Have you been told you need to get your math lesson down to fifteen minutes because you have to see your lowest 25% every…single…day?
Don’t worry. Me too.
I was told that I need to get my math block into concise rotations which lead to my love of Guided Math (scroll down to read about that). I was also told I need to see my lowest 25% of my students. In case you don’t have it, it’s the lowest 25% of the ENTIRE grade and you have a certain amount of students that fall into that lowest 25%. You have to see every one of your reading and math lowest 25% every day. A normal classroom has about 8-10 of their students that they HAVE to see. This year… I have 16 out of my 24 kids that fall under the lowest 25%.
What in the world was I going to do? I was practically in tears when I found out. I had no idea how I was going to make sure I saw ALL of my kids every day in math and make sure they also took notes. Have you seen how SLOW they write? They are like sloths.
They are S…L…O…W…
Like I want to scream that they move so slow. So I finally figured out how they can take notes, practice with me PLUS practice on their own! That’s when my newest baby was born. I was freaking out that it would take them SOOO long to take notes so I ended up creating a template to guide the entire note taking process.
This is how A Teacher’s Wonderland Guided Math Notes were created.
These notes were a life saver. I honestly would say that they took 20 – 30 minutes in the beginning of the year. That’s not including glue time. These notes don’t have ANY foldable parts, it’s literally cut and place. There’s nothing to it.
In the beginning it did take a long time. However, after about 3 weeks it all synced up and they got into the flow of the classroom. Of course, once we get past unit 7 it’s smooth sailing because it’s really not hard concepts.
What does each page entail?
It has any vocabulary words that need to be identified. It also has a teacher part (I do) and then there’s a part to do as a class (we do) and then the students do the last few parts with a partner. There is also a section where the students can evaluate themselves and see what level they are on. They also can have partners check their work and initial that they checked. I like this part because it holds the partner and themselves accountable.
Yes- it’s awesome but let me tell you some of my dirty secrets. Last year- by December when we took district diagnostics- my students were at 47% gains. That’s not fantastic. I did not take any math notes last year. I don’t remember what I ended up as gains last year, but I know it was was less than 80%. This year by the time that I got to my December diagnostics I was at 79% in gains. That’s a crazy increase. I feel that this year I am such a stronger teacher because I have the notebook to refer back to. Another secret? I have to refer back to the notes as well. Not every day BUT when we do spiral work I sometimes need to look back and refer back to it. It’s also great because when the students struggle, I can tell them- go back and check Unit so and so to remind yourself HOW to do it. It’s not that they don’t know the skill- it’s that they forgot the procedure.
I did finish the entire series for fifth grade! I am in the middle of 4th grade so 4th Graders bare with me.
If you are looking for the 5th Grade Guided Math Notes click here! I am telling you that you won’t regret it and you will see those test scores go up.