I've had several emails asking me to post about different ways to divide a class into groups during math instruction so you can teach two different grades of math (split or multigrade class) or teach guided math groups (single grade class). So I thought in the next few posts I would describe some different options.

__Dividing to Scaffold__

__…__

__with Math Stations__

Part A: Small Group of up to 6SIX students/Preloading Before Whole Group/ Eight minutes 1

This first option can be used when you have a small group of students, no more than 6 please, that need extra help in math. These are the students that get that glazed look while you are teaching the lesson, and have a million questions when you are finished teaching or say, “I don’t get it.”You will teach a small guided math lesson to “preload” background information for the lesson that you will be presenting to the whole group.

**This should be no longer than 8 minutes in length.**What do you “preload?” To obtain the most information from the upcoming lesson, they must understand the vocabulary. For example, maybe you are talking about area and you would spend 8 minutes using a manipulative to get across that area is the space inside of a shape, and it can be measured with units that are all the same size. By providing 1 inch color tiles and having them cover the inside space of pre-drawn rectangles with the color tiles they experience what area is…not just listen to you explain it to the whole group. You also discuss what is the length and width of a shape and have them show you on a shape that they draw on an individual whiteboard slate.

Think of active, visual lessons with perhaps an individual whiteboard for each child or a smartboard…not worksheets. You might also be giving them a printed piece of information that they will look at during the lesson or take notes on that was created JUST FOR THEM.

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AREA = the space _______ a shape.

Label the width and length on your shape.

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That’s it. Just keep it simple. Remember this lesson should take no longer than 8 minutes. You need to ask yourself what is essential that they know so they will understand some of the whole group lesson, and ONLY teach that! Put yourself on a timer.

*What is the rest of the class doing while you preload those specific students?*

Independent Reading

Fact Practice

Everyday Math Games

Part Two: Whole Group Lesson/ Forty Minutes

Teacher Lead

You teach your lesson to the whole group as normal and give an assignment if needed.

Part Three: Math stations For All/ Fifteen minutes

Student independent work with Teacher Observation

*What's the benefit of this grouping?*

Scaffold learning for struggling students and stations for all.

*What type of classes would this work with?*

Multi-grade classes that are quite unequal in grade level groupings like 6 second graders and 22 third graders. Seek help from the grade level teachers in which the number is quite low and see if they would take those particular students for math instruction in their classes.

Single grade classes regardless of the number of students.

I like the preloading idea. This makes sense if you have students who are really struggling.

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