## Whats The Difference Spiral Vs Mastery Math

Doing math through the mastery method is sometimes knocked for not reviewing and spiral math for moving too fast. The truth is I see the difference more in how they use review.

The mastery based approach uses review after a concept is learned and practiced until its mastered. A mastery math approach teaches a concept, then practices that concept. The intention of this practice is to understand the concept and be fully able to utilize it.

With the spiral approach review is used to master a new concept. The spiral approach also teaches and then practices. The difference being the amount of practice is smaller, and they move on to review quicker.

## Math Spiral Review: A Quick Start Guide

How many times have you taught something one month, and then a few months later your students seem to have *completely* forgotten what they learned? I know weve all been there at least once. Thats why I love implementing spiral review.

And guess what? I know your days are busy, busy, busy, but you can implement spiral review in just a few minutes a day!

Heres a quick guide to spiral review!

## Using Formative Assessment Data

Once students have had an opportunity to receive a reteach or additional practice for a specific skill, its important to assess their understanding to determine if the students need more practice. Formative assessment tools, such as exit tickets and short quizzes, make great tools for getting this feedback from students.

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## What Is Spiral Review

**Spiral review** is the idea that, after introducing and teaching a foundational concept or skill, students continue to practice it regularly throughout the school year in order to maintain what they have learned. It is also known as the **spiral learning method, spiral approach **or** spiral instruction**. It is an integral part of every 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classroom.

## Tips For Implementing Spiral Review In Your Classroom

Here are 5 tips for implementing spiral review learning:

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## Why Spiralling Leads To Robust Learning:

Spiralling the Ontario Math Curriculum allows students to make connections between math concepts, which leads to robust learning. For instance, showing students how ** fractions**relate to

**and**

*time***is an example of making connections between math concepts. BUT, it is difficult for students to make these connections if they learn about fractions, time, and money in isolation, just ONCE, and at separate times of the year. Spiralling allows students to see connections between math strands because strands are revisited throughout the year and integrated to explicitly show connections.**

*money***THIS leads to sticky learning.**

Spiralling the curriculum is one of the many strategies being reinforced during professional development, which is great but figuring out how to implement it is overwhelming! I think that an overwhelmed teacher is like a deer in headlights. We freeze. Its hard to even consider the next step.

Well, I decided to do something about it, and created a solution that makes spiralling QUICK & EASY to implement!

## Writing Your Own Spiral Review Questions

You may find that the spiral review you have access to isnt just right. Or perhaps you want to add a few more questions that are more tailored to what you would like your students to practice. If this is the case, here are some things to consider when writing your spiral review.

I like to keep my spiral review short. About 4-5 questions are perfect for the time I have available. Of those questions, here is how I break down the types of questions I add into my spiral review:

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## The Benefits Of Daily Spiral Review

I can vividly remember the spring of my first year teaching. A very well-intended colleague put a stack of review packets into my mailbox since testing season was just a few weeks away! Sweet!!! I flipped through the pages with confidence and satisfaction as I thought to myself my kids know all of this! Well, so I had thought.

The next day we used a few of the pages in class I was shocked. So many of my students struggled with concepts that they had nailed way back in October, November, and even just the month before! I felt like I had failed my students and began to frantically try to prepare them for the test.

We spent the next few weeks in fire drill mode as we reviewed the test-prep materials ad nauseam . These weeks were definitely not my proudest moments as a teacher, and I vowed to never again put my students through test-prep boot camp. I needed something that would keep concepts fresh in my students minds throughout the year. Something that would allow them the repetition and practice they needed, without adding a lot to their workloads. After doing a little research, I discovered the concept of Daily Spiral Review.

## The Power Of Spiral Math Reviews

Since I started teaching eleven years ago, I have always given my kids morning work. Sometimes math, at other times a writing prompt, sometimes a fun little page just to get their brains working in the morning. BUT, the best and most meaningful curriculum tool that Ive brought into my classroom is the daily math spiral review.

A spiral review is a daily math page that covers the topics that we have previously learned in the year. Starting at the beginning of the year, the daily page reviews some of the major math skills that were covered in the previous grade level. In the month of October, the spiral page covers material that we covered in the previous month. In May, the spirals are more in-depth and are covering almost all of the material that we have covered in third grade up to this point. We take a look at the power standards that we absolutely cannot have students forget over time, and embed these into the daily math spiral review.

Now, since the time I have made these, I have created both* third-grade spirals* for the entire year, as well as fourth-grade spirals for the year!

**The best cliche to use here is**

If they dont use it, they will lose it.

Heres an example of a page from our September 3rd grade spiral review packet.

**We have a process to our corrections. The students shade the datasheet either green, yellow, or red.**

I have a 3rd grade bundle for the entire year that you may want to look at. The fourth grade bundle is available by

Happy Teaching!-Dan M.

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## I’ve Developed A Routine To Make The Most Of The Time

During the first week of school, I teach the kids how to complete the spiral review, and we take several days to practice the process together. I teach my learners that when they arrive in the morning, they should pull their math spiral out of their morning work folder and begin working on the day’s questions.

Once I feel confident that they understand the procedure, we begin completing the math spiral in the morning when students arrive. Students are taught to put it back in their morning work folder when complete, and we grade it during the first five minutes of our math block.

I also make sure the students understand how to request and receive help once they’ve started completing the work independently. They know Monday through Thursday, they are welcome to ask questions, get help from peers, and we can work through a mini-lesson to reteach and refresh the skills.

Friday’s work is considered a quick-check or quiz. The questions from this day are used as a way for me to formatively assess their mastery of the week’s core skills.

