Monday, September 23, 2013

Math Workshop Monday {9/23/13}

Welcome to my weekly series where I try to share what has worked (and hasn't worked) in my classroom as I explore the wonderful world of Math Workshop:
This week's topic:

I've shared how I had scheduled my Math Workshop when I first started {here}, but since then, I've made some simple modifications that have worked for me.


This year (and last year), I have the luxury of a 90 minute math block.  I'm going to share my schedule using that amount of time.  However, I will also share how it can be completed within 60 minutes.  I know that it is possible with that time restraint because I made it work with 60 minutes two years ago.

I am going to use my second class as a model because I do not have to break up that class period with any interruptions.

10:15-10:25~~~Math Moves: Daily Spiral Review
10:25-10:40~~~Mini Lesson
10:40-10:52~~~Rotation 1
10:52-11:04~~~Rotation 2
11:04-11:16~~~Rotation 3
11:16-11:28~~~Rotation 4
11:28-11:45~~~Lesson Wrap Up

As you can see, it's a choppy-weird-like-time schedule.  Do I stick to these exact times? No, not really.  One group working with me may need a little more time while another group might not.  I just make sure I keep an eye on the clock and allow myself time at the end to go over any work completed in the "At Your Seat"/Independent Work time.

During the 10 minutes "Math Moves" time, I am going around the room checking that homework was completed.  Then, we go over the 4 Common Core questions for the day using my Math Moves file.  I love this time of the day because we can review skills that we have been practicing and I can "gently" introduce new concepts, too.  To me, this is probably one of the most important things that I do.  I just simply can't wait until May to teach geometry because our pacing guide dictates it (and so does the textbook).   During this time and right before my mini-lesson, I also go over the homework from the night before.

During the 15 minute Mini Lesson, I teach the concept that the students will be completing during their "At Your Seat" or Independent practice time.  I use this time to teach, teach, teach using videos, songs, foldables, etc.  We may go through one or two guided practice questions if I am teaching a procedural (vs. conceptual) skill.  I love this part of my day, too.  I can get up and move with my kiddos, we can dance a little (sometimes), we sing and act goofy while learning a new concept.  I also can use this time to practice and utilize Whole Brain Teaching strategies.  Since this is a whole group time, I try to make every minute count and be exciting :) Is it exciting every day?  Well, let's be real.

Then rotations begin.  You can read more about how rotations work in all of my other Math Workshop Monday posts {here}, {here}, {here}, and {here}.  Or, you can always find the "Find It Fast" widget on the sidebar and type in "math workshop" or "math stations" or "math rotations" and find more posts about rotations.  Also, I'll be breaking down each rotation in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned ;)

Finally, during the last 15 minutes or so, I have a "Lesson Wrap Up" time.  During this time, we go over the Independent Practice work and Calendar Math.  I use this time to do a quick "check in" with my students, too.  One of the easiest ways that I like to do this is by having students hold up on their hands a number 0-10.  I teach them to keep their eyes on me and not each other so that they don't look at each other's numbers to determine their number.  I tell my students to raise 10 fingers if they feel like the are a pro and could teach the class today's skill.  If they need more work, they will be closer to a zero.  I write down some notations of who I need to make sure I assist during the next day's small group lesson.

Now, how do you make this work with only 60 minutes...or even shorter times.

Rotations can be shorter.  During my first year of implementing Math Workshop, I had 7 minute rotations.  It worked. Does it work better with more time, sure.  Can it work with less time? Yes.  Another thing that I would change would be to add Math Moves (or any spiral that you might use) to a rotation.  You could still review the questions during the lesson wrap up time. Last year, I also printed out the answers to the homework and it was waiting on my students when they first came to "Teacher Time"/Small group time.  It only took them a second to check and then I'd only go over any questions that they might have had.  One more simple modification is to only have 3 rotations.  You could combine "Hands On" with "Math Facts" and just have larger groups.  All of these simple changes will save you between 15-25 minutes.

Have you started Math Workshop?  Do you have any specific questions I can try to answer?  I'd love to hear from you :)  Comment below or feel free to email me!

7 comments :

  1. Loved reading your post today. We are on the same wavelength! I just wrote a post on how I do my guided math rotations yesterday. I teach 9 students with 2 working on early addition and subtraction, 3 working on 3rd grade standards and 4 working on 5th grade standards. With such a big spread we do 3 30 minute rotations with no whole group work. I have been thinking that I need to add in more movement because 1 1/2 hours is a long time even when kids are switching stations! I left a link to my post if you want to read more. Math Stations Post

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  2. Loved reading your post today. We are on the same wavelength! I just wrote a post on how I do my guided math rotations yesterday. I teach 9 students with 2 working on early addition and subtraction, 3 working on 3rd grade standards and 4 working on 5th grade standards. With such a big spread we do 3 30 minute rotations with no whole group work. I have been thinking that I need to add in more movement because 1 1/2 hours is a long time even when kids are switching stations! I left a link to my post if you want to read more. Math Stations Post

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  3. Brilliant and helpful as always my friend:) I could never have done math workshop without all your help last year:))))) Thank you! Now I feel like an old pro...lol:)

    4th Grade Frolics

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    1. What do your kids do if they finish (or don't finish) their At Your Seat work? I am trying to implement a workshop in my intervention math class and it is not working the way I would like. I have my full group of 21 for about 40 minutes-about 30 good solid minutes and then 7 leave to receive their lesson/homework from the SPED teacher. Any ideas or tips are very appreciated!
      Stephudy@gmail.com

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    2. If they don't finish it is because they can't finish. (They work at a slower pace and they are at a different level than the rest of the class.) For early finishers, I allow them to take a hands-on type math tool (electronic flashcards, flashcards, task cards, etc.) to their seats. Or, sometimes if the assignment was to complete the odd numbers, I have early finishers complete the even numbers. I hope this helps!

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  5. Love this math workshop idea! Have been wanting to try it and your explanation makes me think i can! Do you have a 'math moves for third grade? and also do you have a similar workshop for reading?

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