Throwback Thursday, Bloglovin' and Ashley's Giveaway

First on the list is Throwback Thursday!  I love the idea of this linky.  Cara Carroll from The First Grade Parade {love the way, head over and wish her a Happy Anniversary}, created this linky to revisit some old posts.  I love this idea.  I'm enjoying reading some posts from blogs that I follow that I might have missed during the busy school year (or even from the year before)...

Here's my post from 4/25/12...over a year ago....but it explains how I run Math Workshop.  Now, I have tweaked this program in my room quite a bit since this post, but the structure is pretty much the same.  My classroom is ever evolving, isn't yours?  So, here you go....

When I saw that my idol, Laura Candler, was having a link up on Math Stations I was so very excited.

As some of you may know, I've completely changed the way I teach math this year.  For years (a decade or more...shhhh don't tell), I've been teaching math primarily whole group with a few small groups as needed.

This year, however, I started Math Rotations.  I will NEVER go back.  Here's how I make it work for me:

First, I found the Math Rotations Board from Clutter-Free Classroom.  It uses the acronym MATH for organizing how your "rotate" from one activity to the next.  {You know how I love those acronyms.}

M-Math Facts 
A-At Your Seat
T-Teacher's Choice
H-Hands On

Here's a picture of my board (purchased from Clutter-Free Classroom):

Let me break down what we do at each "station".
Math Facts- This is where I have my students work on Math 4 Today.  This is a daily drill that is spiraled curriculum reviewing all fourth grade skills.  There are only 4 questions to complete, so when they are finished with that, they start their At Your Seat Work.
At Your Seat- This is where my students complete the Independent Practice from the math book.  However, this is the work from the previous day's small group work.  So, for example in the picture above, my students were completing lesson 16-5.  I had taught 16-5 the day BEFORE in the Teacher's Choice Station.
Teacher's Choice- This is my small group instruction time.  My students are grouped into 4 different groups based on their ability (mainly their MAP testing data with a little teacher judgement thrown in there, too).  Again, I teach the lesson that the students will be completing the NEXT day during their "At Your Seat" station.  So, in the picture above, I was teaching 16-6.  Make sense?
Hands On- This is what most think of as real "Stations" or "Centers".  I use this time to have my students work with a variety of materials.  As you can see on the board above, I am lucky enough to have 3 iPods.  One is from the school, one is my son's old iPod and the last one is my iPhone-Yes, I let my students use it for stations-gasp!  I also have math sharks (electronic flashcards), Hot Dots and other "hands-on" materials. 

I differentiate their hands on work, too.  For example, this week, we are using the iPods and I have downloaded an App called "Math Testing Prep".  These are leveled.  So, I hand the iPod to the children after clicking on the level for that child.  When using the Hot Dots, I have three different levels for those, too.  I've separated them by level and put them in index card accordian file (like for coupons) that I got from the Target Dollar that Dollar Bin.  (Sorry that I don't have a picture for that.)

As you can see in the picture above, each group (Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 4) all rotate through all stations during each math lesson.  For example, using the picture above, Group 1 will go to stations in this order:
1st-Math Facts
2-Teacher's Choice
3-At Your Seat
4-Hands On

This has worked for me.  Now, I will tell you it took about a month of tweaking to make it work the way it does now...but I stuck with it and am so glad that I did!

For my most recent hands-on activity, my students created this foldable to help them with probability:

Click on the picture to download it from Google Docs.

If you haven't linked up yet, head on over to Corkboard Connections by clicking on her linky button below:

There you have it!  I hope that you can use some of the ideas from this old post.

Next up, have you switched to Bloglovin' yet?  Click on this link {here} to go to yesterday's post about how to follow me there and possibly win 2 items from my TpT store!

And finally, have you heard about Ashley's Awesome Giveaway (yep, I just titled the event).  If you haven' must check this out.  Today, I'm a part of the upper grade math giveaway.  Click on the image below to head over to The School Supply Addict blog and enter to win!  She has a ton of freebies and items up for grabs.  You don't want to miss out :)


  1. So I also downloaded this from CFC last summer and tried to implement it this year. I did some version of it throughout the year, but the one thing I struggled with was whether or not to have a whole group instruction time.

    So my questions are:
    1. How long of a math block do you have?
    2. Do you do whole group instruction as well? If so how long in your math block?

    Thanks in advance! I love reading your blog! It's been a lifesaver with me moving to 4th this year.


  2. Sorry html went wonky. That would be 4th Grade Sprinkles.


    1. This other post might help answer those questions:

      Thanks for the question and thanks for following me. I'm so glad that I've helped you with your move! If you still have more questions, feel free to email me :)


  3. I'm really wanting to try math rotations this year and your explanation has helped a ton! Thanks so much :)

    Teach on a Limb