Number of Groups:
I highly recommend four groups for Math Rotations. My rotations include: Teacher Time, Seat Work, Game, and Tech Time (more info and ideas to come on these later in the series). Yours might differ depending on your math curriculum and class needs.
I also recommend at least four groups so that your group sizes can be kept as small as possible. It’s ideal to have 4-6 kids in a group, but I do understand some class sizes make that challenging. The smaller the groups, the easier it is to differentiate and tailor your instruction, but again I understand some class sizes are large so you may need to have larger groups.
As I mentioned in the pre-test section, flexible grouping is key to Math Rotations. My groups are always fluid. Sometimes I will place a child in Group 1 because on the pre-test they struggled and didn’t understand. Sometimes that child will surprise you after a day or two in groups and you might need to move them up to a different group. This can also go the opposite way. Sometimes a child might show that they understand it on the pre-test, but when working with them you don’t feel like they really grasp the concept. Again – you can move them. That’s the beauty of flexible grouping – no one is ever stuck in their group.
I also like that groups are dependent on how the child does with a specific skill. A child isn’t in the low group for the entire year just because they struggled with the first math concept you taught or your beginning of the year assessments. The groups are based on how each child does with each skill, which really tailors to the needs of the child – not just a one-time evaluation or assessment.
If you missed my past posts from my Math Rotations Blog Series, click below…
FREE Math Rotations Planner
Math Rotations can seem a little overwhelming at first especially when you are trying to differentiated to meet the needs of all of your students. To help make this easier, I’ve created this digital or printable planning sheet that you can use to plan out your whole rotation for the day – standards, mini-lesson, rotation activities, and differentiated small group activities. This is a FREEBIE that you can sign up for HERE. Happy math planning!