Friday, February 27, 2015

MATH groups: [A] At your seat

So.. you saw how I started to introduce my MATH groups (hopefully it made sense!) as well as what students are expected to in during [M]ath fact time in my last post...

Now, here is what is involved during [A]... which is At your seat.

There are a lot of options you could do with this as well. This is intended to be the time that students compete independent practice of a particular skill. Again, my focus is multiplication, so I am using The Multiplication Station from Shelley Gray. It is am amazing self-paced program designed to help students not just memorize their multiplication facts, but help them master multiplication as a whole with meaningful practice of several skills.  I started to introduce it by introducing the pages for the Zeros and Ones as a whole group. We did one or two a day together until we had worked through them all.
One of the fantastic things about her station is that there are so many different activities to practice all of the facts. They include directions and several examples so that students can do everything on their own, but I still wanted to introduce this to my students since it was a brand new activity and the zeroes & ones facts are perfect because of the simplicity. We were able to focus on how to read the page and complete the activity rather than focus on solving the answers. I wanted them to feel confident in their abilities to figure out how to complete each page. Solving for the correct products would come with strategies I would be teaching. Does that make sense to you? It does to me... but what does that really mean? haha

Once we began full rotations, my students keep track and pace themselves through the entire program. It follows a particular order for teaching the facts, so that is the order I followed when they made their flashcards so there would be consistency in all areas. She includes ALL of the information you and your students need to understand how the program works... and it really does. It amazes me every day how well all of my students work through this completely on their own (mostly!) I usually still have students come to me to ask a question, but it's usually to make sure they are completing a page correctly or ask a quick question. But overall, they manage it so smoothly. They have become so responsible using this, and additionally, I think it helps them as problem solvers. Because I am teaching during this time (which is the next station I will post about) they have to figure out problems they encounter on their own. I think that is a fantastic life skill you have to learn!

Here's some photos of my students working hard during this time, as well as a look at what they use to track their progress.

This is how I have all of the files stored. I put multiples activity sheets into one folder to save on the number of folders I would need. I also copied many of them front & back so that it would save paper. 

I also laminated the answer keys front to back and put them in the same folders as the activities to make them easy to find, and to save on laminating sheets.

 Next to our Multiplication Station I have a magazine-style holder. This is where all of my students keep their personal trackers. They are in page protectors which have their student number on them. I wanted them to stay nice and neat, and prevent them from getting lost in the shuffle of their desks.

This is a progress tracker. She likes rainbows....and organization :)

This student finished activity 2C, so she is checking her work on the answer key. If she finishes both the front and back, and checks them with the key, she will then put it in the same bin where she keeps her tracker. I look through it daily just to check over their progress and monitor how they are doing. I like to do that for my own "formative assessment." Basically, keep an eye on their independent learning! After a quick look over them, I send them home.

This student is working on 2F and will then work on 2G. After she finishes all of 2G, she is ready for her 2s test, as long as she feels comfortable and ready and KNOWS THEM FLUENTLY! They tell me when they are ready and I write down the date they are ready with the fact set I need to test them on. I test several kids a day on several different fact sets. 

Here's how I keep that organized (it's a part of the freebie you found in the last post and if you click the picture here you can get it, too!)

If they pass, I just put a check mark next to their name. If they miss any facts, I write how many they missed and circle it. I retest them usually the next day. 

I keep track of their progress through the fact tests in the checklist section of my Erin Condren Teacher Planner like this:

The tests they take are very basic. I use the format that I got in 

I keep "answer keys" I made for each set on my clipboard (which is becoming a HOT mess between my tracking sheets for MATH stations and the Daily 5!) Here's a look at that:

I am so very happy with this purchase! It is quite a bit of prep to get The Multiplication Station set up and ready to use, between copying, finding a filing & storage system, and prepping the answer keys, but I promise you it is well worth it. It is by far one of the best investments I have made for curriculum supplementation!

What do you think of MATH group implementation so far??
I hope you find it do-able! There are SO many options you can do for each station when you really start exploring it. [A]t your seat time could include any printables that allow students to independently practice the skill on which you are currently working. You could use your school-provided curriculum worksheets or textbook problems at this time also. 

What are your ideas? I'd love to read your thoughts for inspiration for my future use of this!

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