Alright, so we have spent the last few blog posts talking about what math workshop is, using math warm ups in math workshop as an opener, and the math tools every math workshop needs. Today, we are going to talk about the nitty-gritty! We are going to talk about math workshop in action.
During my math period, I start off each math session with a ten minute warm-up. This varies based on my student’s needs and my mood. Sometimes it is just a simple math stretcher (see a previous post about these here) or we practice fact fluency. Other times we may just simply review the previous day’s lesson.
After my mini-lesson, I review where students are going and what they’ll be doing. Then I send them off. I use to have a rotation chart that was pretty simple on chart paper. This year I’m not using it but instead just printed off to students where they were going during each rotation. Some groups just find all that information in the chart paper too distracting.
Some students will go to the independent station where they will practice skills from the mini-lesson I just presented. Since this center focuses on the lesson I just presented, my high group will go here first. All the other students in my class attend this station AFTER they have meet with me in small groups. Usually my high flyers just need to see how to do something once or twice and they are good to go. This gives them an opportunity to get on it right away and frees up their group time for more enrichment. I do have a few rules for them if they aren’t sure of something. If there is anything they don’t know they must first try, second quietly ask a neighbor to help, and then finally circle the problem to ask about in small group. When this group comes to me later in small group, the first thing we do is check the work they did independently so I can decide if we need extra practice or if we can move on to something deeper.
While some students are in the independent station, other students are working with me. During the first rotation, I always have my lowest group meet with me first. I like to make sure I get a chance to work with them right away to reinforce anything they may need or fill in any gaps to understand the lesson. I also do this because if I feel any of them need to sit in on my next rotation guided group they can. I also like to make sure they get to practice the skill right away after meeting with me (instead of a gap between learning and practicing). The final station that students have is the choice station. I like to give my students choices to give them some control and it engages them more. At the beginning of the week I provide students with a choice slip (click on the picture below to download it free!) of five different items that they have to have completed by the end of the week. They will work on it during this station. On this list, I add things that review previous concepts, such as games or practice sheets. I also include a fact fluency activity of some sort. Sometimes it will be a journal entry or hands-on activity. I have also left it open for students to write in an idea of their own. This is completely up to you.
You can find my guided math workshop lesson plan units in my store. I’m constantly adding new units, so be sure to follow my store to receive the newest updates of new releases and buy them half off for the first 48 hours after they are posted! Click on the picture below to download an information guide about my workshop units in complete detail. I currently have 3rd grade completed and am in progress with 4th and 5th grade. (You’ll have to visit my store to see which units are currently completed for those grade levels.)