I don’t know about you, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the

Guided Math Book Study and am kinda bummed to think about it’s conclusion here

in the next few weeks. This week, we

dive into the world of conferring during Math Workshop, which is a fundamental piece

of the process. Sammons says that “in

many ways, conferring is the heart and soul of teaching. As we confer with students, we sit alongside

them at their levels and listen intently to their words, trying to follow their

reasoning and probing to determine the extent of their understanding.” I couldn’t agree more that this is so

critical to the success of Guided Math.

**Research Student**

Understanding:

Understanding:

The goal of a Guided Math Conference is simple. Through this process, you are trying to “move

a student from what he or she can

do independently to what he or she

do independently.” (Sammons, 213) But this simple goal doesn’t come

easily. To begin a Guided Math

Conference, you must take time to listen intently to what your student is

telling you about a given problem or skill. During the research phase, teachers

are determining if students can display mathematical evidence of their

understanding of given skills. In order

to do this, the teacher must observe students and ask questions in a careful

manner. In order for the research phase

to be effective, teachers must “differentiate between the authentic ideas of

students and those that are automatic answer to leading questions.” (Sammons, _____) If we are leading students to answers, this

does not take from

consider:

a student from what he or she can

*almost*do independently to what he or she

*can*do independently.” (Sammons, 213) But this simple goal doesn’t come

easily. To begin a Guided Math

Conference, you must take time to listen intently to what your student is

telling you about a given problem or skill. During the research phase, teachers

are determining if students can display mathematical evidence of their

understanding of given skills. In order

to do this, the teacher must observe students and ask questions in a careful

manner. In order for the research phase

to be effective, teachers must “differentiate between the authentic ideas of

students and those that are automatic answer to leading questions.” (Sammons, _____) If we are leading students to answers, this

does not take from

*almost*to*can*do a task independently. Be sure that as you are researching, youconsider:

*Learning Styles

*Anecdotal Notes

*Previously Mastered

Skills

Skills

*Previous Skills

Causing Difficulty

Causing Difficulty

*Appears Confident/Unsure

*Working

Productively/Efficiently

Productively/Efficiently

*Using Appropriate

Strategies

Strategies

*Overlooking

Steps/Details

Steps/Details

Whoa! Daunting,

huh? Want to know the craziest

part? This should be completed

quickly! Conferences are intended to be

short and all four components should be balanced as far as the amount of time

spent in each phase. You have to quickly

determine where you student’s understanding is currently and move on to the

second step.

huh? Want to know the craziest

part? This should be completed

quickly! Conferences are intended to be

short and all four components should be balanced as far as the amount of time

spent in each phase. You have to quickly

determine where you student’s understanding is currently and move on to the

second step.

**Decide What Is**

Needed:

Needed:

After researching the strategies, progress, and overall

understanding of a given task, it is time to begin the deciding phase. In this phase, you will begin to determine

what does the student need next? Begin

by complimenting the student and telling them what they are doing

correctly. Many students struggle with

math conferences because it can be intimidating! You can understand the thought of someone

hovering over you, watching your work, and telling you each and every time you

make a mistake or are not being efficient.

So don’t do it to your students either.

Build them up before you deliver your instruction and address their

needs. This allows them to see what they

need to do in future problems as well as keeps them motivated and open to your

suggestions. As a teacher, you may be

nervous or hesitant about math conferences and your ability to quickly and

effectively confer with your students.

But the only way to get better is to PRACTICE! Just do it!

You may make mistakes in your conferences and struggle to know where to

take students next. Careful planning and

a little research of the scope and sequence of the topic will be beneficial in

knowing where to go with students to take them to the next level.

understanding of a given task, it is time to begin the deciding phase. In this phase, you will begin to determine

what does the student need next? Begin

by complimenting the student and telling them what they are doing

correctly. Many students struggle with

math conferences because it can be intimidating! You can understand the thought of someone

hovering over you, watching your work, and telling you each and every time you

make a mistake or are not being efficient.

So don’t do it to your students either.

Build them up before you deliver your instruction and address their

needs. This allows them to see what they

need to do in future problems as well as keeps them motivated and open to your

suggestions. As a teacher, you may be

nervous or hesitant about math conferences and your ability to quickly and

effectively confer with your students.

But the only way to get better is to PRACTICE! Just do it!

You may make mistakes in your conferences and struggle to know where to

take students next. Careful planning and

a little research of the scope and sequence of the topic will be beneficial in

knowing where to go with students to take them to the next level.

**Teach to Student**

Needs:

Needs:

Here is the FUN part!

You’ve observed them and determined what you are going to do in order to

help them. Now you get to teach it! There are three ways in which you can do this

quickly and effectively.

You’ve observed them and determined what you are going to do in order to

help them. Now you get to teach it! There are three ways in which you can do this

quickly and effectively.

*Guided Practice:*

Depending on the skill and learning style of your particular

student, guided practice might be the best way to approach teaching a skill. In using guided practice, you sitting next to

the student and allowing them to complete the problem with your

assistance. The key to guided practice is

that the

and making their way through the process, NOT YOU! Allow them to do it with your guidance.

student, guided practice might be the best way to approach teaching a skill. In using guided practice, you sitting next to

the student and allowing them to complete the problem with your

assistance. The key to guided practice is

that the

**student**is doing the workand making their way through the process, NOT YOU! Allow them to do it with your guidance.

*Demonstration*

A demonstration is pretty much the opposite of guided

practice. In a demonstration, they sit

back and watch you make your way through the problem. While making your way

through the problem, you model your thinking aloud with the student.

practice. In a demonstration, they sit

back and watch you make your way through the problem. While making your way

through the problem, you model your thinking aloud with the student.

You may personally relate to one of these styles more than

the other because most people learn according to a guided practice style or

more of a demonstration style. Back in

the day when I worked in retail and trained new associates, I would always ask

them if they wanted to do the task or watch it.

Everyone learns differently, try to appeal to what you know about your

students’ learning styles.

the other because most people learn according to a guided practice style or

more of a demonstration style. Back in

the day when I worked in retail and trained new associates, I would always ask

them if they wanted to do the task or watch it.

Everyone learns differently, try to appeal to what you know about your

students’ learning styles.

*Explain and Showing an*

Example:

Example:

During this type of teaching, you rely on lessons and

activities that you have already discussed.

Refer students to anchor charts that you and your students have

developed together. Show them how to use

resources in the classroom such as interactive notebooks, anchor charts,

textbooks, and math-related literature effectively. Many times, students are so close they just

need reminders of the steps in the process or terms needed.

activities that you have already discussed.

Refer students to anchor charts that you and your students have

developed together. Show them how to use

resources in the classroom such as interactive notebooks, anchor charts,

textbooks, and math-related literature effectively. Many times, students are so close they just

need reminders of the steps in the process or terms needed.

**Link to the Future:**

And last but not least is linking your current task to

future learning. Make sure that students

realize how these skills will relate to future problems and allows them to

generalize their learning. This will

take encouragement to keep students from becoming overwhelmed. You are simply building a mathematical

foundation.

future learning. Make sure that students

realize how these skills will relate to future problems and allows them to

generalize their learning. This will

take encouragement to keep students from becoming overwhelmed. You are simply building a mathematical

foundation.