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Guided Math – Centers Vs Whole Class Anchor Activity

on November 9, 2012

I feel guided Math is an essential part of any Balanced Math program. I see the benefits first hand each time I incorporate this component into my lessons. If you are unfamiliar what Guided Math, this blogspot that has a fantastic definition: http://guidedmath.wordpress.com/what-is-guided-math/


I’m asking if you prefer to use centers or a whole class anchor activity while moving through your Guided Math groups?

Do you have any suggestions if the majority of your students are not independent workers?


One response to “Guided Math – Centers Vs Whole Class Anchor Activity

  1. mrssmithnmes says:

    Hi Sean,
    I’ve only ever done Guided Math as a rotating part of a center activity. I like this format for a variety of reasons:
    -I can have different activities that keep students engaged (I even do cross-curricular with Literacy and Math).
    -I only keep students at each center for about 15 minutes which helps keep them from becoming bored, disengaged and ultimately rowdy.
    -It helps to keep me on track when I know I only have a certain amount of time to get through what I want to get through.
    -There are minimal interruptions.

    Some cons to this method are:
    -it involves more planning and preparation time
    -sometimes 15 minutes isn’t enough time to get through your guided math lesson, especially if you’re working with a lower-level group.
    -it can be noisier sometimes.

    If you chose a whole-class activity to use as your anchor activity, your students would really have to know what your expectations are in order to keep from interrupting you. For example, they would need to know what they should be doing if they happen to finish early (before your guided math session is complete) and then be able to begin working on that activity independantly. I could foresee this as a potential problem for my class. Some would get right to work and others would need constant redirection (those who are not able to work independantly yet), thus interruptions would occur.

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