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.
Because of time constraints, I could only divide up my class into three groups, so that really limited my use of the cute M-A-T-H or B-U-I-L-D centers that are out there. I just couldn’t imagine trying to have super-short Teacher Times or trying to spread one lesson across two days 🙁 With three groups, I am able to meet with kids for 15-20ish minutes and that seems to be just right 🙂
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).