Thursday, October 29, 2015

100 Minutes to Teach Math!

I have three math classes and each class lasts 100 minutes. It is a ridiculously long time to teach math compared to 50 minutes, but I fill every minute of every class period. I do not know how I could fit everything into a shorter amount of time.

Not every 6th grader loves doing math for 100 minutes. I have to break up the class period with several activities to keep their interest. 

15 minutes
Daily Math Review

Consists of 4 computation-only problems. The students practice the same types of problem every day for 2 weeks and then they take a quiz. After students work in groups, we grade it together.

This week, students are working on integer operations, exponents, and ordering rational numbers.
30 minutes
Whole Group Instruction

Introduce topics, do whole group activities, add to the interactive math notebook

This is not always direct instruction. Whole group instruction looks different every day. Students may learn about manipulatives (most recently Algebra Tiles). They may also work together to come up with their own rules for the math they are learning.

45 minutes
Math Stations & Small Group Instruction

Students work in heterogeneous groups working on fact fluency, iLearn (a math website that all my students have an account to), and practice skills learned in previous weeks with games, task cards, stations, etc.

While students work, I pull homogeneous groups to work on the new skill introduced in whole group instruction. I have 5-6 groups per class that I pull depending on the class and how much time I have to pull them all.

We do 2-3 rotations in 45 minutes.
10 minutes
Exit Ticket

Practice problems, writing in mathematics, Plickers questions… it varies.
This would be on a normal day. Of course everyday is not perfect. Some days there are tests, or pictures, or field trips. Someday I don't do whole group instruction at all and just do small group instruction. 

Because we spend so much time every day doing math, I don't give a whole lot of homework. Maybe one homework assignment a week, and usually not problems. I like to assign mini-project that students would actually want to do and where they can use their own creativity. 

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