If you know me, you know I am in loooove with Daily 5! Ever since incorporating it into my classroom last year, I have loved seeing the variety of skills and strategies my students are working on each and every day. I also love that the segments are short, so we all stay motivated and the energy for learning stays high.
I have been wanting to redo how I teach math for a while. As a student, I truly adore mathematics, but as a teacher, I was getting bored. Our district was looking into several programs to adopt and I was piloting Everyday Mathematics. It was definitely a change from our old textbook, but I liked how it mixed things up and spiraled around to keep kids fresh on many math concepts.
The district ended up choosing Math Expressions (Please share your experience if you use this!) and this decision allowed me to stop teaching Everyday Mathematics "with fidelity" and monkey around with starting Guided Math/Math Rotations/Small Group Math/Math Centers/etc. for the remainder of this year.
I know there are many ways of doing this, so I am just sharing what I have been trying and what works so far with my schedule. Some of my greatest inspirations are Elizabeth from Fun in 4B and Dana from 3rd Grade Gridiron. I also have TONS of wonderful links with pictures on my Math Pinterest board-- there are so many inspirational teachers out there :) :)
First up, the 3-4 rotations that I use:
- Teacher Time- spent with me on the rug in a small group, ability-based for the unit, learning a new concept.
- Lesson Work- practicing the new skill from Teacher Time (usually book work or a worksheet) independently at their table spot.
- Math Centers- this has been using some of my Word Work Centers as well as my Winter Math Centers.
- Fact Practice- this is the "I'm Done" center for those students who finish Lesson Work early. I also have Fact Practice as a choice for Math Centers. Some days students don't get to this at all, but I'm ok with that since Xtra Math is a part of our Star Homework each night.
I also tried to keep things aligned with how I do Daily 5 in my class. Because that is so successful, I knew it would be easy for my kids (and, to be honest, on me!) if we started it off the same and ran our math time the same, using some of the same activities as well as the same lingo (like Teacher Time).
I began by making an anchor chart of the four rotations as a class:
|To make the smaller signs, I adjusted my print settings to print 2 signs on one sheet.|
We then practiced the bottom two rotations over the course of a few days. Because I started this mid-year, it was very easy to build stamina. I started by dividing the kids into two groups and they practiced either Fact Practice or Math Centers. We then reflected on what worked/what needed improving and tried again. I slowly added Teacher Time and then Lesson Work, so that by the end of the second week, we were in full swing.
To help things along, since the content does change much more often than in D5, I made small signs to hang on my side white board that listed either the learning target or question as well as the assignments and center choices for kids' reference:
|This has been a lifesaver because now students have a quick reference point to not only know what we'll be studying in Teacher Time, but they can manage their own Center and Fact Practice time, therefore not interrupting me during Teacher Time (win!).|
You KNOW I have bookmarks with these rotations, right?! :)
|I need to go to Bookmarks Anonymous ;)|
As with everything, the devil is in the details, so prepping is the key. I spent a looooooong time making sure the kids had activities and trying to account for "dead time"-- thus, the Fact Practice option. I also wanted to make materials accessible and easy to get to, so there wouldn't be any excuse for not getting started right away.
I am currently storing all of the centers and flash cards in my lovely, colorful cart I purchased from Joann's (50% off and free shipping coupon-- woo hoo!)
I will be back soon for more details on how I have been doing Math Centers-- we are using a Bingo Board similar to Word Work and it has worked out well so far.
Do you use Math Rotations or something like it? How's it going?
*UPDATE 2/18/13: These are now available for purchase in my TpT Store HERE. All 7 chevron colors are included for every slide as well as a plain background option. Be sure to download the Preview to see an example :) Thanks for such great feedback- I hope you enjoy using these in your class :) :)