Math Workshop

Themes & Holidays

My Classroom

Math Workshop 101

I LOVE absolutely everything to do with math! I love learning math and I especially love teaching math.... *shocker*! :) It is crazy to me to think that 8 months ago most of my kiddos didn't understand "add" or "subtract" and this week we're moving to double digit addition! I know....I have a class full of smartie pants!

Well I spent the past year exploring the wonderful world of Math Workshop. Honestly... WHAT have we been doing without it all these years? It is a miracle and works wonders with the wide range of firsties we have in our classrooms! The most important step is planning. I use the unit pre-assessment to create strategy groups for the entire unit, as well as help identify students who could benefit from enrichment activities. I believe in flexible grouping, therefore some days the students are grouped by ability and some days they are grouped based on particular strategies.

Below is a picture of how I use the strategy group template. You can get your own copy here for free! 

Now, on to the the tricky part...

Scheduling. I am finding that math workshop is one of those things that unlike reader's and writer's workshop, your schedule has some flexibility. At first, this is what I struggled with the most about transitioning into a workshop style instruction. But now, I realize it is what I love MOST! You can adapt it to fit any curriculum, you can incorporate any games and worksheets as centers. You can choose to include technology and my personal favorite and math workshop secret* the stations don't have to be timed!!!  Below is a picture of how my students know which centers they will be visiting that day. I use this as a google doc that is projected on the board. Therefore I can quickly edit the centers and group members for each day and lesson. Plus... I'm a little bit of a bulletin board diva so this solves the problem of not having enough bulletin board space. :)

After some time and a LOT of modeling, the students know that once they are finished "rotation 1" they can move to "rotation 2" and then it is free choice math from there. Free choice means completing any other activity out that day and then a game they remember from a previous unit. I find that including this aspect avoids students from interrupting me while meeting with my strategy group for the day. "Miss. Vaz what do we do next?"

I have math tubs that are changed every week or so. They can include a worksheet, game or center. Below is a picture of how I organize my tubs. You can get your own copy of the math tub labels here for free.

My goal is to incorporate math writing journals next! I'll keep you posted!
How do you organize math workshop? Leave comments and questions below.

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