Saturday, August 11, 2012

Math Stretches and Sharing Time

This week I have been taking part in a "Guided Math" course led by a few teachers in our district and based on the text, "Guided Math" by Laney Sammons, which I know others of you did a book study with this summer:

We were given some time to begin working on items we could use in our classrooms during the course, and I thought I'd share with you all some of the things I have been working on, as I am excited to try them out this year in my room!

First, one of the things the author of this text suggests using to continue to reinforce basic mathematical concepts and review are something she deems "Math Stretches". Using "Math Stretches" is a quick way for all students to share what they know and utilize key mathematical building block concepts tied to standards. In the book she highlights specific types of stretches that could be used each week related to number identification, number sequences, analyzing data, and in tying math to student background knowledge and the real world. 

I created the anchor charts below along with a few others to be laminated and posted in my room each day. Each morning when my students enter, one of the charts will be up on the board in a designated location. Using post-it notes or Expo markers, the students will come up during the morning routine to provide their response to the proposed question related to the title on the chart. The titles will remain the same throughout the year, I will simply change the related number, vocab term, or question each week. 

The titles of the pictured charts include "_________ makes me think of...", "Using Data", and "How my Family Used Math Last Night". Thurs for instance, I may write the word "fractions" on the line in front of "makes me think of...". My students will then grab a post-it sharing anything that comes to mind when they hear or think of fractions and place it on the poster. All students will be required to write their name or initials next to the responses. This activity is also great in giving me a quick informal assessment into their thinking and most important in getting them thinking! 

We also talked in class about giving students time to share after completion of guided math each day as much of their time is spent in independent math centers. One of the ways to focus the sharing discussion is to pose quick reflection questions to students in which they can share their responses with a partner, with the class, or in writing. I thought it would be great to create some of these sharing time prompts during my course "work time" that I could hang on a hook on my wipeboard and easily grab for use after our math block each day this school year. Here is what I came up with:

I printed out these 12 question cards I created, glued them to scrapbook paper, laminated them, and put them all on a ribbon to be used to hang them. You could most definitely put them on a binder ring as well. 

These "Math Sharing Prompt" cards are available at my TpT store in English and Spanish. Click on the image to check them out. 

Also, I would like to share with you all that I am joining in the "Back to School" Sale extravaganza at Teachers pay Teachers. August 12th -13th you can receive not only 20% off all of my products, but an additional 10% compliments of TpT using promo code BTS12, for a total of 28% off in total! Be sure to head over and check it out (and maybe even put my new prompts on your wishlist today for a discount tomorrow!).


  1. I had never heard of that book. I will check it on amazon as soon as possible.
    I will be teaching second grade this year (looping with my firsties)! Maybe we could have some kind of Spanish exchange. What do you think?

    1. I think that sounds like a wonderful idea! Let me know what you have in mind!