Thursday, July 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday- Math Block in Pictures

Hi Friends!
This is my first link up with First Grade Parade's Throwback Thursday!!

The reason I decided to join this linky is because I have been talking A LOT about my reading/Daily 5 time and I wanted to take a minute to talk about Math.  I have spent the last few years trying to get my math time just right.  And now with CCSS coming our way I think I Finally have it just right.  So I will take you through my math block today. I originally posted this on 
October 6, 2012.

I am excited to share the entire day's math block in pictures.  I hope that it will help you better understand the flow of the hour.

We start our time with "Problem of the Day"  I love this so much I can't even tell you!  This is a sample page from a student's math journal:

We don't do one EVERY day but I would say 3-4 days a week.  The kids are getting really good at the steps and how to represent the problem with a picture and an equation.

After they have time to solve the problem, I call several up to our document camera to teach the class how they solved the problem.  It is so great to see the variety of ways the children decide to solve the problem!  And having them "teach the class" is perfect math talk!
Click {here} to see the word problems at TpT.

After about 10-15 minutes on the word problems (this is after they are independent) I gather my students for a whole group lesson.  I love to use my smart board for this time.  I spend about 15-20 introducing a skill or reviewing a skill.

This might also be a time that we stop and record a new vocabulary word in our math vocabulary books (like the word "digit" as seen above).  I then add the math word to our math word wall. (to see the vocab pack click {here} or {here}).
I also have first and third grade too!!

Depending on the day or my timing, at this point I might have all the kids do an independent practice sheet based on the lesson.

  Then we break into our Math groups. 
I work with a group based on their needs (High, Medium, or Low group)- this is my favorite part because I can really cater to what they specifically need to work on!

hehe... my aide took these photos and they crack me up!  She was SO careful not to take any faces... including mine! :)

This is a group of about 5-6 kids... you just can't see them all here.

The rest of the kids are either in a "Math with a Friend" group:

Or a "Math On My Own" group:

The Math Workshop is a product in my TpT store and it has changed my math life!  This is from a teacher who grew up not a fan of math, struggled with math all her life and dreaded teaching math.  Now I can't get enough of math!!  And my kids are so disappointed when we don't do Math Workshop.  Gone are the days of all paper pencil activities and kids slipping through the cracks because you think they are all "getting it."
Sometimes my math time ends here.  Other times we gather back together for a recap or even an "exit slip" type of activity.  We spend about 20 minutes in our groups.  I have about 60 minutes devoted to math (give or take).
Once a week we do a math timed test (mad minute).  I test the kids on the facts that they already know and they work on a set of facts that are the best fit.  For example, if they are struggling with the 10 facts, their mad minute is all sums of 10 or less for their addition math fact test.  I started doing it this way because in the past I had kids that were trying to do a 40 problem mad minute (TOO MANY problems) and were stuck on the first problem that was 9 + 8 when in reality they needed problems more like 5 + 1.  They were defeated before they even got started!  I then created all my own timed tests, assessments, and parent letters for addition and subtraction.  You can see them
here(+)  and here(-)

I hope this helps a bit!  It took me 14 years to find a great balance to my math time, and to do things that REALLY work!  (and that have improved my math scores!)
PLEASE let me know if you have any questions... 
just email me! :)

Thanks so much for reading... as always I looove your comments!
How do you divide your math block?


  1. This is awesome! Thanks for all the ideas, suggestions and just the way you teach Math in your room. I am always looking for ways to improve my teaching.

  2. Last year I changed from a whole class group with pullouts and workshop to catch kiddos up, to individual folders. This was pretty difficult to keep up with, but I thought it was best to meet individual needs. Kiddos had to work for 15 min. on their own, then they had 15 min to work with a partner - that I chose based on like skills. Then I worked with either individuals or small groups.

  3. So excited for these ideas! I am newly teaching 2nd grade this year, and our district just increased Math instruction time from 45 to 60 minutes a day along with using CC math strategies...this seems to fit right in!

  4. Thanks for sharing. Last year was my first attempt at groups in math. I loved it and plan to do it again--hopefully I will be better at it!


    Teaching Little Miracles

  5. I did a few groups in math last year. Our biggest new thing was number of the day. I am hoping to revamp my whole teaching style next year and you have given some great tips for reading and math. NOW just to get it all in. I would LOVE to win your math package. I need help! I know I can do better as a teacher and you are an inspiration. Thanks;

  6. Last year I had 45 min for whole class math, then a 10 min. recess, & then another 45 min. for groups. LOVED it! This year don't know yet....schedules aren't quite done. We'll see! wendy 1stgradefireworks

  7. Oh what I would do to have an aide in my class or a parent volunteer! I love this idea of dividing them up for math with someone or math by myself....thank you for all of the wonderful ideas. I see my wheels turning trying to figure out how I can do this with my firsties.

  8. I'm going to be new to teaching 1st and 2nd grade students next year. Do you think your 2nd grade pack would be too advanced for a 1st grader? I'm really interested in trying out this schedule :)

    1. are you talking about the word problem pack? Your advanced first graders would love them! Your "average first grader" would struggle reading them as they are wordy. You could pair your 2nd and 1st guys together and your second grader could teach the first grader- this would help the first and benefit the second with their math talk!

    2. Yes it was the word problem pack I was talking about. Pairing sounds like an excellent idea! I can't wait to use them. Thank you so much :)

  9. Thanks for the great ideas! I struggle with Math instruction in my self-contained special Ed class, and I found this vey helpful! Love your blog!

  10. I have really enjoyed reading about how you implement The Daily Five. Now I can't wait to do the same thing for math. You have great ideas and explain everything so well in how you use them in your classroom.

  11. Thank you for the great ideas! I have been trying to figure out how to effectively run my math block for awhile now! I still haven't totally figured it out. I like the idea of a "Daily 5" type math where students have choices. Last year, I had math tubs with different activities, but it still felt "off" to me. So I was thankful for this post! I will definitely pin it to come back to later!

    Blooming In First

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  13. I loved reading this post! Thank you for explaining the ins and outs of your math workshop time. I always struggle with the scheduleing portion and getting it all in. The gem I took away from this was your Math Daily 3. I love the idea of math by myself, math someone, and I assume math with the teacher(?). I have got to try that! It makes SO MUCH sense. Thanks for blogging about this topic and providing pics.

    The Teaching Thief

  14. Hi, Tori! I think your teachers skills are amazing! I was wondering if i want to work like a teacher in school but you inspired me a lot and now i'm pretty sure about it. It is so interesting to invent some lessons which will be very effective for children. If i were your pupil i will deserve to study and will avoid asking someone's help with homework online .

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