The First Month of Guided Math

Welcome to part two in my three-part series all about starting guided math! If you’re trying to figure out how to get started, I’m here to give you practical tips and lesson ideas!

In part one, I shared a daily breakdown of what your first week of guided math could look like. I broke down what your mini-lessons could look like during those first five days. If you missed it, you can catch up here!

In today’s part two post, I’m going to pick up where we left off after the first five days during week one. I’m going to give you tips and mini-lesson ideas to help you continue setting a solid foundation for guided math instruction.

Plans for the first week and first month of guided math.
In case you missed it in part one, you can grab these free plans at the end of this post!

How to Start Guided Math: The First Month

As teachers, it’s in our nature to feel like we need to dive into the content right away. There’s tons of outside pressure to fit everything in. As a result, sometimes we rush through setting up a strong foundation.

If there’s one thing I want you to remember, it’s that it’s okay to take it slow. You don’t want to immediately start pulling small groups during your 2nd week because you’re setting yourself up to be interrupted five million times.

All that to say, during week two I like to teach one rotation per day. Yep, that’s it!

Week 2 of the first month of Guided Math

Each day, teach and practice one rotation. In my class, I used math centers, independent work, technology center, and teacher table. Go over explicitly what the rotation should look like. This includes voice levels, expectations, where materials are located, what to do when you finish, etc.

Give your students a chance to practice exactly what each rotation looks like! Walk around and monitor what you see. Stop and problem-solve with your class if you see issues that arise.

When I introduce math centers, I start with very basic fact fluency games to play. They are super low-prep math centers, and we end up using them all year long! I start with these addition fact fluency games!

During week three, it’s time to practice different rotations. This might look like one table of students playing a math game, another table of students working on iPads, and a third group working quietly on independent work.

At the beginning of the week, don’t force yourself to have your students complete every single rotation. Simply practicing what it looks like to have students in a few different spots in the classroom completing various activities is a great starting point.

As the week continues, give students a chance to rotate and complete two rotations. Teach a signal for alerting students that time is running out on their first rotation and what you expect them to do during the transition time.

It’s finally here! During week four you can dive into a true week of guided math instruction!

If you’re anything like me, sometimes just letting go and releasing control is hard! That’s why I’m dedicating part three of this series to releasing control! You can check it out here!

Free Guided Math Starter Kit

I know it would make your life so much easier if you could download this first month of guided math plans, so I’ve got it for you! In my FREE Guided Math Starter Kit, download the lesson plans, planning templates, student data tracking, and more!

In case you missed it, make sure to check out all three parts of my guided math series!

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