Well, I am posting a question to any bloggers out there who are following me or
stalking, errr reading but have not yet signed up as a follower :-P. I was on social media tonight and read a post about Guided Math. This is something I have tried to do the past few weeks in my classroom. I don’t know about the rest of you, but WOW is my class all over the board in math! It is quite frightening. I am trying to do whole group Common Core Math for about 45 minutes a day. I would love a full hour, but can’t find the time. We are told we HAVE to follow the Engage NY Math Modules. Don’t get me wrong – I do like how the children get a deeper understanding of what multiplication actually is, but I do feel there comes a point when you just have to memorize your facts.
Anywhoooo, welcome to my world. I use the Math 4 square for spiral review. This is their homework every night. They have 4 problems to solve. Then, on Fridays it has a quiz that reviews the problems. We go over the problems the next day together . If I need to, I do a mini lesson. It is SUPPOSED to be spiral review. Right now the skills are addition, subtraction, and rounding. They all should have been taught in second grade. Over half of mine are still struggling with these skills. However, they seem to be understanding the whole group multiplication stuff. I KNOW! I am thoroughly confused. I have decided to try to address the lack of skill with addition and subtraction to try Guided Math. While kids are in math centers I am meeting with a group to review skills. Believe me, right now I am using free stuff on TeachersPayTeachers.com. I have some great bump games that involve just dice, counters, and a nice game board you print off and either have laminated or thrown in a plastic sleeve. They can either play addition bump, subtraction bump, or multiplication bump. Another center is literally iPads. Right now I just have some math apps like fact quizzer. They do like this. Another center might be believe it or not, making flash cards and then playing teacher/student with your partner. They love this and honestly it is good practice. Sad as it may seem, these are things that are not happening at home. I also have some rounding games, clock scoot games, etc. Like I said I am just now trying this out. I do see an improvement though with my struggling students. They are the ones I meet with the most. Usually it is to go over an exit ticket from whole group instruction, to reteach a concept, etc. My teacher group changes daily depending on what I see in the classroom.
So, enter tonight. I read a post about this http://www.zearn.org site. I highly suggest you check it out. I did sign up and hope to set up my classroom tomorrow. I want to use their computer lab log in and passwords to make it easier for the kids. But from what the site says it is aligned with the NYS Engage NY modules! I really think it will help my students. Also, it is differentiated in the sense that the students will be able to watch videos on the concepts, and it moves at their pace. Bonus, I can log in and see how they are doing. What scares me, is that it says the kids should be on it for about thirty minutes three times a week. This is great for my high kids, but not sure how it will work for my low ones. If they are with me, it may not work. And I am not sure I can put them on learn if they are not ready for third grade skills yet. Do you see my dilemma?
I am now asking any of you – have you tried it or heard of it? Any thoughts or suggestions? I am going to create a class roster tomorrow and I am going to make a fake student which will be me – haha. Then I want to fiddle with it. I am thinking if I look at it we can start using it after Thanksgiving Break. YES – that break is coming up soon! What I do like about it, is it gives me even more data to see how the kids are doing. Each of my students does have an IXL account, which I do think benefits my younger students as I can put them back a grade level.
So that is it for tonight. It is a new program I discovered, yet I do not know much about it. Anyone else want to check it out and tell me what you think? By the way it is FREE! FREE is what we teachers like to hear!
I will keep you posted!
Have a great night!