Teaching in High Heels

Friday, March 2, 2012

Guest Blogger..Christina

Hi everyone!  
My name is Christina and I'm visiting from Second Grade Sugar and Spice! I'm *so* excited and honored to be Gladys' guest blogger today and eager to share some ideas with you! Before we start, I would be wrong not to say "Happy Birthday!" to our dear friend, Dr. Seuss! I'll start my post by sharing a quick Seussy freebie with you in celebration of his birthday! :)  
Today, I want to share a little about my Daily 3 Math routine with you.  I know most of you use The Daily 5 literacy routine in your classrooms. The Daily 5 was developed by The Sisters, who are actually working on a book for math that follows The Daily 5 structure for reading.    
They have started to share bits and pieces of their math routine on their website. After waiting a while, I realized I would have to piece together what they have so far and come up with my own version until the book comes out (which will immediately go on my must-read list!).  
Last year was my first year in second grade, and I was new to the curriculum. After the first quarter, I was very unhappy with my students' test scores and math achievement. Was I not good at teaching second grade?! Was I not teaching the concepts in a way that was understandable to my students? After I stopped panicking, I realized my students were getting loads of small group differentiation in every aspect of literacy within my room- guided reading, individual reading conferences, writing workshop meetings and mini-lessons, and even differentiated spelling groups. What was I doing in math? - whole group learning. That was not going to cut it for me. And it was not reaching all of my learners. Daily 3 math was the same answer for my math scores as Daily 5 was for my students' reading achievement. 

I have 3 "choices" in math: Math by Myself, Math with Someone, and Math on Computers.  In addition to these three choices, I have a Math with Teacher component, which I pre-pick each week based on my students' needs. In my Daily 5 reading routine, I meet with three reading groups each day. Unfortunately, I only have time to meet with two small math groups a day right now. One day, I hope to change that. For now, I'll take what I can get! :)
So what are students doing while I work with my small groups in math? They are engaged in much the same way my students are in Daily 5 -doing math stuff! Before we started making math choices, we created and reviewed I-Charts in the same way we did for Daily 5. The Sisters have their I-Charts for math on their website videos. (Please note that you do need a subscription to view some of their videos.)

Math By Myself:  Students first complete our math journal pages from today's whole group mini-lesson. Then, if time remains within the round, they take a Math by Myself game from our red bookshelf and work on it quietly at their desk, or somewhere around the room. Above, you can see that I divided my math games into two colors.  Blue bins=By myself games. These include games such as Domino Train, Math Facts, Tangrams, Memory Math games, Number Order (arrange cards and count by 2s, 3s, 4s, 7s, etc.), and lots and lots of math task cards they can complete in their notebooks.   

Math With Someone:  When students choose Math With Someone, they choose from the green bins and play a game with a partner. These games change throughout the year, ranging from review games to a game that covers a current topic we are studying. Some of my games are from The Sisters website such as Poison and Bump. Others include games I find from wonderful bloggers such as yourself, games I create, or games I find in our math series. Some of my favorites are Base Ten Exchange, Coin Exchange, and Addition and Subtraction war games. 

Math On Computer: This choice is pretty self-explanatory. I have a folder on my student desktops filled with online games I have found for my students to play. Most of these games are review games throughout the year. One of my struggling students is using a program called MobyMath, an intervention program, during our Daily 3 "Math On Computer" time. 
My students each get a "Math Contract" that is similar to their Daily 5 charts. Students cross out the choices they make throughout the week and write the game they played in the box.  
My "Meet With Teacher" schedule is on my Smart board each day. Students meeting with me know ahead of time.

My system isn't perfect -at all.  I'm constantly trying to figure out an organizational system for keeping all of my games straight. (Until I win the lottery, I cannot afford a separate bin for every different game.) And, in my dream world, I would have another big magnetic board to create a Daily 3 math "CAFE" board just like The Sisters have. But until then, I have noticed a dramatic increase in my students' math achievement and I'm excited about what the future for my Daily 3 math can hold!  
Thank you so much for letting me be a guest blogger on Teaching in High Heels with Gladys! I had SO much fun and enjoyed sharing my math routine with you! :) If you have any questions or would just like to visit my blog and find some great freebies, you can find me at Second Grade Sugar and Spice. I'd love to hear from all of you! 
Happy Learning! :) 
Second Grade Sugar and Spice

Thanks for being a guest blogger, Christina! I love the way you have structured your math block.
You gave me lots of ideas to try with my sweet Firsties.
Thanks for sharing it with us!



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