It’s Seminar Season…

I am excited to have the opportunity to once again deliver my 2-day seminar across the country. For those of you who have attended in the past, thank you! Your positive comments and feedback have helped me continuously shape and evolve this seminar to meet teachers’ needs. For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to attend, this post is for you.

Over the past couple of years my seminar has been titled, Guided Math: An Instructional Framework. This year the title underwent a slight change, Maximize Your Math Block: Make Every Minute Count! We did this because this seminar is much more than guided math. It really is about revamping your math instruction to meet the demands of the standards and delving deeper into the content we are expected to teach. We often hear the terms, procedural understanding and conceptual understanding, but do we really know what that means, specifically at the elementary level? Do we teach a concept to understand a procedure? Or do we teach a procedure to understand a concept? My goal is after our time together you will have a much better understanding of these concepts as well as feel confident in your ability provide the best possible math instruction to your students.

During our two days together, we focus deeply on quality math instruction. We begin by discovering how to create “mathematical thinkers” in our elementary classrooms, as opposed to “mathematical doers.” Through hands-on activities and pictures, you will walk away with ideas to begin using right away which will put problem solving as the focal point in all your math lessons. You will discover the importance of encouraging communication from all students, different ways to show multiple representations, helping students justify their answers, and ways to unlock patterns, make connections, and discover inverse relationships.

You will create an interactive notebook with the 70-page handout you will receive at the training. In addition, you will create anchor charts, sketch-note game directions, and record your own notes in your notebook. This models what a solid interactive notebook should look like in your classroom. We will even create a table of contents page for organization, and some of you may choose to put tabs in your notebook to divide it into sections. These are all excellent models to replicate in your own classroom.

On day two we will look closely at the different types of instruction, including small groups, whole group, and workstations. Regarding small group instruction, we must keep in mind there are different types of small groups; groups based on need (remediation/acceleration), groups based on daily content, and mixed-ability groups. We will discuss what remediation means and different types of activities to use for remediation. I will give you planning sheets and show some ways to document anecdotal notes. Along with small group instruction, you will take part in a whole-group hands-on lesson. What does a solid whole-group lesson look like? How does it differ from direct instruction? In your notebook you will record the 5 components of a solid math lesson. The idea of math workstations terrifies some teachers. I will share organizational tips, planning sheets, and give you access to over 60 workstations to use in your classroom. You will find once you start using workstations with your kids, it will become their favorite time of day.

We will conclude our time together with a variety of suggestions on how to make the most of your math minutes regardless of the math curriculum you use, the amount of time in your math block, and the grade level you teach. We will look at multiple ways you can have a “guided math” classroom. My focus isn’t on a correct way, but rather finding a way that works best for you and your students.

Wether you love math, hate math, enjoy teaching math, or are unsure of what the math standards mean, I promise you this seminar is for you! You will leave with some new clarity, some concepts to ponder, and a wealth of activities and games your students will love! I hope you consider joining me in one of my four locations this year:

  • November 5-6 Denver, ColoradoGM Seminar Pic 1
  • November 29-30 Westlake, Louisiana
  • January 31-February 1 Indianapolis, Indiana
  • February 7-8 San Antonio, Texas

Please visit sde.com to register today.

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