Setting up guided math groups…How do you get started?
I choose a short 10-15 question pretest that covers only one skill.
Administer and grade the pretest. When setting up guided math groups, I organize the tests from the ones that missed the most to the least.
Next, I place them into 4 groups. Group 4 is my high group while group 1 is my low group. If necessary, I keep group one with the lowest number of students.
If you have less than 19 students in your class, you could choose to have only 3 groups.
The next step in setting up guided math groups is to decide how often you meet with each group. In guided reading by Fountas and Pinnell, the teacher determines the frequency of meeting with each group. Usually the low readers meet with the teachers several times a week for up to five days a week. The teacher meets with the high readers less often, sometimes only once a week.
My philosophy is different with guided math groups. In order to meet individual student needs, I meet with each group every day, especially with grades 2-8. This is the method that allows me to interact with students as they learn and practice new concepts with me. It also allows enough specific instruction time for students to work on the concepts that require a deep understanding and knowledge for mastery.
Preschool, Kindergarten, and First grade schedules may allow teachers to meet with groups every other day. On the off day, students are manipulating numbers in hands-on activities that keep them learning. This is appropriate for these age levels.
I hope you can use these details when you are setting up guided math groups for your classroom.