Thursday, July 21, 2016

A LONG Overdue Post

An Overview

This is way overdue!  Hopefully this post and future posts will answer any questions you have about merging Eureka / Engage NY math with Guided-Math.  My plan is to do a series of posts, each focusing on a certain aspect of merging the two programs successfully.

So here we go!  This first post is just an overview of where I was starting and where I ended up.

As a newbie to Eureka Math, I think just getting used to the format and what is expected of you to teach is huge enough.  Anyone who teaches fourth grade and Eureka math will tell you that the first unit, which is lengthy to begin with, is the hardest .  You get so lost in the technicality of what you need to teach that you get lost as a teacher.

So here I was, a new program, over 30 students, teaching only whole group math.  I was LOST!  I had to figure out how to make it work for both my students and I.

I decided to first try out three groups and do three rotations.  I did this for a couple months.  It was my baby way of getting my feet wet in both the curriculum and small groups. 

Here is an example of my rotations...  Each rotation was about 25 minutes each.

Now... small groups was my hold back.  At this point of time I had 33 students!  My small groups were 11 kids each.  That is not a small group.  That's like half a class for some teachers.  I was not accomplishing what I wanted to.  The benefit of small group is to have them at the group table, to see them write down their thought process and to guided them!  I couldn't do that, at all!

By winter break I had committed myself to figuring out a four group rotation.  That would bring down my group numbers, I could meet at the group table.  I used winter MAP (NWEA) scores to group my students, with the exception of those slight few that you knew would work better with certain students.  The challenge was going to be to figure out how to teach, all that I needed to in 20 minutes, small group.  I'll write more about that in detail in a future post.  I will talk about that, so don't worry! :)

I did four groups.  20 minutes each.  It was beautiful.  I was back.  The kids loved it!

My rotations...

And that is how I managed my groups for the rest of the school year.  Four group, about three days a week.  Two days a week I did whole group.

In my next post I'll talk more about how I managed to teach a small group the concept of the lesson in 20 minutes.  I'll also share some same schedules of how to incorporate the fluency, application, concept, etc.  So stay tuned!


  1. Thank you!I am watching your blog closely because I start Eureka 2nd grade with no training in 2 weeks. I want to do guided math as well.

    1. I am with you, Christine. I have taught the modules for the last two years, but I really want to do rotations...

      I am also hanging on every word Mary is typing and I will add what I discover as I try to do this!!!

  2. I look forward to your future posts on integrating rotations and small groups with Eureka Math. We just adopted it as our math curriculum and many teachers at my site are worried about the whole group instruction of it, especially in the younger grades. Any ideas about this will be extremely helpful!

  3. Dear Mary,
    I'm glad to see that you are using Zearn as one of your 4 rotation groups. I think it's a great program since it is organized with Eureka Math in mind. Do you have enough computers to have each student work independently or are you grouping students in pairs? Tell us more.
    Deborah Devine

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. My district adopted Eureka Math for the 2016-17 school year, and I really want to use the workshop approach.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing this! Our district also switched to Eureka this year, and I am overwhelmed, to say the least.

    When you are meeting with your groups during guided math, are you teaching the Eureka lesson? Or is your guided math during a reteaching segment? Not sure how to get it all in...