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Guiding Math: A Workshop Model for Teaching

I love student-centered, problem-based learning so when Deedee and I sat down to design our Guiding Kinders and Guiding Firstie Math units, I knew the activities would have to be hands-on!

Our lessons follow the workshop format. 
Each lesson has five components.

This part of the lesson is a warm up that will help our students build their fluency for various math skills.  It will usually involve flash cards and the focus is on speed and accuracy.  

We introduce and model new concepts and skills through 
a mini lesson. 

The teacher and students will work together as a group to actively explore the concept that was introduced

This quote...Love!
“Math is not about numbers or the right answer.
Math is about discovery.
and exploring different ways of thinking.
It’s about teaching your students that they can solve anything.
And giving them the tools to make it possible.”

 Our units employ cooperative learning opportunities.  First the teacher introduces a concept, then the students work with a partner to explore and practice the concepts being learned.

 “Enabling students to learn with understanding depends heavily on the opportunities that a teacher provides to his or her students.”
E. Fagan, 2005

I am going to borrow some photos from Deedee Wills to show you how we organize our math tool kits.

 What is inside?:  Inside the tool kit, I have everything we will need (minus the manipulatives).   Math talk cards, 10 frames, and smaller pieces are kept in the zipper pouch.  All of the math work mats and talk cards are in our Guiding Kinders math series.  The dry erase marker is also kept in this pouch.

These can be used to organize any math tool resources, regardless of the program you use.
 During our math workshop, students work in pairs.   Each set of partners are assigned to one tool kit.

 Our Math Workshop is hands-on and we wanted them to have easy access to the tools they would need.  Having them all together made perfect sense.

Each tool kit is numbered.  Everyday the same partners get the same kit.  In this way, if one group is rough on a set or if pieces go missing, I only have to deal with one binder not 10.  
 You can download your FREE version of the Math Toolkit binder cover by clicking HERE.

The students will independently complete a task that will allow them to apply the new concepts that were taught.

This is our “math talk” time.  It allows for the students to orally share with a partner and discuss what they learned. 

Our units are packed.  However, teachers have also requested additional practice and station activities so we created  supplements to the units.  Unit 6 will remain discounted until 2/2/16.

You can find the Kindergarten Bundle HERE.
You can find the First Grade bundle HERE.

Here are the links to the math units:


Arctic Animals: Polar Bears and Walruses

We have always loved learning about polar bears and animals that live in the Arctic.  

 This graphic organizer is an oldie but a goodie!

And their learning transfers into their informational writing beautifully!

Here are a few throwback pics

Comparing and Contrasting Polar Bears & Walruses using a venn diagram.  
EXCUSE the fact that it says, live in Antarctica!  Mercy!  I didn't even realize I had made the mistake until a sweet person told me.  Ya know how your brain just kicks into auto?  As a class we read these together and we read, lives in the Arctic.  (didn't even notice the mistake).   In fact, when we read it the kids immediately broke out in song,  "The polar bear lives in the Arctic.  He never gets cold in a storm...."

A close up of the Polar Bear glyphs!  So stinkin' cute if I do say so myself!  :)

The resources above came from this unit.  You can find it by clicking on the image or clicking HERE.
Note: The above unit will be updated this summer.  :)
If you own it make sure you check back for all the new goodies!

 Have a great day!

Please feel free to share this image on Pinterest.


Writer's Workshop: Writing Through the Year FREEBIE

 Sometimes it can be a challenge to organize your curriculum in a way that is easy to use.
Deedee Wills and I have been working on reorganizing and updating our writing workshop units.

 I prefer to keep my units in these 2" binders.  You can find the spine labels HERE.

 I will walk you through a unit to show you how it's organized.

Each unit starts with a unit overview.

 You can also easily see the standards that are addressed in the unit.

 A writing continuum is provided so you can see where your students fall in their writing development.  This is especially helpful during writing conferences and when you are working on setting writing goals.

 Each unit contains an updated rubric specific to that unit of study.  
There is one for emergent writers (kindergarten).

And another one for early writers (1st Grade).

You can also create a classroom chart so student-lead goals can be selected.  These goals are aligned to the rubric.

 Each day contains a scripted lesson plan that is very easy to implement.

 Kid-friendly anchor charts are easy to use... just print and teach!

Conferring helpful hints are also included.

At the close of each unit, I would collect the writing samples from the students and we would create a unit book.   I would retain one writing piece for their writing portfolio and the rest would be sent home.   A unit specific parent letter explains what lessons were taught during the month.  
My student's parents loved it!

This is what the cover of our book looked like. There are several grade level options for the cover as well as a black and white version of each.

Each unit has a wide range of paper options.

 And resources to help support the writer.

Mentor texts can be added to each binder.  Then when it is time to teach that unit, all of the resources are at your fingertips!

Some books (like How To Draw books) are used through out the year.  So I created a special bin just for them.

I love watching the growth of young writers.  When students are given the freedom to select their own topic,  magical things can happen.  This piece was done during our informational text unit and it me smile.

Princesses live in a castle.  Princess wear dresses.

A princess rides in a carriage.  And they go to a ball.

The princess is looking for a prince.   HA!

I am a princess too!
You can grab the Mentor Text List by clicking HERE or on the picture below.

We just finished updating Unit 7 and it will be uploaded to TPT on Saturday, 1/23.
Unit 8 will be updated next!  

By April 1st,  we will be adding an additional unit.  It will focus entirely on opinion writing!  If you already have the bundle you will be able to get the additional unit at no additional charge.  

So get the bundle now while it is at its lowest price!


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