For this activity I am quite deliberate in setting up partners. I partner "high" students with "medium-low" students, "medium-high" students with "low" students. I do this to avoid frustrating the high and low students, because pairing them together can create a large academic gap. I also assemble my materials.
Rally coach takes place when students observe, monitor and respectfully correct academic behavior in each other. When students are coaching each other, they actively listen and watch their partner(s) and they respectfully provide immediate feedback. Even the most struggling students respond positively to this type of interaction because it makes them feel successful and important. It founded on the belief that everyone has something constructive to offer.
Each day we begin our math block with an interactive online calendar followed by counting songs and videos.
We do calendar on Starfall.com every afternoon. This website has free reading and math resources for primary teachers. It also has a “more” option that requires paying a yearly fee. The calendar use is free and the Daily Calendar procedure is described in detail in the resources.
Counting with online sources: Today we did counting practice to reinforce the counting skills. We watched two to three number recognition 0-10 videos (one to two minutes each) because some of my students students were still struggling with identifying numbers correctly in random order. We watched "Shawn the Train" and counted objects with him to refresh our memories on how to count objects to ten and to reinforce one to one counting. Since we have started the second quarter of the school year, we added to today's counting practice: counting to 20 forward and back, counting by tens to 100 and counting to 100 by ones to get a jump on our end of the year goals.
I read a short counting book for quantities to ten. Today I choose to read How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. I quickly review counting from 0 to 10 with my students.
Teacher (I do – Direct instruction/Demonstration):
10-15 minutes (less time with lesson repeated)
I get my students mentally prepared for the task, make sure the task is understood, and make certain that you have clearly established expectations beyond simply getting an answer. I do this by thoroughly going over the objective with my students in a language they can easily understand, “I can” statements. I break down the student friendly objective by explaining what it is they need to do and WHY it is important for them to be able to do it.
E.g. I can count out objects by saying the numbers in order. I break this down by explaining, “I can count objects” and then by explaining how to do it through saying the correct numbers as you count objects one to one. I explain WHY this skill is so important for them to have now and in the future. (Why – I say, "Counting objects is a lifelong skill that is used by everyone everyday. It is important for you to be able to count objects so you can keep track of your things" – provide examples that relate to the students in your room).
I demonstrate the concept and task for the whole class. I provide several examples for the kids to observe, making sure that you have 100% of your students engaged at all times. (I pause and scan often).
A) I choose a student to be my partner for the demonstration (choose a partner who has a fairly good grasp of counting). I explain to the students that they will be working with partners and one person will use the “A” spinner and the other will use the “B” spinner on the same board.
B) I spin the spinner on the left of the dual spinner board (“A”). I say the number my spinner lands on out loud. I say, “Now I will count out __ objects (bears, chips, etc.). I clearly and slowly count out the number of objects that I landed on. I instruct my student partner to be my“coach” by making sure the number I say is the number I landed on and that the quantity I count out matches the number I landed on. This form of student interaction is referred to as “Rally Coaching” (Kagan strategy). It is encouraged that the strategy name is used with the students. They quickly become familiar with a variety of strategies and will soon understand what you want them to do just by using the strategy name such as Rally Coaching.
C) I walk my student partner through the process, rally coaching by watching him/her spin, say and count.
D) I repeat the process two to three more times. I ask questions of my students and have them tell me what comes next for each step (collectively).
Section 2: Group Work (We do – Teacher led/Students follow):
15 minutes (Less time needed with repeated lessons)
I have one student from each team pick up supplies (supplies should already be prepared – one bag of 10 manipulatives per team and one dual spinner board).
I repeat steps A-D (above) with Rally Coaches (partners) participating and following along. They count objects according to my spins until they are ready to play on their own. I continue to refer to the “I can” statement during their experience so students connect to the objective, not just the activity. The goal is for them to understand counting, not just knowing how to play the game.
Section 3: Independent (You do – Independent or partner work/Teacher circulates and observes):
15-20 minutes (increase time with repeated lessons)
Note: The most important thing here is to let go!
I give students a chance to work without my guidance. I give them an opportunity to use their ideas and not simply follow directions. It is also important for me to listen. I find out how different children or groups are thinking, what ideas they are using, and how they are approaching the problem. In this phase, I may provide hints but not solutions, and I encourage students to test ideas.
2. I direct the students to spin and count while Rally Coaching on their own as teams. My job is to roam the room, listen to conversations, correct only when necessary and ask reasoning questions as I encounter students. This is a good opportunity for me to take notes on observations I make about specific individual students. If I see specific students/teams struggling, I take them aside for extra coaching. Otherwise, I observe and intervene only when necessary.
Note: This is often where some of the best learning takes place. During this phase students share emerging ideas and the community of class learners is developed. This process will not develop quickly or easily. It will take time and repetition.
I ask for feedback from the students in the form of complete sentences and list key ideas or learning on chart paper as students share their ideas.
I provide a sentence stem for the first few experiences with this lesson (I know how to count __ because I know that _______.) I find it helpful to record student responses on chart paper for future review. I take notes on individual student performance during this portion of the lesson to assess skills in speaking and listening.
Description of Spin & Count Exit Ticket: There are 10 boxes on the exit ticket. There is a number between 0 and 9 in each box (random order). The students are asked to draw dots to represent the number at the top of each box, e.g. the box with the number 5 at the top requires the student to draw 5 circles in the box.
1. I demonstrate how to complete the ticket via overhead or Doc cam using a sample ticket that has numbers in a different order than the actual student Exit Ticket.
2. I check for understanding (I have the kids name the steps involved while I complete a sample). I answer/redirect any misunderstandings or questions.
3. I have the students complete the Exit Ticket independently.
4. I collect the completed Exit Tickets and sorts them according to performance (Meets, Approaches, Falls Far Below). Using the information gained from the exit tickets, I create groups for the following day or for math intervention time if necessary
Note: Closure and Section 4: Assessment can be done in reverse order at the discretion of the teacher.