It is important to reflect on our math routines. This post walks you through the process I take to give my math routine a little refresh. This is great to do at the beginning of the year, after a long break, or anytime your math block is feeling a bit boring.
One of the most important things to focus on when you refresh your math block is your procedures. When students have mastered each procedure, you will have a functional math block that is productive. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What is working well?
- What needs to be changed?
- Is there wasted time?
- Do students have all of the materials they need to be successful?
- Can students transition between different parts of the block smoothly and efficiently?
- Is my instruction well planned and organized?
Review Math Block Time:
The first step in your math routine refresh is to review how much time you are spending on math. Take a minute to write out your ACTUAL schedule. Don’t write down your dream schedule, write down your reality. Once you have the times written down, decide if there are any times that you want to change.
- Do you wish you had more time for students to play math games?
- If you use rotations, are they long enough? Too long?
- Is there any wasted time in your math block?
- Are students overwhelmed by transitions?
- Is there anything that is just a “time filler” and not a necessary item?
By going through the above questions and taking a hard look at your time, you can make changes to ensure that your math block is meeting your students’ needs.
Try Something New:
A new year marks the opportunity to try something new. Have you considered using guided math, math centers or implementing math games? Before adding anything to your block, consider the following:
- How will your students benefit from the new component?
- What materials will your students need?
- How much time do you have to devote to this new component?
- Why do you want to add something? What purpose does it serve?
Survey Your Class:
One of my favorite things to do when I am looking to make changes to our current routine is to ask my students for input. This gives them ownership and helps me to see potential problem areas that I wouldn’t have considered. You can ask your students the following questions to get the conversation started:
- What do you like about our math block?
- What do you dislike about our math block?
- What have you done in prior years that you found helpful that we don’t do?
- If you could change one part of our math block, what would you change?
Hopefully this post gave you a few ideas to get you thinking and reflecting about your math block. Taking the time to refresh your math routine will have you feeling productive and more efficient!
Need more math ideas? Here are a few more posts you might like: