Saturday, October 15, 2011

Everyday Math Daily Schedule That Works For Me

I have finally found it! (I believe the Hallelujiah Chorus should be playing in the background here.) I have found a daily schedule for Everyday Math that is really working for me and 24 4th graders.

If you are a teacher then you hear all the time that you should be differentiated more for you students. It will never be enough, but I do try. Last year I divided my class into 3 groups for math and tried to do three 25 minute rotations with a 10 min. introduction at the beginning and a 5 minute wrap up at the end. So basically I tried to teach the main lesson 3 times quickly everyday. It did NOT work!

This summer it just came to me. . . I would teach the main lesson to every one and then meet with 3 groups based on what they needed next for about 15 minutes each. My first group is the one that needs the most direction--they usually get a good 20 minutes with me. Often we are doing "independent" parts of the lesson together. I am also redirecting and refocusing that groups the most. At the same time group Group 2 is playing one of the games or doing a practice activity--sometimes just fact triangles. Group 3, the students who most benefit from struggling through to come up with good mathematical thinking are at their seats doing the independent part of the lesson and Math Boxes. This is the place where students also check their Math Boxes independently. (Above you can see how simple the Math Box check station is on the front of a cupboard.) I meet with them last and usually have the shortest time with them, and sometimes they are getting enrichment or an extra difficult challenge.

This is not a perfect system, but the majority of kids are benefiting more than any other way I've taught Everyday Math. I have to be creative with time. Math Lesson and Rotation 1 are at the same time block, but the other 2 Rotations are at completely different times of the day. We do NOT do Rotations every day--usually 4 days a week. Sometimes we have Math Lab Days (like Science Lab days) where we practice, investigate, and catch up.

I'd love to hear from other teachers how Everyday Math is working in your classroom.

1 comment:

  1. This is my first year teaching 4th grade and my first year using Everyday Math. I'm intrigued by your rotations scheme, and just wondering how much of your day is devoted to math overall? Also for the math boxes, are the students checking their work against something, or with a partner, or in some other way? There are elements of the program that I love, and elements that I am really struggling with as a first year teacher. Thanks for any input you have!