students to know that a FAIL is not a failure, a FAIL is a First Attempt In Learning!!!!!

How did my Family use Math Last Night?: This is similar to a text self connection in ELA. Here the students need to reflect on what happened at home the night before. Did their family use math and how? Through mathematical discussions, students will be able to make more connections with mathematics and their own life!

_________ Makes me think of Stretch: This can be a review, an introduction or a reflection activity. Whatever mathematical concept you fill in on the line, the students are to write or draw what they know or think when they hear this word. Students then share their words and explain why they wrote them.

So those were some of the stretches you can do in the Guided Math classroom, now for the planning! One must remember that the stretches are brief, to be completed independently, prompt students to think and generate math discussions. Teachers must keep these in mind as well as the standards, the students levels and what they want to be accomplished that day! Remember consistency is the key to success!

The calendar is also discussed in this chapter! I must say, I love my Calendar time. This is when I am able to review and introduce so many skills. It is a great visual for my students. Being a daily routine, students internalize the skills being taught. Money, measurement, place value, months of the year, days of the week as well as number representation are just a few of the concepts that are previewed, reviewed and reflected upon during calendar time!

If you are excited like I am about Guided Math and now stretches, I just purchased a book that is all about Math Stretches written by Laney Sammons. There are 2 versions one for K-2 and one for 3-5. Click on the links below to view and purchase through Amazon.

And now I leave you with a couple of questions to think about!

Now for the fun part! Enter for the giveaway and go visit some of these awesome bloggers' blogs to read about what they thought about Math Stretches!

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  1. I also teach first grade in a team-teaching situation. This will be my second year teaching math, science, social studies while my teammate teaches reading and writing. I absolutely love being able to focus more on math because I feel our students do a better job since I can focus on making sure I teach all aspects of the standards. I was thinking about having my students complete a math stretch as they enter my classroom to begin each session. For example, when group one walks in (we have group 1 and 2), they will know to quickly answer the daily math stretch and then come to the carpet for calendar. I've got lots of decisions to make, but I can't wait to incorporate guided math into my math instruction. Thank you for doing the math study. It's always great to find someone else who is team-teaching in first grade. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. It has been a learning process this year, but I couldn't imagine it any other way :)


    1. I am so glad to find another person who is team teaching in first grade! I am sure i am going to have lots of questions once I start to get into the year! Thank you for visiting my blog!

  2. Thanks for sharing the books! I will be checking them out right now!

    Swinging for Success
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    1. You are so welcome! I actually love the stretch book for grades K-2! Thanks for visiting!