Group Math Work: Discrete Trial Training

Categories: Math

This was my go-to format for group math work. In many of our classrooms, students rotate through the room in groups. It can be tricky to go from group to group switching between types of math skills. Your first group is working on single digit subtraction, the next group is on multiplication, and the on after that is on double digit without regrouping. It’s an organizational nightmare to stay on top of having worksheets that are appropriately leveled for each group. White board to the rescue! Here is a simple setup for work on math skills in a group format while still taking data on each student!


1. Write a set of math problems on the large dry erase board.

2. Have students copy and complete the problems on small dry erase boards.

3. While they are completing the problems, calculate the answers yourself using a calculator.

Write the answers in the same order as the problems on the board. This makes it easy to quickly glance at a student’s work and see if it matches your answers and then take data. I would also write the students’ initials on the side in the order they are sitting to add data after their work is complete.

4. Take data and provide feedback.

As students finish, take data by putting a plus or minus for each problem next to their initials. Once all students are finished, complete problems together on the board. Provide praise and reinforcement for correct problems and error correction for mistakes. Transfer the data from the white board to a data sheet when the group is done, when the groups are transitioning, or as students complete the next set of problems.

And then just rinse and repeat! Continue this process with each group. I would suggest doing this several times a week to see growth and track progress. You can alternate this activity with another interactive math activity like math bingo, math centers, or math sorts!


  1. Love this idea Sasha!!! Can you tell me how you transition between your 15 minute rotations? Bell, verbal, music? I teach intermediate so I need something age appropriate. Thank you for all you do 🙂

  2. I like to start the rotation myself. I switch my group, that group of kids bumps the next group, and there is basically a rotation around the room. I feel like this gives a little lee way if we want to go a few minutes over or I see that another group is getting antsy.


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