Friday, April 27, 2012

Maths Groups 2B style

Hi all
I've linked up at Corkboard Connections

I've been reading a lot of posts about maths station/centres and I must say, the whole idea of it intrigues me. I do maths groups a little bit differently (remember I'm from a different country - Australia) but I would like to share with you anyway.

I'm a 4 day a week teacher (still on maternity leave) and so to effectively teach our maths program, I am in charge of the outcomes (similar to your standards) which fall under the concept of Number. This includes Whole Number (place value, rounding, estimation, money, ordering numbers, greater/less than), Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division, Fractions and Chance. You can find the document we in New South Wales work by going here.

My maths groups have evolved since I started teaching. I first began implementing maths groups when I was a Year 5 and 6 teacher so obviously this model doesn't work for Year 2!
Each week has a different focus. The kids are divided into 4 groups but the kids in any group can change week to week, based on the assessment of the different strands. The 4 groups go through 4 rotations - still making sense?

Anyway a lesson on any day would look like this
5min - warm-up drill activities (counting, hundreds chart, friends of ten)

15min - teacher guided lesson and introduction/revision of concept for the week. In this time, I would be using the smart board and getting students to assist. It is also a time to get students to ask questions about what they didn't understand the previous day. In this time I would explain what the activities are.

40min - students rotate through all activities. Each group goes to an activity for 10 minutes, then switch. My 4 activities would be- 2 stations which have a hands on game covering the concepts for the week, 1 smart board/computer station with activities to suit the concept and then an independent worksheet to complement what has been taught. I differentiate the hands on activities if I think my lower groups need it, the computer activity would stay the same unless it was a game which gave level choices and there is always differentiated worksheets to cater for both bottom and top.

I am not attached to a group at all. In my time in upper primary I would always take a group myself because I felt that the rest of the class would do what they needed to. With my Year 2's I have found its more beneficial to be able to go where I am needed and this way I check the progress of all groups more regularly.

The last 10 minutes of the lesson are for problem solving. Our school has been focussing on Newman's Analysis approach to problem solving so I would pick a problem to do with the topic and have the kids solve in their books, including drawing a picture.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about some Aussie maths groups.

Click here to get a simple subtraction game I play with my lower students practising subtraction from 10

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