Guided Math Supports Variety of Learning Styles

by Alissa Abercrombie and Carol Deaver

“I never liked math much until now.”

“I understand math – it’s my favorite subject.”

“Math stations are so much fun!”

Carol Deaver

Alissa Abercrombie

Since CMDS started using Guided Math, these are the kinds of comments we are hearing from our students during Math block. CMDS implemented the new math curriculum last year in our SK, 1st and 2nd Grade classes.

Guided Math is a hands-on, standards-based curriculum that supports and presents concepts in a variety of ways to meet every learner’s needs. Kinesthetic learners participate in hands-on activities during each lesson. Visual learners benefit from the bright colored graphic organizers. Auditory learners are engaged in small and large group instruction.

Guided Math has 4 distinct components:

1. Math Warm-Up

The warm-up reviews previous skills, which leads to complete understanding.

2. Math Whole Group Mini Lesson

The mini lesson introduces new concepts and lays the foundation for students to think about math in real-life situations.

3. Math Small Group Lesson/Independent Stations

Small group lessons allow teachers to differentiate skills for all students and to dig deeper into daily concepts. Working with just three or four students at a time assures the teacher that each student has mastered the concept that has been presented that day.

During small group instruction, other students are rotating through math stations to reinforce skills and concepts. Students rotate through four stations: math journals, games, technology and small group with the teacher. Movement around the room to the different stations keeps students engaged and focused.

4. Math Wrap-Up

Teachers then wrap-up the lesson with student reflections.

“What stretched your thinking?”

“What is still puzzling you?”

“What changed your thinking?”

This type of questioning creates an explicit model for students to reflect and think about their learning.

Combining all these specific components each day provides for the most robust and meaningful instructional time.

“The purpose of Guided Math is to meet the developmental needs of students as they learn math concepts.” – Reagan Tunstall, Guided Math Developer and Writer

Alissa Abercrombie is the Director of Curriculum and Grade School at CMDS. Carol Deaver is a 2nd Grade teacher who has been with CMDS for 39 years. She is the school’s longest tenured teacher.

Christ Methodist Day School opened its doors in 1958 to 75 kindergarten students. Since then, CMDS has stayed true to its Christian elementary school roots while continuing to thrive as one of the best private schools in Memphis. Come see why we are the primary choice for so many Memphis families.


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