I am unable to get through the work for a day?
This is absolutely okay. The book is not set up to follow word for word. It is about the structure of the content delivery that brings the success. It was written in this comprehensive way to provide teachers with as much content and ways in which to deliver that content as possible. There is probably 2 years of work in each Teacher Guide book. Throughout the years I have heard from teachers their approach to teaching using my book. There are those who complete all that is possible in a day and then the next day they continue from where they left on and this continues day after day. These teachers only get to Day 100 but the depth of the content covered is incredible because of how it is structured. Then there are those teachers who teach what is possible in a day and the next day go on to the next lesson. They move forward in this manner and get to the end of the book. If they had missed content the first few days, they simply add it in as the students are ready.
Is there flexibility when using this methodology or do I have to do this every day to have success? Can I incorporate centers? Can I incorporate games? Can I give worksheets to complete? Am I able to do mini lessons or other activities?
Without a doubt is there flexibility. I encourage flexibility. Do not throw away all those great activities, centers, games, worksheets, mini-lessons you have created or have found through other mathematical avenues. The best program comes from pulling from all the experts.
We should not follow any one program as a bible. The key to the success of this methodology is the integration of strands and the daily repetition and practice. But remember, practice can come in many different ways. Also, students do require mini-lessons throughout the year to focus on different curriculum outcomes.
Why is the integration of strands so beneficial to learning?
We need to keep in mind that the learning of mathematics should not resemble that of an assembly line or be taught in units. Assembly line teaching or unit by unit teaching would have students learn addition first, then subtraction, then multiplication, and lastly division. When outcomes are taught in a unit approach, or as one of my principals once said, snapshot mathematics, students do not make the connections. They will not see addition and subtraction as inverse operations and this is the reason we see students in middle school still counting on their fingers. If they don’t see multiplication and division as inverse operations, will they be successful with factors, multiples, fractions, decimal numbers? Outcomes are interconnected and if we do not teach our students in this way, they won’t do it automatically. This integration of strands builds number sense and allows students to be flexible and creative in their mathematical thinking and problem solving. Teaching in a manner that integrates the strands daily allows students to become numerate.
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