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Buzzworthy Back to School Ideas

Back to school time is quickly approaching. One more week until we have students in my building! I would guess that you are either on a similar timeline, that is, if you haven’t started back already! If you have found me through the blog hop, welcome! If you are here on your own, you are in for a treat! You have stumbled upon a blog hop focused on ideas that will help to get your math instruction ready for the school year ahead.

Beginning a new year of math is always a bit mind blowing to me. The stark difference between an end of year kindergarten student and a beginning of the year kindergarten student can be SO very drastic. At the end of last year I was helping students to understand the meaning of addition and subtraction in simple word problems, decompose numbers to ten and explore teen numbers as a ten and some ones. Next week I will be helping a new crew to recognize and count to 10! Only two months ago my first graders were able to use multiple strategies to add and subtract with sums to 20  and could draw a simple part part whole to represent a word problem. My new first graders are still grasping the concept of addition.

All of this being said, there is certainly a range of understanding and ability even within a class of students at the beginning of the school year. In order to start the year off right, it is important to do some sort of basic assessment that tells you who is where they need to be at the beginning of the school year and who is lacking foundational skills needed to start the year off right.

Intervention groups can be started as early as the second week of school. Small groups with a targeted goal will help to get your whole class on track ASAP so that all students can get the most out of grade level instruction. Below, I have included three basic checklists. If any of your students can NOT complete the skills on the check list, you may consider starting some extra small group time with these students. CLICK HERE for a (free) printable version of these checklists!

Small group intervention at the beginning of the year could look different from class to class. Some ideas you might consider would be:

  • Pulling students for 5 minutes in the morning while others are unpacking and doing morning work. 
  • Pulling a small group at the very end of math to review a concept while other students are completing an independent practice activity. 
  • Providing a basket of hands on math centers to reinforce the target concept that can be done any time a student finished work early. 
  • Providing an alternate homework that focuses on the target skill or concept. 
  • Having a parent volunteer oversee students working on a pre-taught hands on center. **Parent volunteers should not be delivering intervention- the most highly qualified teachers should be working with the students with the most needs. But, after initial instruction parents could oversee independent practice. 
Good luck with your new students this year! The sooner you solidify their foundations, the sooner they will be ready to go with your new and exciting content!

Head on over to Adventures in Guided Math to continue the blog hop! 

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