Guided Math Part 3

I had plans to take photos of my math rotation board and how/where my math centers are stored. But, it went to the part of my brain where all good intentions go to die. In between conferences and trying to survive this week, I forgot. You will have to enjoy my pictureless descriptions and imagine it in your brain.

I created a bulletin board in my room for the kiddos to use during math centers. This has their groups, what they are doing during what rotation, who the expert in the group is, and what each rotation means. The groups change whenever we take a quick quiz or a test. I also change them if I feel a student isn’t doing well in the group they are in. The expert is highlighted in blue.

Now that there is some good background information, I’m going to tell you about what my rotations are and what the kiddos are doing at each one.

The first station is meet with teacher. The poster for this rotation reminds students to bring their pencil, whiteboard, and workbook. They come back with me and this is when we do our lesson. Depending on the group I am with, this can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes. My lowest group lasts closer to 25, sometimes 30.

Next, they head to At My Seat. This is where they work on the skill from yesterday. They are usually doing a page in their workbook. The page is usually something we started together during Meet with Teacher the day before. They sometimes work on this themselves and sometimes with a partner or in their group. It just depends on the information I am gathering from this worksheet. They are allowed to grab any manipulatives from the shelf during this time.

Ipads are next. I have 5 iPads to use in my classroom. I never have more than 5 students in a group. Everyone will have an iPad to use. They will either work on Reflex math (our school purchased a subscription), Moby Max (free website), or Front row (also free). I have the log ins for our iPad apps listed under the whiteboard. They can quickly look at instructions for how to log into whatever they need.

We also have math games. They play math games with the people in their group. They aren’t allowed to play with more than 3 people. They also aren’t allowed to play near my Meet with Teacher table. This helps keep the noise level down. If they get too noisy, they are asked to play a game on their own instead. I have quite a few games that can be played with a single player.

There is also a station to work on their math facts. In this station, they work on their flashcards for a few minutes. After this, they can complete a math fact coloring page or an extreme dot-to-dot. The coloring pages are a grid with different math problems in the boxes. Each answer is a different color. They color in the grid and it makes a picture. The extreme dot-to-dots have dots anywhere from 800 to 1000. Since we need to practice counting to 1000, this helps! It is a fun way to practice.

I have about  an hour and a half for math every day. This gives us plenty of time to rotate through the groups. While my lower kids are with Meet with Teacher, my higher kids are at iPads or games. This is a station that will keep them engaged for a longer time and they aren’t getting bored and distracted.

The expert in the group isn’t necessarily the expert at math. They are the kiddos who listen and follow directions. They are to answer questions about what to do. This stops the constant bugging me while I am trying to teach a group. It cuts down on interruptions and the kiddos aren’t wasting time waiting for me to talk with them.

I post the groups on the board in a page protector sleeve. I print out a paper with each group to slide into the sleeve. It makes switching out quick and easy. If you are low on paper, you could also print just the rotations and write names on the sleeve with a wet erase marker.

I will try and remember to take pictures later! If you would like a copy of my math posters or my math group rotation posters, leave me your e-mail. I will send them out!





9 thoughts on “Guided Math Part 3”

  1. awesome set-up. While I don’t teach elementary anymore, I’d love a copy to forward to my elementary teaching friends. thanks!


  2. As former literacy coach and now back in the classroom, I love this idea of guided math. I think it’s important to think of our math instruction as we we think about our literacy instruction. Not all math lessons fit the needs of all students. So finding ways to target instruction and meet the kid where they are, is so important.


  3. I would love to see a photo of your guided math groups. I do something similar but don’t assign work with the teacher…I travel to them at their station. I tend to spend a lot of math time on the floor since most of them choose to do their work sitting or lying. We do a whole group lesson before switching to stations.


  4. This was a very thorough description. I love the idea of rotations in math, but I know a lot of teachers struggle with the idea. I would love to see your pictures & the posters.



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