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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Math Workshop tips?

So, we are definitely getting the feeling that we should be moving to math workshop in the next year or two.  I have struggled with this a little because I love teaching math, and I think I work hard to differentiate for my learners.

However, being the control freak that I must be, I don't want to wait until I'm told I HAVE TO do math workshop to figure it out, so on Monday, I am beginning my Math Unit 8 trying my own version of math workshop.

Here are my current lesson plans for next week.  The students will be grouped according to their performance on the pretest.  Group 1 will be the kids who require more support while Group 2 will be more independent functioning.  The groups will be dynamic as I look at the pretest results.  Some days a student may be in Group 1 while on another skill he may fall into Group 2.  The items in red mean that they will have my support during this time.  The items in black will be asked to work/play more independently while I am working with the others.  Some days Group 1 will have me almost completely to themselves...

We will start most days with a short group activity and end them with a quick recap.  I have about an hour (give or take) each day for math, and most days are split by a special in the middle of the math block.

What do you think?  Am I on the right track?  I am anxious to get started and see what happens.  Do any of you use math workshop?   I will do a follow-up in a week or two to let you know how it is going.  I would welcome your comments and ideas! 


Angela said...

Our school district has been doing Math Workshop for a while now. I used to teach Intermediate, but have been teaching Kindergarten for a while. When I did teach intermediate, my grade level partners and I taught math workshop similarly to how you have it organized, but we wanted to ensure we were only ability grouping when students were working at the "teacher station". That way, when students were expected to work independently they would always have peers to look to for assistance. We did a 3-station rotation of 15 minutes each, never labeling the groups but always listing the names of the students in each area instead. We would put this list up on the board before moving into groups after the all-class minilesson. Using 6 students with first initials to explain what the list looked like: Games Station 1.M&S , 2. J&K 3. L&P Teacher Station 1. J&P 2. S&L 3. M&K Notebooks Station 1. L&K 2. P&M 3. J&S. I hope that makes sense. It's hard to show what I mean in the format of a comment. I love that you are doing flexible grouping so you are truly differentiating. Good luck! Every new implementation in teaching is an adventure with bumps and jumps along the way!

Jennifer Gibson said...

Great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I am anxious to get started and hope that my kids think that it meets their needs. I have a good number of gifted students in my room plus some students with learning disabilities, so I am trying to reach all levels.