So when my district adopted a mastery-curriculum, I was jumping for joy. I also knew, too, that I needed to have something in place so my kids would not forget math skills from units we completed. I loved using Calendar Math on a daily basis because when we counted money every day, by the time the money unit came up, most of my kids had a solid understanding of each coin and were already counting change. Sure, a few of my students still didn’t understand money even after counting coins for 103 days, but they did have more background knowledge than if we hadn’t counted coins for 103 days. I decided to create a spiraling resource I could use with my students from day 1 that would serve this same purpose, but for all of our standards.
What are daily spiral math reviews?
The reviews I created served as a supplement to my existing math curriculum. Each day students are practicing one problem from each of the grade level’s math domains. So when I taught 1st grade, students solved 4 problems a day. When I taught 4th grade, students solved 5 a day. These reviews take about 10-15 minutes a day to complete and go over. They are bite-sized chunks so that students are quickly reviewing and even previewing skills all year long.
What are the benefits of a daily spiral math review?
There are several reasons I used daily spiral math reviews in my class. The main reason, though, is I loved how my students were getting a quick review of skills they had already learned. I didn’t realize how well my students were retaining skills, though, until it came to our end of year review sessions before the state standardized test. Previous years it took several days to review concepts I had taught earlier in the year and get it fresh in my students’ minds again. The first year I used a daily spiral math review, though, I only spent a day reviewing. And, honestly, I wouldn’t even call it a review because my students remembered the skills! I was ecstatic, and they were confident going into the EOY test because they hadn’t crammed the info into their minds just for the test. They had truly mastered those skills. Another benefit of using a daily spiral math review is that it provides the perfect opportunity for informal assessments. You can get a snapshot of how each student is progressing, and you can also identify any weaknesses BEFORE you teach that unit. You can plan ahead for interventions so when you get to that unit, you can hit the ground running with those struggling students. You can also plan ahead acceleration activities for those students who have already mastered those standards. Daily spiral math reviews can help you differentiate your instruction for each unit, so you are meeting each student’s individual needs.
How can you use daily spiral math reviews?
I used them in a variety of ways in my classroom. I used them as bell ringers because it helped my students get into the mathematical way of thinking. I also used them as morning work so that students had something meaningful to get their minds right for the school day. As the year progressed, I used them as a math center station (we had math centers before our math block), so that when our math block began the review was already finished and we could quickly go over them. At the end of the year they became homework because students had mastered all of the standards. The possibilities are numerous, and you will be able to find the best way to use them for your classroom.
What if students struggle?