Sunday, June 17, 2012

Guided Math ~ Chapter 2 & A Plethora of Other Stuff!

Happy Father's Day!  It's mid-evening here in Sunny Georgia and my husband's working today.  Ahhh...the joys of being married to a State Trooper...holidays mean nothing to the scheduler!

So, I'm having a laid-back day, thinking of happy memories of my Daddy who passed away in January.  I'm determined to be positive today and not let the easy-to-come sadness take over!

With that being said, let's get on the PLETHORA of other stuff {don't you just love that word?}!

I want to make sure you are aware of several other collaborative blogs out there in the blogosphere that your's truly also contributes to.  It's always fun to collaborate with other teacher bloggers.  We support each other and learn so much from one another.  If you aren't following these blogs, I encourage you to at least go check them out and see if they are a good fit for you.

My introductory post at a brand-spanking-new blog called Endless Pinabilities is up and running!  I think this is going to be a very fun adventure.  Right now the authors are mainly posting introductions, but will soon start posting some of their favorite pins and sharing pictures of pins they've made!  I can't wait to share some things with you...

Best Practices 4 Teaching Freebie Sites ~ Math is a site that offers just what it says.  Great ideas for teaching math with FREE downloads!  Who doesn't love free, right?  There are some wonderful teachers sharing their products with you there.

Classroom DIY is going strong.  I recently made my second monthly post.  I have been amazed at the awesome ideas being shared there!  The best part...step-by-step instructions with pictures or videos to help you out!  It makes DIY for you classroom so much easier!

Classroom DIY

Global Teacher Connect is doing great!  We are still looking for more bloggers from around the world {US and Canada spots are full}.  If you are a blogger from another country, or know someone who is, please send them our way!  We have some exciting things planned for the upcoming school year, but having more countries represented will only add to the excitement and learning!


We Read, We Blog, We Teach is ready and waiting for July 1st to get here so our 2 book studies for Daily 5 and CAFE can begin!  If you're interested, you still have plenty of time to gather your books, follow the blog, and join the fun!

We Read, We Blog, We Teach


On to Chapter 2 from Guided Math!

Using Guided Math to Create a Classroom Environment of Numeracy

I found myself nodding in total agreement while I was reading most of this chapter!  I've got highlights, stickies, and comments everywhere.

The idea of a numeracy-rich environment is something I always strive for.  I want my students to see Math everywhere in everything they do!

As a middle school teacher, I don' have to worry about other subject areas taking over the look and feel of my classroom {except for a tiny bit of SS for the one class I teach of it}.  When you walk in, you immediately know you're in a Math classroom.

I LOVED all the Foundational Principles of a Guided Math Classroom!  I think #1 and #2 stand out most for me.  I'm always telling students they can learn math and they can be good at math, but it's often like fighting an uphill battle.  In addition, it's the idea of numeracy being at the forefront of my classroom that stands out to me.

I think most of the other Foundations will fall into place with your teaching strategies and procedural routines, but keeping the first 2 Foundations in focus in key to me.

Storage areas, organization, word walls, journals, and graphic organizers are already part of my classroom environment.  There will need to be a bit of tweaking to go along with some of the ideas in this chapter, but overall I don't feel any anxiety over these topics or any need to make major adjustments to what's already in place.

For graphic organizers, specifically, my school is a Thinking Maps school.  We use TMs everyday instead of traditional GOs, but again, that aspect is clearly already in play...or my principal would have me in her office. ;-)

Classroom arrangement is the one thing in Chapter 2 that I think could cause problems for most middle school teachers, especially those of us who teach in older schools where the rooms are generally smaller than newer schools anyway.  Since I don't have a group of 20-something students for the entire day, but instead have 120 coming and going, it's not possible to have a Large Group Area.  That would just have to be my classroom as the students come in to their assigned seats.  The Home Area and Large Group Area would basically be one in the same, but I don't think that would throw the whole system out of balance. 

I am considering giving up my teacher desk for a kidney-bean table to more easily facilitate meeting with small groups of students.  If I can't convince myself to do away with my desk completely, I at least want to find a smaller option that would still allow me to add in a separate Small-Group Area.  My brain's been on overdrive with this idea since before this book study began.  I've got to do some measuring and serious thinking over the next couple of weeks!

I could go on and on...and on, but I'll stop there for this chapter!

I am really loving this book and this book study!  Going back and blogging about what I've read really is a great way to reflect and not just move on.  I guess that's why we have our students do this kind of stuff, right?

Don't forget to check out Brenda at Primarily Inspired who got this whole thing together.


Also, read Dana from 3rd Grade Gridiron's post.  She hosted Chapter 2 and created an great video!

On Wednesday, I'll be hosting Chapter 3 along with Tania from My Second Sense.  

You'll want to check out how a Middle School Teacher and an Elementary School Teacher each view the same chapter!!  Make sure you check back in on Wednesday!

Enjoy :)

Making It {and smiling},


  1. Oh you can post your pins anytime. I think I scheduled my first DIY pin on there for tomorrow. And my bad, I thought I was already following you but I wasn't. I fixed that real fast!

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher
    Endless Pinabilities!

  2. I'm feeling the same way as Miss T.
    How could I NOT be following you?! I think I've read almost every post! I follow you now! (Even though you've been on my blog roll for ages!)

    I loved your reflections on Chapter Two of Guided Math. BTW, I gave up my teacher desk a few years ago and I've never been sorry. I generally have 34-36 kids, so we're pretty squished.

    Guided Math is new to me, so I am looking forward to more of your reflections.

    Happy Summer!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade