Guided Math as Differentiated Instruction

Instructor: Shannon Orr
Teaching math concepts to students at different levels of understanding can be challenging. This lesson defines guided math and differentiated instruction, and describes how to incorporate the concepts into classroom lessons.

What If?

Imagine you are in the first grade, and your teacher is attempting to show the class how to regroup. The more she explains the concept, the more confused you feel. You want to raise your hand and ask for help, but it seems like everyone else understands. You don't want the other students to make fun of you, so you try to grasp the concept the best you can. When the teacher is finished, she asks if there are any questions but since no one else says anything, you decide to be quiet.

This unfortunate scenario occurs more often than not. As the teacher, it may seem as though you've presented the perfect lesson, and all of your students understand and are ready to move on to the next step. But after performing a quick assessment, you realize that some students do understand, a few may need a little extra help, and some have no idea what you've taught them. How can you help so many students at so many different learning levels? When this happens, guided math can be your best helper.

What is Guided Math?

Guided math refers to placing students with the same or similar understanding of a particular math concept in a group together. Differentiated instruction involves varying the difficulty of a lesson based on the abilities of the students.

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