This post will answer the most frequently asked questions about Guided Math! Each heading below will share the question in order for you to quickly find the answers you are seeking.
Guided Math Frequently Asked Questions Explained
Before we begin, I want to explain what Guided Math is, and what Guided Math is not! Generally speaking, the term ‘guided math’ refers to a structure we apply to our math block. Within that structure, there are key components. Each component has a specific purpose in the guided math framework. This guided math structure is near to my teacher heart. I have spent decades reading, researching, and applying those components to my classroom and math block. Through this classroom application, I learned, grew, and applied the heart of guided math instruction with both budding and more advanced mathematicians.
Now it’s time to get to the seven most frequently asked questions about guided math.
How and Why did you Create ‘Guided Math’ the Curriculum?
I never set out to create a curriculum, but through years of trying to apply different state adopted math curricula to the guided math structure, I always found that I was spending an average of nine hours a week lesson planning just for math. Nine hours. The reason for this is simple. Math curriculum is written for the whole group math classroom and aimed at the middle high performing student. Occasionally some centers ideas are thrown in for good measure, but having students at “centers” does not equal a guided math structure by any means. There’s more to it. I found myself week after week having to pull the actual standards I was trying to teach. Once I pulled the standard, I studied it through the lens of the math continuum. I designed whole group mini-lessons and small group lessons to fit the mathematical developmental stages of learning.
As I would teach my lessons, I would use a scratch pad to take notes on what my students needed to connect the current learning to the next math strand and how I could differentiate to fill in the gaps, as well as the advanced thinking, that I was seeing as students worked with me in the small group setting. Through this process, I set out to make the next school year easier for myself by formatting all of these notes and lessons into Guided Math.
What’s the Difference Between Guided Math on TpT and Guided Math on Hand2Mind?
This is the number one question I am asked. Guided Math on Teachers pay Teachers and Guided Math on Hand2Mind are comprised of the same content. For each grade level, it is the lessons and materials for each math standard within the nine math strands for the year. 180 lessons for the school year. Each grade level has 9 units. Each unit is a math strand that the grade level teaches.
The Guided Math bundles that I sell on Teachers pay Teachers are instant downloads of the lessons and materials to teach the math standards for whole group and small group. This material needs to be printed, prepped, and organized for teaching. You can purchase one unit, or math strand, or you can purchase all 9 units in a discounted bundle for the year. The price is $16.50 per unit and $125 for the whole year.
The Guided Math kits that are sold on Hand2Mind are the hard goods version of this content. Hard goods mean that everything has been manufactured and prepped for you and placed into totes. The totes consist of teacher lessons book, math cards, mats, and lesson plans all printed, prepped, laminated, and are ready to be distributed. A school or district typically purchases these kits for more wide-spread use. The price of a prepped unit is $79. The price of all nine prepped units is $699.
Can I Teach the Guided Math Units in a Different Order?
Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes. Each math strand consists of 20 lessons. You can change the order the units or stands and you can jump around within those strands. Perhaps you want to choose five lessons from number sense and then choose five lessons from addition and subtraction. You must follow a scope and sequence? Perfect. I have a standards alignment overview for every lesson and grade level. This is so you can order the units and lessons to match your needs and more importantly the needs of your learners.
Free Guided Math Standards Alignment Guides
Below you can find the free standards alignment guides for each grade level of guided math. Additionally, this will be a document download that shares each lesson within each unit and it’s alignment to both Common Core and Texas TEKS.
Is Guided Math a Supplemental Resource or a Full Curriculum?
Guided Math has been used for years as both main curricula for schools and districts as well as a supplemental ‘small group’ support component for schools and districts. Let me share a public survey done by teachers using guided math both ways. The results of that survey can be found HERE! Therefore, you are welcome to share this with your team or administrator if you are considering Guided Math as either a supplement or a main guiding resource. *But, be sure to download it first and view it in Adobe. It should have clickable questions on the left and all of the results on the right.
Does the Guided Math Bundle have Centers?
Think of Guided Math as your main course in a meal. It is your meat and potatoes. Guided Math is your standards-aligned lessons. This is what the teacher is doing throughout the math block. It consists of math mini-lessons (done in whole group) and then the small group lessons that follow each whole group lesson. Also, not only will you get the lessons, but you receive the materials to teach those lessons. Guided Math the bundle or the individual units does not have centers games included. The centers or workstations that you choose to put out are your side dishes to the main course of Guided Math. I have additional workstation bundles to cover those side dishes for you as well. Thus, you can read THIS POST to get ideas about which workstations to put out and how to structure those.
I want to Implement the Guided Math Structure, Where Do I Start?
If you want to begin implementing guided math, I have a How to Launch Guided Math Guide just for you! This is going to share some key tips and tricks for setting up and then it will share 20 launch lessons to get this structure up and running in your room! At the end of the guide, you’ll find a graphic organizer of resources for each grade level and where they fit into the guided math structure. Also, I have many blog posts about starting and maintaining the guided math structure. Go to the search bar on the top right of this blog or click the math tab to find years of math posts ready to read!
Furthermore, no matter where you are in your guided math journey, I want to help you! Remember when starting a new structure, take on one component until you feel comfortable. For this to be an effective structure in your classroom, take the time to build it to work for you and your students! Here’s a video below showing an example guided math lesson from start to finish!