First of all, thank you so much to those of you that are following my new blog. I appreciate your patience and support as I learn the ropes. One thing that I'm really enjoying about blogging is connecting with teachers and sharing ideas as part of the Guided Math book study.
With that said, here we go! :-)
1) The first thing that I really appreciated about this chapter was the immediate parallel that Sammons drew between guided reading and guided math. I think that this will go along way to make teachers (myself included) feel less intimidated by guided math. Many of the routines we already have in place for guided reading can easily be modified to be appropriate for guided math.
2) The 7 foundational principles of a guided math classroom: All of these principles can be classified as best practices. Students should work together, talk together, actively be involved in mathematics, and have a teacher that is ready to model, model, model.
3) I enjoyed how Sammons addressed equity, stating that the different components of guided math help teachers to "provide scaffolding and support for all learners based on their needs" (39). In this way, all students can be taught with equity rather than equality.
4) I think that the importance of communication (oral and written) in math cannot be overstated. As Sammons points out, although we realize the importance of math communication, it unfortunately has played "such a limited role in elementary-school mathematics instruction" (39). I have only ever taught students who were learning English as a second language, so I can say with utmost confidence that achieving communication across the disciplines for these students is all about building confidence. Students should be offered low-risk opportunities to communicate, so that they may begin to feel more and more comfortable with communicating and sharing in class.
5) Classroom arrangement: I'm so excited to be reading this book now. I'm one of the lucky (cursed?) teachers who keeps moving schools/classrooms, so this August, I will once again have the opportunity to build my room from scratch, arranging everything the way that I want it. I'm making myself a mental note now to make sure that it is all set up for guided math. Additionally, Sammons has helped me with the arrangement of my student desks. I have always done groups in the past, but was considering rows this year (all of my teammates seat their students in rows). I have decided to stick with groups and now I have the justification for it- yay!!!
6) A numeracy-rich environment: Wow, did this section have a lot to offer!!! I like that Sammons teased many things that she will cover in more detail in later chapters (it just motivates me to keep. on. READING!!!). This year is going to be a bit "funky" in math because my district is moving towards a more problem-based approach, and until I attend training on it next month, I'm completely in the dark. I do know that many, many manipulatives will be involved, but that's pretty much it. I would still like to do a problem of the day if I can. I imagine that the new math curriculum will work well with math word walls, math journals, and graphic organizers. Especially exciting, is that my district has just adopted Thinking Maps, so I know that graphic organizers can be easily incorporated into our math time.
I feel like this blog post is just dropping off, but in closing, I'll just say that I'm looking forward to reading and discussing chapter 3. Thanks for reading!!!