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Introducing Introducing New Math Concepts in Small Group vs Whole Class

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 Teacherly Joined: Feb 2011 Posts: 2 New Member
Teacherly

Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 2
New Member
Introducing Introducing New Math Concepts in Small Group vs Whole Class
02-11-2011, 07:04 PM
 #1

I recently read a post from a teacher about this, and of course, cannot locate it now. In essence, what I recall is that this teacher introduces new math concepts ONLY in small, homogenious groups. I thought that would be an interesting thing to try, but don't quite get the mechanics. What do the other students do during this time? I'm assuming the ones who get the introduction follow on with independent work or something, but what about the ones who have not yet received the instruction? What are group sizes? Do you rotate through all the groups the same day so the whole class is on the same lesson? This sounds just like "centers" for primary kids, except that the difference is that it is done in a core subject and new concepts are introduced instead of typical centers which primarily provide enrichment. I teach first grade. Is there anyone out there that can give me some pointers? I'd sure appreciate it!

 Ollie1 Joined: Aug 2010 Posts: 199 Full Member
Ollie1

Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 199
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Just started this in my class...
02-13-2011, 09:17 AM
 #2

I teach fourth grade and my team just started using this type of rotation this past week. Our math groups were already grouped according to ability, so within that group, I have formed 3 small groups with 7 kids in each group. I meet with each group for 15 minutes each, introducing the new core concept. Each group receives the same lesson, but I can differentiate it a bit according to each group's needs. While I'm meeting with the core group, the other 2 groups are working on math fluency activities. I have one group partnering up within their small group to practice math flash cards and the other small group is working on a practice page of math fluency such as division or multiplication. I have put these pages in plastic "sleeves" that the kids work on using thin expo markers, so I will not have to make tons of copies. The flashcards are in a basket at one table and the practice handout in sleeves are in another basket at another table. The supplies stay put and the groups rotate clockwise around the room. My team considered have the other 2 groups work on review concepts that we've already taught this year, and that may come in time, but for now we must wanted to get it up and running, getting the students used to our expectations during the rotation time. A couple of times this week I did send the group I was working with to the next station and asked them to complete the handout that we had been working on together instead of practicing the flash cards at that rotation. Plus, our fourth graders unfortunately still do need to practice their math facts, because without that, they have no foundation for future concepts. I hope this helps!

 JoSo Joined: Apr 2010 Posts: 122 Full Member
JoSo

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 122
Full Member
homogenious pairs
02-13-2011, 05:57 PM
 #3

I don't necessarily do small group lessons. I teach through contextual problems and my students work in homogeneous pairs to solve the problem. After they work on the problem we do a math congress and discuss the strategies. As students are working I go around and ask them questions, guide their thinking with questions and see what strategies I want presented. Before students work on the problem I sometimes do small mini computation lessons, where they work on mental calculations. I also reinforce facts with math games which they play with their partners.

Great resource on this is Cathy Fosnot's Young Mathematicians at work. She has a book for addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, fractions/decimals/percentages, and patterning/algebra. She has units as well.

I have done this approach with grade 1 all the way to 5. It works really well in grade one cause they have no real math context to refer to and everything is exploration. Hope that might help.

 missmizufuka Joined: Sep 2010 Posts: 48 Junior Member
missmizufuka

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 48
Junior Member

02-15-2011, 07:53 PM
 #4

I do something very similar to Ollie1. I have my students split into 3 homogenious groups about 6-7 in each group. I sometimes change the groups around depending on what their pretests look like. I'm very fortunate because I have 8 computers in my room so this is a 'station'. They will be on some kind of website that reinforces the skill being taught (fractions, multilications, etc)...I have another center that they have worksheets and already typed directions for every skill taught during third grade--this is where they brush up on old material (well not old but things we don't really have time to review daily). Then lastly they come to see me...they all learn the same thing but I am able to differentiate based on their needs..after me they go and do independent work on whatever was taught. They will be at each center for about 20 minutes..when the timer goes off they clean up and rotate quietly. Any unfinished work becomes work for later. They are awesome

 MissS Joined: Jul 2009 Posts: 183 Full Member
MissS

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 183
Full Member
small groups
03-20-2011, 02:42 PM
 #5

I've got a multi-grade classroom and once you get into the flow of it, the children in the other groups should be working on follow-up work while you are teaching others. My children constantly have follow-up work...rarely is there a time where there isn't something they have to work on so they sit and work on that stuff while I'm teaching...There are times where my groups can be made of 2-3 children, or possibly 9-11....it varies by the subject being taught.

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