Teaching reading in a small group setting has always made sense to me. I’ve been doing ‘centers/guided reading’ back since my 2nd year of teaching (in 1st grade). Well – I think it was my first year of third grade that I started looking into teaching math in the same method – small group. I have never turned back! I LOVE how I can give immediate feedback to each student. I LOVE how even the shy, quiet students will open up and participate. I LOVE how the focus is on quality and not quantity. The groups may only last 15-20 minutes, but I feel like I reach each student. Now – they don’t always ‘get it’, but after the small group – I know who doesn’t ‘get it’ and can help them in other ways.

**HOW OFTEN DO I DO MATH STATION?**

This changes – weekly – and it’s only been 4 weeks ðŸ˜‰Â We did not do math stations the 1st or 2nd week.Â We just started learning about the rotations on the 3rd week of school.Â So, we’ve only had 2 weeks of practice.Â I have math stations planned for THREE times a week: MONDAY, TUESDAY, and THURSDAY.Â I complete a whole group lesson in the morning – followed by one center/small group rotation.Â I then finish my 2 other rotations in the afternoon after recess.

**A LOOK AT MY MATH SCHEDULE**

8:50-9:10 – Whole group instruction

9:10-9:30 – 1st rotation (centers and small group)

— We then have: specials, snack, reading block with writing integrated, lunch, recess.

1:40-2:00 – 2nd rotation

2:00-2:20- 3rd rotation

**WHAT DO YOU USE FOR WHOLE GROUP LESSONS?**

This also changes ðŸ™‚Â I’ve been using 3 sources for my whole group lessons

1 –Â Engage New York Math LessonsÂ (40%)

2 –Â Math Tri-foldsÂ – Organized by Common Core standard (40%)

3 – Our GO Math Textbook (not very much of this) (20%)

…We were told what standards to teach and can pretty much teach it anyway way we want ðŸ™‚Â We just need to make sure we cover all of the standards.Â We are given a map for the entire year that suggests which standards to teach at what time and for how long.Â I use that to map out my lessons plans.Â I say I – but REALLY it is our AMAZING third grade team that works together to help put our lesson plans together.Â I then go in and add the resources that I am comfortable using in my lessons.

**A CLOSER LOOK AT ENGAGE NEW YORK MATH MODULES**

How do I use these???? Let’s look atÂ 3rd grade Math Module 2 – Topic A – Lesson 2Â Â – –Â If you click on the link, you will see that they have the file in PDF or WORD format ðŸ™‚Â I always print the PDF just because it’s smaller in size, but having the word document gives you the ability to print only what you need. Â When you open up the file you see the following image:

I don’t do every lesson – For example, I only taught lessons 2 and 3 from this module (Telling time to the minute).

I read over the fluency practice and concept development to get ideas of ‘what to say’ and ‘what to focus on’.

I then pull out theÂ **Lesson 2 Problem Set**Â page andÂ **Lesson 2 Homework**Â page and complete these two in small group.

And that’s how I usually use the resources forÂ Engage New YorkÂ ðŸ™‚Â I say usually, because I don’t always use the lessons – or just part of them.Â My second resource for math stations is…My Math Tri-Folds ðŸ™‚Â This idea came to be after getting advice from my friends (Mrs. Blevins and Mrs. Sheppard) – both fellow 3rd grade teachers ðŸ™‚

**HOW DO I USE MY MATH TRI-FOLDS???**

Again, it’s not the same each unit.Â When we were on rounding NBT.1 – there was no way I could use these whole group.Â I tried and failed and used one in small group. They were that challenging – which is good, but they needed full teaching assistance

Let’s look at a tri-fold I used during whole group instruction…. Since I only used 2 lessons fromÂ **Engage NY**Â for time, I supplemented with my own time tri-folds ðŸ™‚

I completedÂ **Section 1****, 2,**Â andÂ **Section 3**Â whole group.Â **Â Â **I then moved on to small group and completed the rest of the tri-fold in small group.Â The focus was onÂ **drawing a number line**Â to show time.

**HOW DO I USE THE TEXTBOOK???**

In this particular unit I did use the textbook.Â I think I might have used a total of 2 pages from the math book.Â I pick and choose which questions follow the standards.Â I like doing this so I don’t overwhelm the students with too many topics.Â Â I can this way focus on telling time to the minute – which some students are still struggling with.Â I plan to place those students onÂ **IXLÂ **time during their computer station.

…..

This is getting to be a LOOOONG post, but I’m not done so I’ll keep going…

…..

**HOW DO I ORGANIZE MY GROUPS??**

I had a pretty math rotations display on my wall last year, but it required me to move the students and I didn’t like that.Â So, I went old school.Â I used 3 small pocket charts and used index cards to label my groups.Â See picture below.

When I made my three groups I looked at

- Who do I need to meet with 1st thing in the morning?Â These are my struggling students.
- I need at least 1 person that I think is a very good team player in each teach.Â Someone who can help during independent work or computer station.
- Are there any students who can’t be in the same group?

I first worked out my plan on paper and then took out index cards andÂ Mr. Sketch markersÂ to make my groups ðŸ™‚

**WHAT DOES INDEPENDENT PRACTICE LOOK LIKE???**

You can kind of see where independent practice in stationed on the picture above.Â There are three student desks put together by the math rotation display.Â There are 2 bins where students know what is expected of them.Â Below is a closer look.

I use these two bins to hold the sheets the students are to complete independently.

- The first sheet has an
**Â independent practice sheet**Â that will tell me if the students understood what we went over in whole group instruction.Â This can be anÂ**Exit Ticket**Â from Engage New York or a practice sheet related to the topic. Â They complete thisÂ**FIRST – independentlyÂ**(they are allowed to ask a partner for help to get them started, but not the entire sheet) and place in a plastic pocket by the bulletin board labeled ‘DONE’.Â I check these and students fix any errors if needed during snack time.Â These are short, so they are easy to check. - AFTER the exit ticket, they complete aÂ
**Math Vocabulary Foldable**.Â Â Student math interactive notebooks are stored in black bins organized by group.

**WHAT ABOUT COMPUTER STATION??**

My school has purchased a subscription toÂ **IXL Math.Â Â **I have madeÂ tracking sheetsÂ that the students use to record their scores inside their math notebooks.Â I have them glue it at the back of their notebook. Â I also LOVE the websiteÂ MangaHigh, but I have not let the students know about this site just yet.Â I want them to become familiar with IXL first.

…..

**A SUMMARY**

Basically – I do 3 rotations a day.Â They last about 20 minutes each.Â The three rotations include: Teacher, Independent, and Computer.Â I teach via this model 3 times a week.Â Wednesday is a short day, so it’s whole group lesson and partner work that day.Â Friday is usually some sort of assessment – or we are catching up because we went to the computer lab that morning.

It will never be perfect, but nothing is.Â I still feel that this model lets me reach each and every student at their level.Â I know who ‘gets it’ and who needs more help =)Â I will continue to add to this model and share with you all here….

Did anyone notice I haven’t used ANY games yet????? I want them to figure out the routine first.Â We will deal with adding task cards, math games, and other activities later on.Â I will be sure to keep you posted!Â Thank you for reading ðŸ™‚

## 1 Comment

## Brandi

July 4, 2016 at 1:35 amI have a question about record keeping. Do you check ALL the notebooks, independent work, task card responses, etc? I really love all the information you’ve shared, but I’m very intimidated by the amount of correcting and record keeping.