Let’s talk about the math schedule. The key focus when planning a math block is that the schedule and time is consistent. The example given below shows a 75 minute math block. Teachers are flexible and have to get creative. If you have more than 75 minutes, lucky you! If you have less, you may decide to shorten certain time blocks or even reorganize the structure. So, let’s break this down.
Math Warm Ups
Math warm ups are a great way to get the students thinking about math. This can come in many forms and is a short period of time (5 minutes or less). It can be a number talk, partner problem, math fact flashcards, etc. The focus is something that is math related that gets the kids thinking about math.
Whole Group Lesson
Next up is the whole group lesson. Start with the essential question or learning target. Hook the students in with a song, anchor chart, short math video clip, or story. From there, you are teaching and demonstrating the new math skill for the day. I use the smartboard and document camera a lot during this time. Often times my students have markerboards in their hands and are going through the problems with me. This is a time for a lot of partner accountability talks. I prefer to teach my whole group lessons on the rug because the students are close to myself and the smartboard. I also have them strategically placed on the rug for ideal partner combinations.
After the whole group lesson, the students go to their desks to work on the independent practice portion of the math block. This is usually a worksheet from the math curriculum. Sometimes, I choose to have the students complete an interactive math notebook activity instead. During this time, I am at the teacher table or walking around the classroom. Once students finish their independent practice, they bring their paper up to be corrected. I do correct them in the moment because if there is something that they are doing incorrectly, I want to give them immediate feedback and have them fix anything that needs to be fixed. Once students finish their independent practice, they are allowed to go right into their math center choice for the day. I love this because you no longer have to figure out what to do with those early finishers.
Math centers is the next part of the math block. I will explain this in further details here.
Clean Up and Reflection
The last 10 minutes of the math blocks is clean up and reflection. This is a time for students to get the room put back together, organize their math folder, and enter a quick journal entry on how their center time activity went for them. I will explain this in further details below.