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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Guided Math Book Study: Chapter 2

"Learning At It's Best Is a Social Process"  My students excel when they are working together.  They love math stations because they can work together, help one another, learn and have fun at the same time.  They ask all day "When are Math Stations?" I rotate the pairings each week based on assessments so that they are working with different partners each week.

"Ultimately, Children are Responsible for Their Learning"   One reason I think students like math stations is that they also know what to expect because many of the stations are the same each time they are rotated, they just have the theme changed or they are a tad harder than the set before.   So the stations they had during Halloween time might be the same skills but only more difficult and in a November theme when I switch them out.  They love this because they can concentrate on the task rather than directions each month.  It's also great for me because they have to take ownership of their learning and can't say "I don't know what to do!"  Each time, I may only have to explain one or two new set of directions for the math excuses for not knowing what to do!  I am going to put all of my math stations on sale for 20% off Thursday-Sunday, so go grab them up while they are on sale!  Check them out by clicking HERE!

A lot of focus, especially in the younger grades, is concentrated on literacy instruction.  I know if you were to walk into my classroom you would see a ton of literacy... word walls, vocabulary charts, a ton of books, word family posters, anchor charts.... the list goes on.  I am definitely guilty of a literacy rich environments with math just "thrown" in there as far as displays are concerned.  It's not that I don't love teaching math, because I do!  I think literacy rich classrooms are just embedded in many teachers minds from the time they start education courses.  I think this lack of visual math in the classroom doesn't make students feel they are members of a mathematical learning community.  Math is the subject that is tucked away in a tub, literacy is the subject that has permanent stations sets up around the room.  Through the summer and as I set up my classroom for next year, I plan to make math more of a focus in the classroom.  Math vocabulary walls, number of the day boards, and much more!

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Let me know what you think.... Do you think your students feel they are part of a mathematical environment?  How do you plan to make a mathematical learning community in your classroom next year?  Let me know in the comments!

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