Before I start, I wanted to congratulate Lori on winning my Cowboys and Cowgirls Western Theme set. YAY! This is one of a collection of my new decor sets over 300 pages plus editables and binder covers.
I also just uploaded a new series of word family things - Anchor Charts and Posters. I've got Short A uploaded already. I have someway or another destroyed my MAC and I'm on a PC trying to make it work. *sigh* This means, it will take me a bit longer to get the other sets finished until my computer gets fixed.
This week's chapter had a focus on whole class instruction. Sammons' gave a list of scenarios where whole group is appropriate such as practice and review, read alouds for math, and setting the stage for Math Workshop. These are some of the reasons that I enjoy whole group. I am quickly able to present information to the entire class. This is also a time where we can discuss what we just saw during a math workshop, what worked, what we need to work on, and what needs to be changed. I like to let my students determine how most of our days flows. I ask their opinions and like to hear their suggestions and concerns. Whole group time makes us feel like one. I cannot imagine not meeting with my students and having the time to just talk. I love whole group, but not for my entire math instruction time.
However, whole group does NOT allow me to zone in on certain areas that certain students need. Laney gave very good descriptions of how I feel during whole group independent time. If I allow my students to work on the same thing and try to walk around the room, there is never enough time to get to each child. It's impossible. Their misconeptions of a certain skill gets stuck in their head if I am not able to meet with them.
Mini lessons represent a different component of math instruction that I would like to work on this coming year. These are quick and explicit and should be under ten minutes. The mini lesson should have a connection, teaching point, active engagement, and a link to ongoing student work. The beginning of each lesson should connect students to prior lessons or relate to a life experience. The connections makes interest in the students. The teaching point is simply going to tell and model what they will learn for the day. The teacher should then allow students to practice it quickly. This is the part that I flub on. Yes, I said flub. I have a hard time keeping the quick practice QUICK. I will let them continuously practice until I feel that we have it as a whole. I know this is something that I have to work on.
This chapter also focuses on a lot of things that are geared for upper grades. If you are an upper grade teacher and have not picked this book up, I recommend getting it. She does discuss math games which is a huge part of my math workshops. Almost 80% of my math workshops are games.