math in the morning

Every morning I have out my giant journal (chart paper), strategy posters (mini-sized) and journal prompt ready to go. I meet with half of my class who will be working in their journals and model the prompt and the strategy before we begin guided math for the day. The rest of the class is doing quiet reading and finishing up their morning procedures.

Their journals are stored by group for easy access in these pink bins that I got from the Dollar Tree. They turn them into this white basket after we are done sharing for the day. This basket sits right next to my desk. 
Confession: if its not in front of my nose…
I won’t remember to do it. 
Lesson learned, things get turned in right to my space. I check, flip their bookmarks and lay them out on their tables for the next morning. They return them to their group basket after checking their entry to see what I responded with. I also leave bookmarks on the red side (which is a good visual for me) if any need to be redone.
  
Since my first post on guided math, I’ve updated how I make my journal prompts as far as format. Now they are square shaped in order to have visuals as part of the directions. My kinders with the least strong math skills do have the most difficulty with the prompts. Sometimes I create differentiated prompts, but they do need exposure to problem solving just as the others do. (And often, that’s what they have difficulty with) 
Looking towards next year – I’d love to create one more zone so that I can no longer be an assigned “teacher zone” but so that I can create mixed groupings of different leveled kids, so that they can better support each other during this time. Then I can also pull groups based on their needs and also then spend more time working with those kinders who need 1:1 in the problem solving in their journals. 
Right now my groups are: recording zone (journaling), practice (games/activities), technology (interactive standards based websites) and teacher zone (me). Any ideas on creating a fourth and different type of zone for kinders to practice independently and learn math in a different way? The only other thing I have thought of is using books… but I’m unsure of the logistics of that and keeping kinders engaged with a smaller range of math literature. I’m open to ideas if you have any to share! I love teaching math this way and its the first time ever that I’ve loved teaching math. 

More Guided Math

I know that tweaking it could help, so if you have ideas – share!

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- Leslie

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About Leslie atKindergartenWorks

Leslie is the author of KindergartenWorks. She teaches kindergarten students how to be pretty incredible along with teaching them to read, write and think for themselves. She enjoys graphic design, learning new things and sharing with teachers. Google+

  • Jeanette Cordova

    Hi! I’ve been following (and loving) your blog for a long time, particularly all of your wonderful information on guided math. I was curious to know whether you ever decided to add one more zone, and if you are still working with a math group yourself while all of the other groups are going on.

    • http://www.kindergartenworks.com Leslie @KindergartenWorks

      Hi Jeanette, Thanks for asking for an update! I haven’t made the changes necessary this year, but I truly wish I had implemented a new zone since I have 27 this year with a larger number of more students needing support. They indeed each have separate strengths and having the opportunity to pull them in different groupings would be more ideal. I did realize that I could split my practice zone into 2 different kinds of activity sets in order to make it happen! Wish I would’ve realized that sooner in the school year when I was organizing my math materials for the entire year! Guess it’s never to late to try it! {wink}Thank you for being a long time follower – email me sometime for a guided math freebie for being such a loyal reader! I’ve got your back.
      - Leslie

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