Guided Math is similar to Guided Reading! Guided Math groups are like Guided Reading in many ways! In Guided Math, you meet with groups. Students are placed into groups based on data from different sources. The lessons taught within the groups are based on the student’s needs. The teacher knows the strengths and weaknesses of each student.
Just like in Guided Reading, teachers need to use common language. I teach my students to visualize the characters, setting, and action while reading a fiction story. Also, teachers show students how to ask “I wonder” questions and make predictions. Students learn to comprehend with strategies like back up and reread or making sure the text and picture match. These are great strategies from experts like Fountas and Pinnell as well as the Two Sisters with Daily 5 and CAFE.
In Guided Math, teachers also use common language. I teach my math students to read story problems and visualize where the characters are and what they are doing. Story problems are the world’s shortest fiction stories! Students need to use their questioning and predicting skills to think about what is going on in this particular problem and predict or estimate the final answer. Next students need to back up and reread the story problem to look for the details or numbers they need to work with. Then the students need to draw a picture or older students can write an equation so the “picture” or the student’s mental idea matches the text.
Another similarity is that vocabulary development is important in reading and math. I teach the math terms that are necessary for any and every student to know. When the student can read and define vocabulary words like perimeter, sum, difference, quotient, area, or product, then that student can make connections with math problems. This strategy is especially valuable to children who struggle in reading or with the English language.
I hope this helps teachers to make the connections between Guided Math and Guided Reading. In many ways they are similar. Read the next article that talks about their differences:)