Hi. I am a fourth grade teacher that has been using Everyday Math for several years. Even though it is not recommended, we were teaching using flexible grouping. We had a high, 2 middle, and a low group. This year we stopped that and now we are all wondering how to do this in our class. Does anyone have any suggestions? Do you use Math Cafe? I have students that can't add 7 + 4 without using their fingers as well as students that can do a mad minute in 30 seconds. Any help would surely be appreciated. Thanks.

I'm curious as to why you aren't doing flexible groupings any more. My team would love to have math groups, but our principal doesn't approve. We have a meeting coming up with an EDM consultant, and we will be asking her about this. I really like EDM, but I feel the low students get lost, and I feel like I"m holding back my top kids.

One thing you group your children within your own class. You can have your high children stay for Math message and follow ups. Then when it comes to the journal pages tell them to do them on their own for the lesson. If they do not get it and are unsure then come back to the lesson and follow along with you. If they are totally comfortable and finish the journal pages they move on to the enrichment pages.

The children who are really low can work with you during small group and also use the remedial pages.

I also try to do a "flex day" every Friday. On this day my children are in all different groups. three or four. I have one group doing remedial work with me (either readiness pages or pre-teaching something that is coming up or doing a game together). The other children are doing enrichment pages, checking boxes, playing a game for reinforcement.

I find that EDM is A LOT of work to get through in one lesson that I rarely get to all of it and love having that one day to do more practice and catch up.

One way you can decide who your high kids are (the ones that don't sit with you for the lesson but do it independently and go on to enrichment pages) is give them a pre-test before the unit begins. The ones that know the majority of it can go on, or u can choose students based on each lesson and if they already knew it on the pretest they can do the enrichment pages during your lesson.

Not sure if I confused you anymore. Does that help a little?

http://hill.troy.k12.mi.us/staff/bnewingham/myweb3/
Here is what Beth does and I tried it out and I'm going to try and do it at least once a week. I was able to help students in small groups and everyone was able to play the game also!
* Look under academics- then math workshop

Thanks. No, you didn't confuse me because we do groups for reading. This is new to me because I have always done the math boxes with the whole group but I can change that. I also have enrichment pages so I guess I'm set to go. I just sometimes doesn't feel fair to work so much with the struggling students and not spend the same amount teaching enrichment.

Our principal decided to make the change. He thinks that it will help the lower students rise to the role models. The EDM consultant does not agree with grouping and stated that the program is not set up to do that. The only ones that liked it were the teachers and students. We did it that way for many years. There was enough differentiation in even the lowest group. Every student has different strengths. We all stayed on the same chapter, especially in the beginning and moved students if necessary.

during the class period. However, Sometimes, often, I do not to them because there is so much to cover. SO I do it during my guided groups at a different time during the day, or on Fridays when I am working with the children. I use the games for the skills they are struggling with.

First - I agree with your principal. I was in a building that did flexible grouping for math for a few years and I LOVED it. Then we were given the same reasoning you were given, and had to stop the grouping. Once again, when I had my own class back and math was no longer stuck in the limited 50 minute slot, I could take as much time as we needed, I realized that I loved that too! I can see the benefit of both, but I realized that the math workshop style as set up in the link above is truly the best of both worlds.

The nice thing I found is that Beth Newingham has it set up so well USING Everyday math, so for me, it was just plugging in the 4th grade curriculum to her structure!

I read what Beth does and also Angela Bunyi, but it seems that the advanced kids just get more work to do than the other kids just because they are capable. They are not really learning anything they don't already know. It's almost a punishment for them. I don't know, what do you think?

Last edited by Dina; 10-08-2010 at 05:44 PM..
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