Years ago when I first implemented the workshop model, I was anxious about how to make it work. Often, teachers feel comfortable implementing Reading Workshop and even Writing Workshop, but just don't know how to make this method work for math. I took the opposite approach. I tackled Math Workshop head-on FIRST before attempting Reading or Writing Workshop and I never looked back!

Tip #1: How is it organized?

For me, this meant having my student rotate through a series of 4 stations. Those 4 stations used the acronym M.A.T.H. to make it simple for students to rotate through each of the letters every day.

**- This is where I had my students work our daily math spiral review. They were usually able to complete this part quickly, so when they were finished, they had the opportunity to start their At Your Seat Work.**

__M__ath Facts**- This is where my students completed the Independent Practice from the math book. However, this time could be spent completing any number of activities that need to be completed independently. I've even used this time to have my students complete Math Menus.**

__A__t Your Seat**- This was my small group instruction time.**

__T__eacher Time**- This is what most think of as real "Stations" or "Centers". During Hands-On time, students can work on a number of skills (all differentiated) using flashcards, task cards, different technology, math manipulatives, etc.**

__H__ands OnTip #2: How do you start?

You have to establish expectations about how to use math materials properly. I've used a lesson that I called "Math Tools vs. Math Toys". For this lesson, I began by placing tubs of math tools (electronic flashcards (like Math Sharks), flashcards, dice, center packets, task cards, etc.) on the group tables. Before opening the boxes of math tools, we discussed the difference between a math tool and a toy. I would ask a series of questions including:

- What do you do with math tools?
- How is that different than a toy?
- Can I "play" with math tools if I wanted to? (Yes)
- Should I "play" with my math tools? (No)

Tip #3: How do you organize groups?

This is perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of any classroom workshop model. I tried many different methods for grouping my students. However, what I found to be the most effective way to group my students was based on their mathematical needs. If I had established routines and procedures, then I didn't have to worry about grouping students primarily based on student behavior. I found that the best way to determine what skills needed to be addressed during small group instruction was by using my Daily Spiral Math Review.

Since the skills included in this pack are spiraled, and each domain is covered every single week, I was able to narrow down which skills my students needed to review. By using the weekly assessment included, I could track areas of concern for each of my students and then I would group "like" students together based on the skills that they needed to review.

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__first week for free__I hope that you found some tips that can help you get started with Math Workshop in your classroom! The tips can also easily be adapted to any workshop model.

For more tips to add to your survival guide for Back to School, head on over to my friends' blogs to read more!