## A Note About Finding The Right Spiral Review

Im often asked where to find a spiral review. To be honest, the best spiral reviews are one you create yourself. You can cut-up an old state assessment, workbook, or printed spiral review to create one that meets the needs of your students. As long as you are not selling it or sharing it with other teachers, beyond your grade level team, schools, or districts, you should not be violating anyones copyright. However, always give the copyright a once over to be sure.

Teacher Tip: Creating a digital version of your spiral review, or even just the recording sheet, via Google Forms makes it super simple to collect and analyze student data. Use the form below to download my How to Create a Digital Worksheet guide to learn how to upload your printed spiral review into Google Forms to capture student progress.

#### Sound Off!

How are you planning to tackle skill gaps caused by the pandemic this school year?

#### References

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## Ways To Use Spiral Math Mats In Your Classroom:

**Centers**. I intentionally included pops of colour to the mats so you could feel good about laminating them and using them in centers! Just add manipulatives and done-zo!

**Homework**. Tip: Just print in

*greyscale*! The answer key makes taking up homework a breeze!

**Morning Work / Bell Work**: This is an easy way to squeeze spiralling into your day!

**Test Prep:**Spiral Math Mats are perfect for review.

**Check-ins:**Use the mats to determine what areas students are struggling in .

**Parent Communication:**Parents can, at a glance, see what curriculum expectations their child is working on, or areas that they might be struggling in. Such a simple way to keep them in the loop!

## Spiral Math Review Freebie

- Pin

Spiral math review is perfect for morning work, homework, daily math review, and independent math centers. There are 3 levels of differentiation to make meeting your students where they are easier than ever. The best part? Its no prep. Just choose the level that fits your learners, print, and go!

Weve got a freebie that gives you the opportunity to try two weeks totally free! Read on to find out how to use this amazing free resource.

Read all about how our spiral math review pages were created and why they are an essential piece of your math instruction. Theyre an easy way to incorporate extra practice into your math centers!

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## What Does Spiral Review Mean In Math

What is Spiral Review? Spiral review is the **idea that, after introducing and teaching a foundational concept or skill, students continue to practice it regularly throughout the school year in order to maintain what they have learned**. It is also known as the spiral learning method, spiral approach or spiral instruction.

## Benefits Of Spiral Review

I used this model for years in my classroom, and here is what I noticed

1. ALL of my students met the standards by the end of the school year! I never had to stress about my students learning the standards right away because I knew they would have the opportunity to practice and learn the standard throughout the year.

2. My struggling students were able to feel success more often. Instead of always being faced with a new concept they didnt quite understand yet, they were able to continue to work on standards they were more confident in.

3. There was no need to review standards at the end of the school year before high-stakes testing. With spiral reviews, students are keeping standards fresh all year long.

4. My students parents were more involved and aware of what their child was learning in class, and how they were progressing.

5. I was more aware, as a teacher, as to how my students were progressing, and where they needed more support.

When I was in the classroom, spiraling was a must. Now, as a homeschooling parent, I make a point to include spiraling activities with my daughter daily. I have seen firsthand how effective spiraling can be, and I strongly encourage all teachers and homeschooling parents to give it a try. You wont regret it!!!

**Get TONS of FREE resources perfect for Spiral Review! **Just click the button below and Ill give you access to my Freebies!!

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## Pushed Along The Same Path

Second, critics of the mastery approach suggest that students are all pushed along the same path, with no opportunity to pursue topics in more depth. Math-U-Sees Application and Enrichment pages are designed to meet the needs of the students who want to know more, offering engaging and interesting activities that build on the concepts presented in the lessons.

## Choosing The Best Homeschool Math Curriculum For Your Family

How can you choose the best math curriculum for your child? Is a spiral curriculum or a mastery curriculum best?

As your childs parent and their teacher, you know your child better than anyone. Take some time to think about how your child learns and which kind of curriculum would be the best fit for your child.

I would definitely recommend signing up for a free trial of CTCMath or taking advantage of their half price subscriptions for homeschoolers. This is a fantastic mastery curriculum!

Once you make the decision of mastery vs spiral math curriculum, choosing a math curriculum for your family will be much easier.

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## Weeks & 3 Levels Of Differentiation

Spiral Math Review has 40 weeks of sheets that are differentiated by providing three levels for each week. The level of differentiation is indicated in the upper right hand corner of the sheets.

**Star=below grade level****Heart=at grade level****Apple=above grade level**

Each sheet is working on the same concept with different levels of complexity. Teachers are loving this option!

## What Is A Spiral Review Activity

A spiral review is an activity that invites students to practice previously-taught concepts and skills. Spiral activities can take many different forms. For example, a spiral learning activity can look like a worksheet, an iPad app, an interactive white board lesson, hands-on learning experience, morning work task, small group lesson, whole group lesson, or homework assignment.

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## The Benefits Of Spiral Review:

## Review Previous Grade Level Standards When You Get To Related Grade Level Standards

Now, this may not work for every teacher and every student, but I want to share a different perspective with you. A lot of 5th grade teachers have their first months review be 4th grade skills, and so do I, but I do it a bit differently.

I dont review all of the fourth grade standards at once in one fell swoop. At the beginning of the year, I review place value, multiplication, division, and word problems, because those are closely related to the standards I will be teaching first. Then, right before we start decimals, I throw in the 4th grade decimal skills as review. I do the same for fractions, measurement, and geometry.

I have found this to be much more effective because it is related to my content, and it is reviewing the skills they will directly need for the next few weeks lessons. This helps make the connection between the review and the current learning.

**How do you use spiral review in your classroom? Do you have any tips to share to maximizing the effectiveness of review?** Let us know in the comments!

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