Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Guided Math Conferences Book Study Chapter 1

I do not know what happened but when you pull up my first post for this book, all you get is the linky. Here is my post on chapter 1

I am so excited to be linking up for another book study on Guided Math. This is an amazing way to teach math in your classroom. The first book study was about the process of Guided Math and what is Guided Math. This book study is focusing on the conferencing part of the Guided Math process. This is the book we are reading! It is written by the Guided Math Guru, Laney Sammons. She also wrote the first book we have been sharing with you!

So What is a Guided  Math Conference? The author Laney Sammons explains to the readers that a guided math conference is a one on one conversation with students about their math work. They have to have a purpose, a predictable structure, students lines of thinking are pursued, teachers and students both have roles, and teachers show the students that they care. This is found on page 16 of this book! 

What do Guided Math Conferences do? They:
1. support the learning of new concepts
2. assist us in meeting the unique needs of each student
3. extend and deepen the understanding of numeracy. 
4. help students develop the mathematical concepts and understanding they will need to perform everyday skills and tasks.
5. assist the student in verbally explaining and understanding the mathematical concepts
6. assist the student in communication about math

There are three different ways that we meet with our students for math. We need to make sure that we truly understand the difference in each of these meetings. The three ways are: conferences, math interviews and small group instruction.

Math Conferences versus Math Interviews

First, both of these are done one on one and yes they both provide us with some useful information but the difference is the math interview is not a part of the Guided Math process. The math interview is focused on a task given by the teacher to the student. The interview provides you with information about that task. similar to assessment and it provides you with information to shift your instruction when needed but the conference provides an overall picture. Also, since the conferences are not long, they are easily performed more frequently.  Feedback is provided during conferences not the interviews and the teacher is learning the successes and weaknesses of the student. 

Laney Sammons says that the major functions of the conference are AssessmentFeedback and Instruction! Love this!

Math Conferences versus Small Group Instruction

Both are essential parts of Guided Math and they both provide us with valuable information for differentiating instruction. 
The differences are many. Let's see:
1. small group involves 2 to 6 students where conferences involve only 1
2. small group instruction has a minilesson as well as tasks for the students to do where the focus of the conference is to provide immediate feedback.  A learning strategy may be introduced during conferences.
3. Length of the two is different. Small group lasts about 15 minutes where the conferences last about 5 minutes. 
4. Small group focuses on a skill the group is having difficulty with where the conference focuses on the current work of the student.

The conferences have a structure. It is important to follow the structure in order for the conferences to be successful. The structure of a Guided Math Conference is:
* research the understandings and the skills of the students
* Decide what is needed 
* Teach to student needs
* Link to the future

There are several different types of Guided Math Conferences. each type focuses on something different. Here are the different types:

Compliment Conferences- focus is to motivate the students
Comprehension Conferences- focus is on extending the understanding of the mathematical concepts
Skill Conferences- focus is on assessing the skills and extending them. Both process and computational skills.
Problem Solving Conferences- focus is to explore the student's problem solving skills and strengthen their strategies
Self Assessment and Goal Setting- The teacher and students focus on the progress of the student together and establish goals.
Recheck Conferences-  The focus is on checking to see if the students is using the skills they have been provided.

Conferences provide us with a wonderful opportunity to see what the students are successful with an what they need assistance with. They are a time where we can sit and have some meaningful communication with our students!

I am so excited to have read this chapter and begin the journey of Guided Math in my classroom. 

The hosts for this chapter are Thinking of Teaching and Primary Inspired! Click on their names to read their awesome posts and insights of this chapter. There are also other awesome educators who linked up so be sure to read what they have to share as well!

An InLinkz Link-up

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