The time of year has come for you to kick off small group math! But, we all know how precious time is in the classroom! So, how do you know which small group math activities will be the right ones to use for targeting the skill gaps your students have? Read on to find out how to use math assessment data to target the specific areas your students need to practice. Also, we’ll give you some ideas for targeted small group math activities to use!
Start with a Math Screener
Our Math Small Group Kit includes an ah-ma-zing screening tool to pinpoint problem areas for students. The screener has assessments for 32 skills! Some of theses assessments need to be administered one-on-one, while others can be administered whole group.
The skills included in the screener are:
After giving the screener, teachers can target individual or small group interventions to areas where the student missed a few questions.
The Screener is Finished.. Now What?
Once you’ve finished screening your students, you’re ready to create your math groups and start targeting individual math needs. You’ve probably found that your students are struggling in one or more of the following areas:
Check out some fun and effective interventions for each area below!
What to do When Students Are Struggling with Number Sense or Place Value
So you’ve figured out your student needs help with their number sense and place value strategies. Time to get out an intervention activity that can be done one-on-one or through small group math. The Math Small Group Kit comes with five interventions, as well as other activities, to tackle this learning need.
First, what exactly are Number Sense and Place Value? Number Sense is simply the having a sense of what numbers mean.
You get the idea! If your answer to any of these questions was no, here are some activities for that student.
1. Number Line Exercises
Hands on number lines exercises are a beneficial way to help these students. This could be done during whole or small group math. In the Math Small Group Toolkit, a number line game is provided! In this game, the teacher creates a number line using masking tape. (This is an easy way to differentiate what each student or group needs!) Students will put post-it numbers where they belong along the teacher created number line, making this activity super interactive! It is perfect for small group math because the teacher can work with whatever number series each group is struggling with.
2. Number Sense & Place Value Math Mats & Games
If a student needs a targeted intervention in place value & number sense, the Math Small Group Toolkit has effective math mats included to practice these skills. These mats included rolling & comparing numbers, spinning and building numbers in a ten frame and ways to show a number. The mats & games would be very helpful in targeting specific skills, and are engaging for students.
3. Hands-On Place Value
Students who struggle with place value can benefit from visual and tactile interventions. Traditionally, teachers use place value blocks provided through the district’s curriculum. These are great tools and work for most students. However, some just don’t understand why their teacher is calling blocks ones or tens. Using actual blocks (think: the ones that click together) can allow students to build their own groups of tens. When they have built some tens “towers”, show them how they can now count those by tens. Next, give them a two digit number have them show it with the building blocks. The choices are endless and this activity will show students what ones, tens (and hundreds if they are up for that much building) are! This is not the only hands-on place value & number sense activity included in the toolkit!
What to do When Students are Struggling with Addition and/or Subtraction
If you have students struggling with their addition and/or subtraction facts it is time to practice this skill to build automaticity. Try to get them away from counting on their fingers. While they are practicing with the following interventions, why not teach them the lightning fast skill of making a ten and adding the extra! If you want a quick teacher-made tutorial on the make a ten strategy, check out this video by Tori Kuhn: Make Ten Strategy for Addition.
Check out these other intervention ideas!
1. Sticky Math
A great way to work on math facts is through Sticky Math! (You can read even more about Sticky Math here: Math Facts Practice for 1st and 2nd Grade.)
Sticky Math is a great strategy to use as it is different from traditional timed tests. (Students that already struggle with their math facts are sure to get stressed watching their peers move to the “next level” in timed tests while they stay at the same one.) Sticky Math is self-correcting, students make their own goals and they are reusable when put in dry erase pockets.
2. Hands-On Addition & Subtraction
The hands-on Addition & Subtraction games/strategies included in the Toolkit are super engaging for students! Teachers can pull these activities out when their students need something new or are struggling to focus (or just for fun). Here is a look at some of the activities:
3. Addition Math Mats & Games
Working on math mats has proven to be a beneficial learning strategy. Hands-on word problem mats allow students to act out the word problem with maniuplatives and might help them understand what happens when we add or subtract. They are also engaging as students will add or subtraction apples on an apple tree or fish in the ocean.
Other mats included work on number bonds fact families. Math mats are best used as individual or small group interventions until students are confident at using them.
What to do When Students Are Struggling with Geometry
Are some of your students unable to name shapes, how many sides, corners, etc? If so, it is time to use geometry interventions!
1. Geometry Worksheets
This resource includes over 50 worksheets covering 13 geometry topics. Teachers can hand select the skill they want their students to work on! These worksheets are great for whatever intervention is needed, whether it is individual, small group or whole group.
2. Hands-on Geometry
The Math Small Group Kit is packed with hands-on activities. A great hands-on activity that gets students practicing their geometry skills is by building the shapes! All you’ll need: toothpicks and play dough. Teachers can select certain shapes (either 2D or 3D) for students to work on. They will make the shape and then use the provided graphic organizer to answer shape attribute questions.
When Students Are Struggling with Measurement
When students are having trouble with measurement, whether it be telling time, measuring length or graphing, there are several different approaches you can try.
1. Measurement, Time, Money and Graphing Worksheets
2. Hands-on Measurement
The included hands-on interventions target time, money, graphing and measuring length. Here is an example activity:
Lego Bowling: for this, students create block towers and then use a marble to “bowl”. They create a bar graph of the number of blocks they knock over.
This is just one sample of the engaging and meaningful hands-on measurement interventions.
3. Additional Math Mats & Games
In addition to ALL the amazing intervention ideas listed above, the Math Small Group Kit also comes with the following games and vocabulary activities in all areas: Number Sense/Place Value, Addition & Subtraction, Geometry & Measurement.
We hope the Math Small Group Kit, along with the additional intervention ideas mentioned above, helps your students gain more math skills and enjoyment.
Why not try a few of the intervention resources free? Sign up in the banner at the top of this post and we will send four free small group math activities straight to your inbox!
Or, grab the whole kit below and you’ll have everything you need to organize, plan, assess, and deliver effective math interventions!
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Small Group & Intervention Math Kit
As always, happy teaching!