3 Tips to Refresh Your Guided Math Small Groups

3 Tips to refresh your small groups: What to do when you get in a guided math rut

When your students get back from a break or struggle with the monotony of your typical small group guided math routine, it might be time to refresh and start over! This is the perfect time to switch things up, review expectations, and get back into guided math small groups with a fresh start. Follow these three tips below to break out of your rut and refresh your small group routine!

3 Tips to Refresh Your Guided Math Small Groups

Tip 1: Go back to the basics

This is the time to go back and revisit the classroom expectations and routines. Especially if your students are coming back from a break or you’ll be mixing up students into new groups, it is important to take time and review small group routines before you change anything. This small step sets you up for success.

Start reviewing expectations by making an anchor chart together about what mathematicians should be doing during guided math. This is the same anchor chart you might have made at the very beginning of the year, but it’s okay to bring it back out as a reminder!

Mathematicians anchor chart
You can download this free resource at the end of this post!

As you make the anchor chart, pay attention to which students are confident in the routine and who needs some extra support. Display the anchor chart to remind everyone of expectations before beginning small groups again.

Tip 2: Make adjustments to your guided math small groups

Based on assessments, data, or observations you’ve made, you may need to switch a few students into different groups. Now is the perfect time to do that! Regrouping students can help reenergize both your students and yourself. Plus, if you’re struggling with classroom expectations this helps everyone have a fresh start.

Once you’ve made your new groups, make sure you give every student a fresh chart! These individual rotation charts will help your guided math block run smoothly and your students stay organized and on task!

Read more about how to organize your small groups with these charts in this post!

Guided math small group rotation charts
Find these editable guided math and guided reading rotation charts here!

Tip 3: Find a new motivator for your students

Sometimes we need to give our students something to get excited about! That could mean a new math center or game, a craft, a math challenge, or something else! If you are feeling in a rut, then odds are, your students are, too!

One of my favorite motivators to use during math small groups is math mysteries! These fun challenges are a great way to engage students in a new and exciting way. To solve the mystery, students have to use their math skills to complete challenges and earn new clues!

You can try a FREE math mystery here!

math mystery challenge worksheets
math mystery clues

Students can’t get enough of these math challenge mysteries for Addition, Subtraction, and Place Value! You can also find all 10 mysteries here!

Ready to get started? In my FREE Guided Math Starter Kit, download lesson plans, planning templates, student data tracking, and more to help you refresh your small groups!

Looking for more help with guided math? Be sure to check out my 3 part series about launching guided math!

  1. The First Week of Guided Math
  2. The First Month of Guided Math
  3. Guided Math Classroom Management

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