Sunday, July 6, 2014

Guided Math Conferences Chapter 1

This really is a summer of professional reading for me, and I'm loving it!  I'm excited to join Brenda for this study of Guided Math Conferences by Laney Sammons. Don't have a copy? Click on the link to get in on Amazon.  

I attempted some guided math last year with a little success and am looking forward to doing it a bit better this year.  My grade level team decided last year to ability group our students across the grade in math.  I spent most of the year with the students that needed the most support and adding guided math was very helpful.  

I did conferring with my students at least at the end of every unit.  Part of our assessment of students included an interview on the concepts.  It was incredibly helpful to see what students were thinking and understood as I watched them work through the problem or heard them orally respond.  I haven't done that since moving to fifth grade, and it would be so valuable to understand what they really understand.  

The first chapter of Guided Math Conferences is "Conferring with Young Mathematicians".  This chapter explains the differences between many types of conferring you might do.  What I described above was more of an interview.  Last year, I tried to do some small-group instruction and sometimes did a bit of conferences.  Conferences is the area I want to really improve on next year. This involves taking a look at the student's current work and taking them where there currently are in understanding to the next step.  To help me do this, I'm going to keep a list of student names in a checklist on a clipboard.  Each time I conference with a student, I'll write the date in the box next to their name.  When everyone has a date in the first column, I'll start marking the next column.  This will be a good start for me.  Once I get good at that, I'll add notes to my system, hopefully by November.  I think adding notes right away will overwhelm me, so I'm going to start out with forming the habit first.  

Be sure to check out the posts on this chapter from the hosts, Thinking of Teaching and Primary Inspired.  Clicking on their names will take you to their Chapter 1 posts.  Several bloggers have also linked up with them, like I have, so be sure to read those posts as well.  You're welcome to link up too or add your comments or questions in any of our comment sections.  

Do you confer with your students?  What type of conferring do you do or plan to do?

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