Hello everyone! I hope ZONES introduction and set up is going well for you. If you haven't started, it's not too late! And if you haven't started because . . . 'How in the world does this work for lower el?' . . . then hopefully this post will help you.
My math block this year is about 50 minutes long. On Mondays, we work whole group to introduce new activities and big concepts. The rest of the week we spend about 20-30 minutes on whole group instruction or completion of Engage New York worksheets (that the students cannot complete independently). That leaves about 25-30 minutes for students to work in their ZONES while I work with small groups. Within that time, I try to meet with two small groups a day. My groups are put together by ability and understanding of our current concepts.
I have gone this year to a more student led ZONES and Daily 5 time. We still work at the same focused tasks, but it is up to my students when they complete each activity. I no longer assign groups or tell them when to switch to their next activity. They know what they need to complete and mark it off as they go. If it is not complete on Friday, than they owe me some work! Telling students when to switch and policing behavior became my nightmare after last year . . . I am over it!
Here is an image of my ZONES board. It has been working really well and I am excited about the ownership and independence it is creating in my students. It also makes my life easier because . . . well . . . less policing!
With the time that we have to work on targeted activities in ZONES, I do not need to create tons of different activities for the students. I have a few things that switch out each week and a few more that switch out after a few weeks. Receptiveness in 1st grade is important for building those strong foundations. One time completing something is not enough.
I hope this helps to spark some ideas. I'll be back next month with more specifics about organization and activities!
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