Guided Math Book Study: Chapter 4


Chapter 4 is about using guided math in your whole group instruction. The author makes some great points about some of the challenges of whole group instruction, including keeping all students attentive and engaged, having less than the optimal time for feedback as students are involved in independent practice, and the simple fact that some of the best assessment happens in the small group setting. We need to remember that whole group instruction is just one of our tools. Like any tools, it needs to be used appropriately. Some examples given are:

1. Mini lessons
2. Activating strategies
3. Reading math-related literature
4. Math Huddles
5. Practice-and-Review sessions

Like many, I tend to spend a lot of time on whole-group instruction. One of the changes I want to make for next year is to do more mini lessons, so I have been reflecting on my math curriculum and how it lends itself to doing that. My favorite part of the chapter was the framework for a math mini lesson (Figure 4.1, p. 112). It involves four parts:

1. Connection: tapping into prior knowledge
2. Teaching Point: "Today I am going to teach you . . . ", then demonstrating and modeling.
3. Active Engagement: the guided practice part of the lesson and including things like "turn and talk" to get students involved.
4. Link to Ongoing Work: summarizing what we learned and talking about applying it as they work. This can be a great transition into the workstations.

I have created a simple planning sheet to help me look at turning the four pages of a daily lesson in my math curriculum into a mini lesson. You are welcome to download it and use in your own Guided Math journey. Just click the picture. Enjoy!


  1. Thanks for sharing about chapter 4. When I first started teaching workshop in reading and writing, I created a cheat sheet with the things I really needed to say during the mini-lesson. It helped until I became more comfortable with the format.
    Stories by Storie

  2. Nice planning sheet! Thanks for sharing!


  3. Thanks for sharing your planning sheet. I liked the mini lesson format as well.

    The Very Busy Kindergarten

  4. The planning sheet is great. Thanks for sharing.

    Mrs. Bartel’s School Family

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