A Look Into My Math Block

It's Thursday night my friends.  That means in less than 24 hours from now it will be the weekend.  Woohoo!

I want to take you into my daily math schedule because I've changed things up a little this year... partly to follow requirements set-up for our Dual Language program, and partly because I knew I needed a makeover.  Last year I just didn't give us enough time.  This year, I gave both of my classes 90 minutes of math, and I love it (I realize this isn't do-able for everyone, trust me!!)!

Here's a little breakdown of how we spend our math block...

Now, let's go inside that schedule!  I've been trying to warm-up with word problems each day.  I have word problems like these in some of my units.  My goal is to make a problem solving unit by the end of the year, but I haven't even started yet, ha!  I let my students show their thinking in whatever way they see fit, and pick a few of them to explain how they solved their problem to the class.  They really do love that! 

 When Direct Instruction starts, I introduce the topic, ask questions about what my students already know, and have them talk to their partner about the meaning of what we are doing.  This is when I show videos, have my students work with manipulatives, and explain the skill using step-by-step instructions.  If I have any charts we go over them during this time.
Then, we move into partner work.  I try to make this activity very interactive so that BOTH partners have a job and want to be involved.  Our crafts or models usually go in this time-slot, or some kind of game that they can both play.  We do A LOT of talking during this time, which I'm okay with because it gives my students an opportunity to use the vocabulary and strategies we have learned :)  Today, my students worked in partners to make their Doubles Dude.  When we share crafts like this it takes much less time to make because two people are doing the cutting and gluing!  And no, I don't have a problem about kids fighting over who takes what home because they are so used to this.  And, by the time I take it down they don't care anymore, ha!
This gave them an opportunity to recite their doubles facts, write them down, and make a visual!
I also do a lot of my flapbooks and pocket-books during partner work.  Here's one we did on Tuesday when we were learning the strategy of Making a Model.
My students had to work together to come up with their addition sentences and find a way to make a model to accompany their problems.
Once we finish up with our partner work, my students then have an opportunity to work independently.  I'm not gonna lie... after working together for quite some time, they crave independent work.  It's kind of like their reward, which is so funny to me!  Today, we did this little doubles flapbook that I found HERE!  I sent this home so my students can practice their facts. 

And, we wrap up with some reflection time!  This is a new component for me, but I'm really starting to like it!  Speaking and writing is HUGE in the dual language model, so we want our kids to write about every subject!  Right now it is taking us about 10 minutes to generate 1-2 sentences because this is fairly new to them, but I know once they get the hang of it our reflections will be second nature!  It also really shows me who is understanding what we are doing rather than just nodding along in agreement :)
On Wednesday my students responded to this question: "How can you use a number line to help you add?"  Today we answered the question:  "How can doubles help you add?"  My students must finish their independent work and reflection BEFORE going to math stations :)
 And then, the math stations begin!  Seriously though... if you think I've got everything together... look at my awful rotation chart.  I don't even have matching pocket charts, ha!  But, I wanted to #keepitreal once again.  I color-code my students like this:  Red- Spanish speakers, Blue-English speakers (it's a dual thing).  I have both sets of classes on our chart so I only have to rotate my math station cards once a day.  Right now we have 10 stations.  I'll lay those out in just a sec :)
1-7 are math station tubs, C-computer, I-ipads

Stations 1-7 are housed in my handy-dandy rolling cart.
 Right now we are using my Addition and Subtraction stations.  Each drawer houses everything they need to get their job done!
Here's a breakdown of the stations I chose to kick things off:
3.  Addition and Subtraction flashcards and an old game someone gave me :)
6.  Addition and Subtraction flashcards and whiteboards for solving
iPads- PopMath
Computers- Fruit Shoot (Thanks to Katie King for sharing!)

