I LOVE Mrs Wills' Peek at My Week
If you have not visited in the past, you ought to! You can have a little peek at the way other teacher's plan and schedule their learning. I have always wanted to link-up, as planning and programming is one of my favourite things to do.
As you know, I am not currently working full time in the classroom, so I got special permission from Deedee to link up the plans for just a snippet of the teaching week. Each week, I will share with you some plans for Number Groups.
We have small group focussed learning for just the 'number's strand of mathematics, here in my state of Australia. We continually assess and monitor our students progress in numeral identification, subitizing, counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
My plans will include activities for 2-3 days of 'groups'. The aim is to have an adult helper with each group. This is not always practical and achievable, but it's a goal! If you schedule your groups for the first or last 15 minutes of the school day, that can often encourage more parental assistance. I have successfully held 'groups' many times without adult helpers - the key is to have very structured and consistent rules and expectations. Spend a few weeks encouraging (and being patient) as you establish these - it WILL work if you persist. Start with simple expectations, and build up.
'Groups' is a special allocated time where students can spend time being active with the content. They must be actively constructing knowledge and skills. This means games, activities and anything 'hands on'. You need to accept a certain level of classroom noise. I like to keep my 'group time' short and focussed. 15-20 minutes at the most of time where the students are actively engaged and attending to their activity. As time goes on, the time spent setting up and wrapping up the session will become minimal.
For 'week 1' of number groups, I always focus on 'Numeral Identification'. We will do lots of specific whole class lessons and activities at other times in the week. Group time is when students are given time to practice and work with the skills they are learning through the week. It's the 'doing' time!
For 'numeral identification' groups, I am only interested in students practicing looking at the numbers and saying their names. If other aspects of number come up (counting, number order etc), that is OK, but the focus is just on recognising the numbers.
Have handy for the week, all your 'number' manipulatives. Number tiles, magnetic numbers, number flashcards, posters etc.
One activity that is in my small group plans, is a number sorting activity. This can be done with ANY set of number posters and ANY manipulatives you have. Simply spread out a range of number posters onto the floor (that best fit the group you are working with) and get them to sort a big tub full of numbers. The key is to have them SAY the number every time they sort. Remember, the focus is 'numeral identification', so when it comes down to the crunch, what you need to see is your kids looking at a number, thinking about it, and saying its name. They need to do this lots!
These plans allow you to differentiate your activities. You will need to do a very quick assessment of where students are up to in 'Numeral Identification'. To do this, simply flash number cards at them (individually) and ask them to identify the numbers. Flash them in random order. Do them in sets - 0-10, 10-20, and 20-30. If a students misses one of them, they need to work with the range of numbers, until they get 100% correctly identified.
I plan for 2 activities for each group, each week. As time goes on, and my students are getting used to 'groups' I will add a 3rd day. In the first weeks, the first day is used for an introduction to the activities.
I gather all the resources, and store them in tubs ready for the week.
I try to make my groupings fluid, and change them around, depending on the focus and how students have done in the assessment. If I don't have time for formal assessment, I use the knowledge I have built up about them as a result of informal observations.
If you would like to see these plans in closer detail, and find links to all the games, you can download the plans HERE They have been formatted in MS Powerpoint.