Texas Mathematics Teacher Spring/Summer 2018 - 24

Reflections: Planning for Guided Math in the Kindergarten Classroom
On Fridays, I made a point to move around the room
during work station time and meet with students in
their work stations as needed (see Figure 4). This gave
me a good idea of which students I needed to meet with
on the upcoming Monday and what skills we should
review.
My new planning system consisted of observation
and note taking, no weekly template needed as I
had originally thought. Sometimes it was as simple
as writing on the table with a dry erase marker and
using a check mark for "understood and worked
independently," an "x" for "does not understand,"
and a squiggle type shape for "partially understood."
(see Figure 5).

Figure 4. Working in a guided math group
exploring with manipulatives.

When I gave up the idea of planning so far in advance,
it was a little terrifying. I love the idea of having a
planning template that checks all the necessary boxes
and is completely filled out for the upcoming week.
Teaching kindergarten is all about being flexible, though,
and meeting students where they are, especially when
they each have different prior knowledge and learn
at such different paces. When your students are five
years old, they may be at a completely different place
on Wednesday than they were on Monday. Having
an idea of the direction my small groups needed to go
turned out to be a more effective system for me and my
students than having a regimented plan.

Figure 5. A picture of informal observation notes.

Elizabeth Leimbach * eleimbach@pasadenaisd.org
Kindergarten Teacher, Richard Moore Elementary, Pasadena ISD

I like to think of mathematicians as forming a
nation of our own without distinctions of geographical origin, race, creed, sex, age or even
time...all dedicated to the most beautiful
of the arts and sciences.
~ Julia Robinson (1919-1985)

24

| Spring/Summer 2018

Texas Mathematics Teacher



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