Monday, January 20, 2014

Math Workshop Series - Part 2 - What Will It Look Like?

Click here to read Part 1 of my Math Workshop series.

PART 2- What Will It Look Like?

There are lots of different acronyms and names for Math Workshop out there. Some people have 5 rotations, some have 4, some have less. None of them are more right than others as I've discovered. You have to find what's going to work for you and your style of teaching. 

When I first implemented a math workshop into my class I had 4 rotations- Teacher Time, Buddy Games, Math Tubs and Problem Solving. It worked for awhile but I found it very difficult to keep up with each week/unit. I had hoped to differentiate each rotation based on my student's greatest area of need within the unit we were studying but finding and creating that many games/activities/worksheets each week was exhausting...and impossible. 

Ultimately this type of system didn't work for me. 
So it was back to the drawing board. 

A quick search for "math workshop" on Pinterest will deliver endless adaptions on how a Math Workshop can be organized.

I really liked the idea of using the acronym M.A.T.H to organize the rotations, which is an idea I first found on Mandy's Tips for Teachers.  

Some other acronyms I've seen during my research are:

Some teachers don't use an acronym at all!

I suggest reading through as many of the posts as possible in order to get an idea of the different options for organizing your workshop. It may be that someone else's system will work great for you, or that you need to totally revamp. Perhaps, like me, you can use a mish-mash of ideas!

So, like I said above I really like the acronym M.A.T.H. It keeps things simple and organized. I had a brain surge awhile back and posted my idea for my math workshop here. I am, however, going to modifiy the M.A.T.H. acronym to fit my needs.

M- Must Do Math Work (Differentiated Practice)
A- All Together (A menu of choices with games/activities using manipulatives)
T- Teacher Time (Guided math lessons)
H- Helping Others (Problem solving, practicing facts, calendar math)

So how will this actually work? Good question. 
Here's what I'm hoping to do...

First of all, my math workshop is not going to run using rotations. 
Must Do Math and Teacher Time will be scheduled by me.

All the students will be required to complete their Must Do Math  first, (except for whichever group is meeting with me!). I plan to use this station to follow up after our guided sessions, complete Math Journal prompts, assessment, build math vocabulary etc. Once the students have completed their Must Do Math they will be  assigned to work at either the All Together station or Helping Others station. The choice of activity at the assigned station will be up to them. In order to avoid having too many students using the materials at one station I plan to use a tracking sheet or some other management system (to be decided). 

So what might a usual math workshop day look like in my class?
Since I have decided not to use rotations I can have as many groupings as I want based on the student's greatest area of need (GAN). For this example let's say that I have created 4 groups. 

I usually am able to schedule an 80 minute math block first thing in the morning. We have about a 15 minute entry time and I often use this to gather the students on the carpet for a math stretch or calendar (more about this later). For the sake of this example, let's say that I will use 15 minutes for a whole group mini lesson before starting Math Workshop.

Mini-Lesson: 15 minutes (math stretch, math calendar, etc)

Cycle #1: (20 minutes)
Group 1: Teacher Time 
Groups 2, 3, 4: All students completing their assigned Must Do work first! They are then able to move on to the All Together or Helping Others station as assigned.

Cycle #2: (20 minutes)
Group 2: Teacher Time 
Group 1: All students completing their assigned Must Do work first! They are then able to move on to the All Together or Helping Others station as assigned.
Groups 3, 4: Continue to work at the All Together or Helping Others station as assigned. They may choose to switch to a different game/activity at this time or continue with the activity they have chosen. 

Cycle #3: (20 minutes)
On some days I may continue to work with my groups, so it would be Group 3's turn and the rest would continue with their Must Do, All Together or Helping Others stations. On other days I may gather the class for a Math Huddle, assessment, Math Journal prompt etc. 

Debrief: 5 minutes
This time could be used for an exit slip, cleanup, agendas for homework, etc. 

So this is how I envision my Math Workshop

 running...thoughts, comments, suggestions?

Still to come!!

- Planning for Guided Math Lessons
- Math Huddles
- Problem Solving
- Math Games and Independent Activities
- Math Journals/Notebooks
- Math Vocabulary
- Math Calendar
- Interactive Math Notebook Ideas
- Using Manipulatives
- Anchor Charts

Next in the series

1 Brilliant Teaching Thoughts:

Storie said...

Math workshop can be so beneficial for students. This year we have a new principal, a new curriculum, and a group of students who just can't handle the workshop approach. It makes me sad that it just doesn't seem to fit this year. I hope your workshop is going well, though :)
Stories by Storie

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