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Liberty third grade class makes gains with guided math

Liberty third grade teacher Kelly Meyers works with a small group of students on units of measurement while another group of students completes workbook problems and a third small group of students play a math game to reinforce the lesson.  Eventually the groups will all rotate so each student has one-on-one time with Meyers as part of the guided math teaching method.

Liberty third grade teacher Kelly Meyers works with a small group of students on units of measurement while another group of students completes workbook problems and a third small group of students play a math game to reinforce the lesson. Eventually the groups will all rotate so each student has one-on-one time with Meyers as part of the guided math teaching method.

For years Liberty Elementary School third grade teacher Kelly Meyers would stand up at the front of the classroom teaching a lesson and then would spend the rest of the time racing around to make sure all of her students understood.

“With 30 students it was impossible to ensure that every student understood the lesson and was confident about what they had learned,” Meyers said.

This past August she start using a teaching technique called “guided math” in her classroom and, as Meyers said, “the changes are drastic.”

With guided math, Meyers gives her students a pretest before each new topic. Based on how the students score on the pretest, they are placed into one of three small groups. The groups take turns rotating between workbook problems, games to reinforce the concept and one-on-one time with Meyers.

“The kids love the small groups because they are getting the attention they need,” Meyers said. “I feel the students are more confident in their learning and are more apt to ask questions.”

Meyers feels guided math has been more effective with her students than a more traditional teaching method.

“I know that my students that are having an easier time with a concept will be getting challenged and the students that need extra help understanding the material will be able to get that too,” she added.

The groups change with each new unit, because there are students who really grasp some concepts and struggle with others.

Since implementing guided math Meyers has noticed her students are more apt to ask questions and their test scores have risen because she is able to spend more time with each student on a daily basis. She plans to continue guided math with her new class of third graders next year.

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