Math Workshop: The Plan

January is always a time of renewal for me.  I begin the year with high hopes, lots of great ideas, and a smile on my face.  Come December, though, all of those hopes and ideas usually take a back seat to reality.  So over winter break, now knowing my students and what the dynamics of the class are, I always tend to make changes and tweak what I do in my room.  This winter break, Math Workshop was my "fixer".

I have done a form of Workshop in my room for a few years now.  {you can read about what I have done in the past here.}  It has worked just fine....but that is it.  It is just "fine."  I want something great that will not only benefit the kids but make use of my aide (that I now have during math time!)   I also want to hold the kids a bit more accountable to their work. 

So here is what I have done.  Keep in mind, I haven't actually implemented this yet.  (I don't go back until Jan 13)  This is my PLAN.  As workshop gets going and off the ground in this newish form, I will be reporting back to you. 

My students will be broken up into 4 groups.  Since I have 32 students, that makes 8 kids per group.  Groups A and B will be my strategic groups, Group C will be benchmark, and Group D will be advanced (luckily for me, I have no intensive groups this year...however if I did, that would be Group A) 

While in those groups, the students will visit three different 20 minute rotations daily:

Teacher
Problem Solving/Aide
Calendar/Skills/Choice

What they do at each rotation is the same each time. 

In an effort to keep the kids organized, I have made up this sheet that they will use each week.  The top part is for when they are at the Calendar/Skill/Choice Rotation.  They will start with Calendar, then move into the skill page for the day (which will have been assigned to them when they visit me) and then work on the Choice Activities (which will be different review type things -- flash cards, skill practice, games)  The bottom portion is for the Problem Solving Rotation.  Each Monday, they will begin with a "Two Ways" Problem, then work on other real world problem solving activities (such as this one)  Once a week, they will also be called to work in a small problem solving group by my aide.  She will help them with problem solving strategies, work on skills they need help with, etc...



Each student will also be given a schedule so that he knows where to go each time block.  Depending upon the group the student is in will depend upon the schedule.  I have 4 schedules.










If you remember my Test Prep post, I am going to set up the big daily schedule like that.  Imagine this picture, but with these boards instead.  One for each day, with the students' numbers filling in the blank space.














For my part, I will teach the main lesson to two groups at a time on the rug.  I also have one 20 minute "blank" spot.  I will be calling small group remediation during that time.  Two 10 minute groups.

OK...so that is my PLAN.  I will be writing about how we set it all up next week, step by step with the students so that you can get a better idea of it as we go.  (and so I can work it out too ;) )   And just in case any of the above sheets meets your needs, here they are.  I have taken off the "Mrs. Moorman" part, as well as the times, but due to the clipart, I can't make them editable.  Hopefully though, they can be of some use to you.  One day, I will learn how to make them editable without violating copyright (though today is not that day...sorry!) 

Do you do Math Workshop?  How does it work in your room?

9 comments

  1. I'm excited to hear how your math stations work out. I am a huge fan of math workshop and am constantly tweaking it to fit my students' needs. Currently my students participate in five centers per week - guided math, vocabulary, problem solving, independent work and fluency. We also use your calendar math for our warm-up. Quick question, how do you go over the calendar math each day?

    Melissa O'Bryan
    Wild About Fifth Grade

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    1. I go over Calendar right after lunch. So it isn't part of this workshop time :)

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    2. Sorry, that above comment was me. :) I was just signed on under my husband's account.

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  2. This is so well organized and thought out! I'm sure your kids love it!
    Cassie
    Create-abilities

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  3. What math series do you use?

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  4. Thanks for sharing! I am excited to see how it works out. I also decided to switch to a more math workshop approach with my 2nd graders. I gave the new math curriculum a shot and it just wasn't working for me. One problem was that it wasn't allowing me any time to work with groups. I never really felt like I knew how my kids were progressing. One question- are you doing any whole group teaching other than your calendar math? Or is the math lesson being taught in small groups? I'm having trouble deciding if I want to teach a short whole group lesson and then break them off into the workshop or just teach the lesson in small groups and tailor it depending on my students' needs and abilities. I would love to hear more about this.

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  5. Thanks for sharing! I am excited to see how it works out. I also decided to switch to a more math workshop approach with my 2nd graders. I gave the new math curriculum a shot and it just wasn't working for me. One problem was that it wasn't allowing me any time to work with groups. I never really felt like I knew how my kids were progressing. One question- are you doing any whole group teaching other than your calendar math? Or is the math lesson being taught in small groups? I'm having trouble deciding if I want to teach a short whole group lesson and then break them off into the workshop or just teach the lesson in small groups and tailor it depending on my students' needs and abilities. I would love to hear more about this.

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  6. Thanks for sharing! I am excited to see how it works out. I also decided to switch to a more math workshop approach with my 2nd graders. I gave the new math curriculum a shot and it just wasn't working for me. One problem was that it wasn't allowing me any time to work with groups. I never really felt like I knew how my kids were progressing. One question- are you doing any whole group teaching other than your calendar math? Or is the math lesson being taught in small groups? I'm having trouble deciding if I want to teach a short whole group lesson and then break them off into the workshop or just teach the lesson in small groups and tailor it depending on my students' needs and abilities. I would love to hear more about this.

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  7. I have 4 groups with 8 kids too. There are 4 stations- math facts, at seat, teacher, and hands on. I used to time for a certain time but now I just pull the lowest group first with more time with me. At seat is problem solving or a spiral, I'm the lesson, hands on is a game or review of unit, and math facts changes between activities - flash cards, roll and cover, your math mats, mixed facts, etc. We do calendar/ morning math at the beginning of the day. I love math workshop!

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