Conferring With Students During Guided Math
Our hosts for this chapter are: Mrs. Patton at Mrs. Patton's Patch and Beth at Thinking of Teaching. Hop on over to read their comments and others from the book study.
This was difficult for me last year in Daily Five, and it will definitely be a stretch goal for me in the coming year.
Sammons says that conferring is the heart and soul of teaching (page 207), so I'd better take notes and give it a go (although it may be one of the later components of GM that I implement).
I love how the management of Guided Math fits in so nicely with D5. I totally get how to implement and teach students what my expectations are and model and practice.
Some tips I want to remember next year:
1. Criss-cross the room for conferences (helps to maintain proximity throughout the whole room)
2. Structure (I am great with filling in a template, so thanks for this template Sammons): research student understanding; decide what is needed; teach to student needs; link to the future.
3. Keep records of conferences. Doesn't matter how. Use the information to plan future conferences, etc.
The goal of a conference is to move the student from what she can almost do independently to what she can do independently.
Now for the hard part. The Review and Reflect questions. The what will I do, how am I doing, put it out there questions.
1. In what ways are you able to discover your students' mathematical thinking? Well, I didn't teach math last year, so am I off the hook? Nope, I felt like I totally handed math over to the other teacher and regret not being more in touch with my students' math abilities/thinking.
2. How frequently are you able to confer with your students? If you are not able to confer as often as you would like, what prevents it? I did not confer because I felt unsure how to do it. So many other parts of my day I will just jump in and give it a go and change it the next day, but conferring was not one of them. Like I said earlier, definitely need to jump in and give it a go.
3. What advantages are there to having structures for conferences in mind as you meet with students? I think it is huge (for me at least). I can sometimes come up with ideas on my own, mostly I talk with others/read others' blogs/read books and adapt it to fit me and my situation. Having a guide for what goes into a conference will most likely make it less scary for me as I give it a try (I'm hoping).
As hard as thinking about doing something new and different is, I am super pumped to get started with GM in August. In fact, I have been having trouble sleeping lately. I just want to read blogs about workstations, management, groups, etc., take notes in my awesome composition notebook, and make plans for next year.
If you have missed any other chapter, you can look here...
Chapter 1: Primary Inspired
Chapter 2: Third Grade Gridiron
Chapter 3: Making It as a Middle School Teacher