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Do you use Guided Math Groups or Math Stations in your classroom? Have you been thinking of taking the plunge, but don’t know where to get started? I love the idea of breaking up my math block and getting students moving and engaged in math in a variety of approaches, but every time I have tried to implement any kind of math stations I end up drowning in all the work it takes! This year, I am committed to giving it a try again, but I am attacking head on with some organization first!
If you are new to guided math groups or math stations, this is my spin on the M.A.T.H. acronym.
M= Math Game
A= App Practice
T= Teacher Time
H= Hands- On Practice
To read more about what this looks like in my classroom CLICK HERE.
Whenever I get overwhelmed, I find it helps me to start with a plan. I designed a planning template to help me record all of the components of MATH groups. I complete the rotation schedule and groupings based on student needs. To form groups, I usually give a pre-test or use another data point to group students based on need. This allows me to arrange the rotation schedule so that students who are struggling can come to Teacher Time first. My hope is they will be more successful at the following stations if we address any gaps first. The second component I take some time to plan is the actual stations. I only do MATH groups twice a week, with a mini-lesson before and problem solving activities splitting it up on the other days. I use the template to map out all of the activities in one place.
Before starting MATH groups with students, we take some time to discuss expectations for each station. What should students be doing? What should it look like and sound like. We brainstorm a list of class norms for each station and I record them on each poster. Then, I use the posters on a bulletin board to display the groups and rotation schedule.
Cover Sheet Direction Templates
I organize the materials for each station into a plastic tote box. I tape a clear sheet to the lid of each box and then slide in the cover sheet with the directions for each station. To save time and paper, I reuse the same template in the clear sheet each week. I use a a dry erase marker to fill in the specifics for the directions for each station. You could also use the clear acrylic stands to display the directions.