Math Monday!

Happy Math Monday!

Today I wanted to share a little bit about how I have run "math time"  in my classroom.  Each year I have taught I have had the joy of having to implement a new math program! Can you hear the fake excitement?  Well, I must say it was always a little overwhelming and as I browsed through each teacher manual it made me a a bit uneasy.  There is just so much to TEACH.  
How does one get it all in?

I think one of the best things I've learned is that as the teacher I need to make the decision to decide what is the best way to help my students succeed and sometimes that means that I don't teach every single thing in the teacher's manual.  (gasp) Instead it means teaching to the standards but being aware of how to do "double duty" and combine concepts.  It means to look at what needs to be taught, what my students need to learn, (be sure to use those observations and assessments) and to modify, adapt, add, and even subtract to best meet each child's needs. (and mine) And it means to incorporate fun, meaningful activities that will get these little minds engaged in learning!

Here's a look at how I ran my math time in First Grade:
10 Minutes: Number of the Day (Grab my Freebie)
10 Minutes: Introduction to New Concept ( I Do)
10 Minutes: Guided Practice (We Do)
15 Minutes:  Independent Practice (You Do)
  5 Minutes: Wrap Up/ Debrief

(I also had Centers at the end of the day which included some math choices)

*Download my FREEBIE for "Number of the Day" at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store!

Here's a look at how I ran my math time in Kindergarten:
  5 minutes: Mini Lesson
10 Minutes: Guided Practice
  5 Minutes:  Independent Practice (This is a Must Do then students move into centers as they finish)
20 Minutes:  Math Centers
10 Minutes: Calendar

Now if I was teaching this year one thing that I would love to incorporate is some type of Math Journal!  Math journals appear to be a great way for students to explore their thinking and express what they have learned not to mention of perfectly they tie in with the Common Core! I have seen so many ways in which they have been used including... 

1. Used as a Math Opening Activity: Problem of the Day
2. Used for Independent Practice Time after a Mini-Lesson
3. Used as a Closing Activity for Assessment & to Check Understanding
4. Used for Homework Purposes

I think that all four ways are fantastic! But for me... in kinder I think I would first try them as part of their daily instruction and have this be the place where students would do their "practice" on mini lessons from the day. Where in first grade I might use them more as an opening activity for a problem of the day for review and discussion. I'm currently looking up all I can about math journals and hope to create or find resources that I can use when I get my own classroom again. 

Here are some Math Journal links I enjoyed :)

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