Monday, September 30, 2013

Math Workshop Monday {9/30/13}

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 received several questions about whether or not I teach whole group instruction at all.  Yes, I do.  I still enjoy teaching whole group.  It gives me a chance to incorporate Whole Brain Teaching strategies.  It gives us a chance to include singing/dancing/active participation.  So, how do I manage both whole group instruction and math workshop?  It's simple.

When introducing a new unit of study, I always start off with whole group.  We discuss the new unit, create flipbooks for our interactive notebooks, discuss vocabulary and complete an activity that incorporates the major skill for that unit.

For example, we recently began a unit on place value.  Yes, we completed the addition and subtraction unit before place value.  Why?  Because with years of teaching place value during the first weeks of school, my teammate and I have found that our students just aren't ready for this concept.  Now that we have waited a few weeks, our students are breezing through this unit. topic a little.

Back to my example~To start this unit of study, I completed an activity with my students to launch the place value unit.  I taught the vocabulary terms, we created a new flipbook for our notebook and then we completed a great activity from my friend, Bridget from Little Lovely Leaders.  Please head {here} to see the awesome activity on place value.  I did have to adapt it for my students (I took off the tenths, hundredths and thousandths clues).

Here are a few snapshots of my cuties traveling the room to create multi-digit numbers:
Once I help my students build a lot of background knowledge while teaching whole-group, we are ready for Math Workshop.

On average, I am able to incorporate Math Workshop at least 3 days a week.  It is usually Tuesday-Thursday.

There needs to be a balance among whole group and small group instruction.  Both methods hold value in my opinion.

In the next 4 posts in the series, I will be breaking down each of the 4 rotations in greater detail.  Next week, I will be sharing information about our "Math Facts" rotation.  If you have any questions about that rotation, please ask :)


  1. This seems like a fun linky. I have math linky on Thursdays called MaTH activity Thursday. To link to this particular week do you only want the topic of Math Workshops? Best wishes with your linky party : )
    Kids Math Teacher

    1. It isn't a linky party. It's just a blog series. Hope you can find something you like in the posts ;)

  2. I always start the year with Place Value because that is the way it is presented in our math book and you are 100% right - the students always struggle with some of the concepts (open number lines, rounding, representing the number with different combinations of base 10 blocks...). Oh well, this is a great idea for next September - thank you for confirming this (that it wasn't just me or all in my head : ) )