So, I only had to prep FIVE of the ten stations.  I thought the flash cards would be a nice little break for the first couple of weeks.  Honestly, they probably won't stay in there long because they don't take up enough time and the kids get restless!  I'm going to swap those out for games that we play in class.  We played Count On and It's War this week, so those will go into our bins next week!  And, I will replace one of those with a teacher rotation.  For these first two weeks I wanted to monitor very closely, so I haven't added "Meet with the Teacher" to our rotation yet.

Here's a little look at my stations in action.  We are on day 3, and I can honestly say that they are going great!  Not all of my students finish during the 20-25 minutes, and that's okay with me.  As long as they are focused and getting something from it, I'm not a huge stickler about completing the station.  I don't normally take grades (they don't know that) because I get my grades from our seat-work.  Stations are just a reinforcement and give my students exposure to concepts through different games and mediums.
Phew!  That was a long one!  But, that's my math block in a nutshell!  Our activities and games vary, but our schedule *should* look the same for the remainder of the year!


pippi said...

I love how your reflection time isn't the last thing. That is how I have usually planned it then I feel rushed for time. I don't know why I haven't thought of it before! Thanks, Amy!

Jessica Spriggs said...

I love your math block! I also love your setup of having warm up, whole group, partner, independent, and workstations. I am trying to include workstations this year, I just find it hard to fit everything in. Your students are very lucky!

Hayley Marsland said...

I loved this post! I'm still trying to get my head around how I can best plan my math block and this has helped me out a whole bunch! Thank you for posting :)

Geselle Perez said...

Hi Amy!
I teach dual as well. We are required to have math activities on Spanish to reinforce rhe language. Where do you get your math center ideas in spanish??

Ktbug said...

Thank you so much for breaking down your math block! I did have one question--since you may have up to 5 different station activities going on at once, when do you "teach" the activity for the station? I struggle with this because that often takes up a big chink of time, especially at the beginning of the year when the kids are still learning so many of the routines/procedures/games that you'll come back to later. Thanks!!

amy.lemons said...

Geselle- I do spanish math stations during my Bilingual Learning Centers. My teaching partner helps me with those. The math stations in my math block are all in english because that's the language of instruction.

Ktbug- All of my stations have easy to read instructions for my students so I don't take any of my math block to go over them. I walk around at the beginning to make sure everyone understands and they normally figure it out on their own

Geselle Perez said...

Does your partner also create and upload to tpt? or do you know where she gets inspiration for those... i feel stuck right now while i love dual language its tricky to fit its coponents to standards and expectations from school and district in such little time and you have to adjust to scho
ol schedules as well!!

Claudia Mancilla-Caras said...

Just wondering if your state has adopted or is requiring you to use any program or curriculum? My district is making us use EngageNY modules and I'm finding it difficult to find time to add things like rotations because the pacing guide is so tight.

Alisha Peare said...

I love this...i'm trying to tackle more centers in math this year because I have such a wide gap of kiddos...but, sadly..I do have to use the curriculum I'm given, so I'm attempting to figure out the "best" way on a daily/weekly basis so far:) Haven't found anything that has "stuck" yet! Love the reflection time!

Hollie Griffith said...

This is a great post!

Lindsay Q said...

Thank you for sharing! These are some GREAT ideas! In your instruction, it says you show videos-wondering which videos you use to reinforce math concepts... Would you please share the website/s? Thanks!!

Mrs. Griffith said...

This year we got a new math curriculum that involves a book and student workbook. Last year we were able to make up our own lessons. I love how you layout your day! Does your district provide you with a curriculum/book/program to follow?


Angel Gaspers said...

Hi There,
I just love your ideas and your blog. I was wondering if you have a math series you have to follow in your school and then add these math activities to that series or if this series you have made is the only thing you use for math?
Thank you,

Heather said...

How many math stations do your students do a day?
Thanks for sharing.

jdixon said...

Do your kiddos go to one station a day?

jdixon said...

Do your kiddos go to one station a day?

A Lane said...

Do your students work with the same partner for partner work and math stations?