Right now I teach reading in small groups. Students rotate through teacher group, seatwork, and center time with 20 minutes at each. I would really like to teach math in small groups, too, but it's all I can do to juggle the management with the reading! There have to be other third grade teachers out there that teach reading and math in small groups. Where are you? And how do you do it without going crazy and/or giving up having any semblance of a life outside of school?

I searched the boards for the subject small group math, and nothing I read there satisfied my need. I'll be checking back regularly. I just believe there has to be a good way, and SOMEBODY on here has it!

I do small group math. Not every day, but when I feel that I either need to teach something new to a smaller group or if I need to reteach to a particular group of students. I set up centers in my class where students rotate. They have to complete different tasks at different centers. For example I might have addition problems, counting money, using the hundred's charts and patterns, etc as different stations. Pretty much, I create some sort of task for them to complete at each center and then when I ring the bell, they rotate. It works great and it allows me to work with my struggling learners while other students are reinforcing skills previously taught. Hope this helps.

I have always had to group for math. Once I have taught the lesson and most of the class is working independently, I start to pull some of my students to come work with me based on where their weakness might be. Even if it is only 15 minutes it does a "world of heal" for those who don't get things right away. These groups (students) will change from concept to concept because I have found they are all not weak in the same area. Sometimes I have to individualize their homework, as well. Working with them in small groups is really no different than walking around checking as they are working. Hope this helps.

Here's what's working for me right now: a 3-way rotation system.

1) I teach the new lesson (10-15 minutes direct instruction and whole-class guided practice)

2) First rotation: high group does independent practice medium group does a math center (simple math facts games and other stuff that doesn't take hours of prep for me), and low group meets with me for 20 minutes.

3) Second rotation: high group does math centers, medium group meets with me, low group does their independent practice (which we start when I work with them for the first 20 minutes)

4) Third rotation: high group does a Challenge activity, medium group does their independent practice, low group checks in with me (reteach if needed) and then does math centers.

This has made a big difference in students' math performance just in the last week! Message me if you have any specific questions. Good luck!

So, do you have 75 minutes of math?
15 min. instruc. then 20 min. x 3 groups?
I don't have 75 minutes, and I teach 4th grade! I really need to group them, though.

We usually spend about 75 minutes on math, yeah. We started out with only an hour, but that just isn't long enough. Our class is pretty low academically, and we were rushing through everything whole-class and still watching them fail tests/quizzes, so we decided to make extra time for it. For us, that means we only do science/social studies on certain days once every week or two (we do theme days and pack a lot into that time), because those are the subjects they're not tested on and are lowest on the priority list for us. It's hard because of course, we're supposed to teach every standard in every subject area; but they're not going to get failing grades every successive year if they can't name all the Native American tribes in the area, whereas if they don't master the basic math concepts, they'll struggle every single year afterward. That's my reasoning, anyway, but I know it's difficult!

For reading they rotate through me and 2 centers. One center is always SSR. The other centers rotate between a language arts skill, spelling, and grammar. I teach a whole group language arts lesson and a whole group grammar lesson twice a week and do centers the other 3 days. When they are at centers they are doing the skills from the lessons.

For math, I have 3 levels of students. I always work with my lowest group first to make sure that they have the guidance they need. My higher students can figure some things out themselves. My students rotate to me and 2 centers. One center is Folders/Journal. Students either have seat work related to the skill of the day or another skill that they are having trouble with and a journal entry. The journal is either a more complex word problem that needs to be answered by explaining each step or a question obout why we study math or how we use it. If they finish that they can go to an extra center. THey also have a specific center that they must go to. I have Versa Tiles, Challenge 24, File Folders, games, Flip books and many others. They all have a schedule of when they will be where. The system works if you are organized. Remember you can keep stuff so when the lower group get to lesson 40 you have the assignments that you gave to the higher group to use. After about 3 weeks the work doesn't seem nearly as overwhelming to you. I have specific directions written down in their folders as to what to do at each center. They are fairly independent at this point. I spent a week at the beginning just teaching the centers. If I introduce a new center I teach that as the lesson for that day to an individual group. I find that this works great because it allows my students that get it quicker to move at their pace and those who struggle in math can get the extra help they need.

Thanks so much to everyone who replied. Several good ideas. I think centers will help, but managing who's been where and done what can be overwhelming. I am sifting through all the ideas here to come up with something that will work for me. Part of my problem is that I have a cluster of gifted students in my room, so I really don't want them to be bored, and I need to stretch them in math while others are average to below average and need individualized help.

I've done the small group thing for two days now, and I'm already feeling like I'm in over my head, but I have noticed that the kids benefit and like it. I still have 5, though, that I haven't had a chance to work with in the small group setting. They want their turn!