I love seeing how other teachers set up different parts of their day and their classroom schedules, so I thought I would share how we set up our math block. I have done it different ways over the years, but this one worked best for fitting in all of the different components of the math block. There are lots of different ways to set up guided math instruction. Guided math just allows for a structure that is driven by assessments and helps you to meet the individual needs of students. I have set it up in the past where I taught my entire math curriculum in small groups due to the needs of that specific class, but due to all of the other components I needed to squeeze in, I changed to this set up. Let's look at how we scheduled our guided math rotations, small group instruction, and guided math stations.

## Guided Math Rotations

We typically had about 60 minutes for our math block. That did not include our math intervention which lasted for 30 minutes. We would open our math block with some sort of fluency warm-up and then go into our number talk. After that we did our whole group lesson, partner practice, and then independent practice. Once that was all finished, we did our

**guided math rotations**. I liked to have 15-20 minutes for guided math rotations.I broke my students into four groups, based on needs. This allowed us to have four rotations for students to visit each week. You want to set expectations before you introduce rotations. We go over what they do at that station, what they need, what to do when finished, and anything else that needs covered. I add these steps to these signs that I post on the math focus board.

You can set up your rotations with a pocket chart or with slides that you display on your board. I usually did slides, which you can see below. That made it easier for my to switch up groups. If you do the pocket chart, you can just move the group cards down each day.

There are four rotations, but five days in a week. What do you do to make sure the rotations fit perfectly within a week? I would use Monday to teach the rotations. Monday's lesson usually took longer anyway, because I was teaching a new skill.

## Guided Math Center Activities

Let's look at what the different stations are and what activities I include in each. You will notice that I use the MATH acronym for the rotations.

### Math Fluency

Students need continuous fluency practice, so this station is absolutely necessary. I put some sort of fluency game in this tub, based on what students need to work on. You can even differentiate the activities for your groups. Just make sure it's a game they have already played and that it's engaging. I have them play the games until it's time to clean up.

### At Your Seat

This tub contains independent practice for students that they take to their seats. This is a great time to fit in spiral review or to work on a skill from the previous unit. I don't like to include a skill that we are currently working on, because I want it to be something they can do independently. If you do the spiral review, you could use that data for knowing what you need to cover in small groups. If students finish early, have something for them to do. I have a Dessert Tub, that I will explain a little later in this post.

### Teacher Table

Students meet with me during this rotation. This is not the only time I pull small groups. When students are working on independent practice, I am pulling students to work on that skill I just taught. The small group instruction during rotations is based on iReady data. This program groups students for me based on skill deficits. (This was an adoption by our district.)

Something I always struggled with was having time to plan for small groups with everything else you have to plan throughout the day. I knew there had to be a simpler way, so I came up with this Guided Math Student Binder. Each binder contains instructional math mats in sheet protectors that I can pull to work on that needed skill.

I keep five binders at my teacher table and just lay them out for students during small group. They just bring their dry erase marker and toolkit that contains their math manipulatives. Or I will have the tub of manipulatives out that we need for that lesson.

Students just turn to the mat that we need for that day and we get started. I don't have to worry about printing and pulling things for every small group lesson. It's ready to go all year!

### Hands-On

The hands-on center needs to be an activity that requires students to use manipulatives. This is the activity that I am usually teaching on Monday. You can use this to practice a previous skill from the week before. You can also differentiate as needed. For the activity below, students are building numbers. They pull a number from the pile and have to build it using place value discs. You could also have them use base ten blocks.

### Dessert Tub

Always have a plan for students who finish early. I liked to have a Dessert Tub. Put activities or games inside that they are familiar with, such as previous fluency activities. They can play these until it's time to clean up.

When it's time to clean up, I display this slide and play a clean up song. You can just click the yellow checkmark for it to play. This was the signal to clean up and get ready to pack up, since our math block was typically at the end of the day.

I know there are many different ways to set up your guided math rotations, but this is the way that worked for us. If you would like the pocket chart or slides for your classroom, you can click HERE. I also have the Guided Math Student Binder in my TPT shop. Thank you so much for reading and taking a peek into my math block!