After much thought, and playing around with schedules, I came up with a three rotation mix that is working well for me now. Here is what is happening in each station during my workshop time:
This station is basically the "independent work time" station. The students begin the 20 minute block with their Calendar Math page for the day. Once they finish that (and the kids are getting REALLY fast at it), they move on to the Skill page.
This skill page is either a review of the lesson we just did (if they have already come to my group) OR a review page of a skill that was previously learned. I get these pages from any source that is appropriate but I usually use the workbook that came with our math series or the math book itself. This cuts down on copies.
Once they have finished the skill page (which they keep in their folder in the "completed work" section), they can move onto the Choice activity. These are skill review games, workmats, file folders, etc. Just fun ways to review the skill (as well as to give them incentive to complete the other two tasks in a timely fashion.)
Problem Solving --
For this station, I really want them to be thinking of the strategies that they use while solving math problems. They are so quick to jump to the algorithm to solve everything, that I want them to think of different ways that they can come to the answer in a math problem. So for this station, the first thing they do each week is a Two Ways of Problem Solving sheet. They basically have one word problem that they need to figure out two DIFFERENT ways of solving to come up with the same solution. They then need to EXPLAIN the strategy (not the solution) and why it was useful in solving the problem. On Monday they pick this up in the station. They then have until Friday to complete it. It has been taking most of my class about three days to complete this. We then go over it as a class on Friday (after the math test.) I really like this part, as it helps them to debrief the strategies, and gives us, as a class, the opportunity to see many different ways of solving the same problem.
Once the Two Ways is completed, the students then have an array of different problem solving games and activities to choose from. The favorite right now are these toothpick puzzles I found on the web. (in fact, the whole site has lots of problem solving, open ended problems to use.)
|I didn't have any toothpicks, so the students are using tongue depressors. Eh, gets the job done ;)|
This is my station. I actually have two roles during Workshop. For the first twenty minute round, I don't call a direct lesson group. Instead, I pull two small groups for remediation or enrichment for 10 minutes each. This cuts into their other station time, but I feel that the small group time is worth it for them to review some skills. Also, since they will be at that station 3 other times during the week, I feel they are ok with missing a little time to come meet with me.
For the next two 20 minute blocks, I call two groups at a time (Groups A and B OR Groups C and D...for a total of 16 children) and do the direct lesson for the day. This is a very short time, but I am finding that having the time limit makes my lessons more precise, to the point, and on task. My kids know it is a short time too, so they tend to be more focused (that could also be because they are on the rug with me and I am so close to them ;) ) Sometimes, we learn a new skill. Sometimes, we review a skill. Sometimes, we play a game. The lessons vary depending upon my group and depending upon the day. But I *almost* always teach the same lesson twice...once to the first session and once to the second.
|This is a different class, but it is the only picture I have of me teaching on the rug. I need to take more pictures of myself teaching! However, this is what my lesson time would look like nonetheless.|
OK...so there you have it. That is what my stations look like. What do your math workshop stations look like?