Building Mathematical Comprehension Book Study (Chapter 10)

So I've been reading this fantastic books this summer with some other bloggers and I'm super happy to finally host a chapter!!  If you haven't gotten a copy of the book, Building Mathematical Comprehension yet, go grab it now!  Basically, the book teaches us how to use reading strategies like visualizing and questioning to teach math.  It makes SO much sense and I can't wait to use what I've learned this year.  My chapter was titled "In the Guided math Classroom".  It was great to read and reflect on the content of this chapter because I have done guided math for a few year now.

One of the most important pieces of the chapter are the "Foundational Principles of a Guided Math Classroom".  There are 7 principles:

1.     All children can learn mathematics
2.     A numeracy-rich environment promotes mathematical learning by students
3.     Learning at its best is a social process
4.     Learning mathematics is a constructive process
5.     An organized classroom environment supports the learning process
6.     Modeling and think-alouds, combined with ample opportunities for guided and independent problem solving and purposeful conversations, create a learning environment in which students' mathematical understanding grows
7.     Ultimately, children are responsible for their learning

I think all of these principles go without further explanation.  A lot of them we use everyday in our guided reading - its no different.  Children need to be immersed and surrounded by math - meaningful math.  Read world problems that make the students think, create, and combine their current knowledge with their new knowledge.

Now keeping with the number 7 - there are 7 components of a guided math classroom.  Together, these components provide the format for implementing researched-based best practices in classrooms and supporting the mathematical learning needs of students.

1.     A classroom environment of numeracy
2.     Math Stretches and calendar board activities
3.     Whole-class instruction
4.     Guided math instruction with small groups
5.     math workshop
6.     Individual conferences
7.     An ongoing system of assessment

Again - all of these components really go without further explanation (if anyone would like more info on them, please just ask!)

Having the last chapter, I get the privilege of wrapping up the book.  This book was fantastic to read and it made so much sense as far as using reading strategies and incorporating them into your everyday mathematical instruction.  With that, I will leave you with some questions to think about to help you reflect on your own mathematical practices:

  • Are students expected to construct their own meaning in math?
  • Are students encouraged to have ownership of their problem solving?
  • Are students encouraged to do problem solving for authentic purposes?
  • Are students encouraged to do voluntary math, selecting tasks for information, pleasure, or to fulfill personal goals?
  • How is math instruction scaffolded?
  • Are students encouraged to see the big picture, important concepts, and vital connections versus isolated pieces of mathematics?
  • Is forgiveness granted to students in mathematics?  Is making mistakes a natural part of learning? Is doing mathematics seen as a dynamic process that incorporates planning, drafting, revising, 
  • editing and publishing

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