Goals for the First 5 Days of Math Workshop

Math Workshop

It’s Friday and school starts next week!  This means I have 3 ‘work days’ to get ready before my students come in all excited and ready to learn! 🙂

I’ve been thinking about my math block A LOT.  I am SO thankful that I wrote this detailed blog post of how I ran my math work block.  I just reread it and printed the sheets to get myself started in organizing my temporary groups. The main focus of these temporary math groups is to teach the rules, expectations, and procedures of math workshop.  Below is a quick list of goals I am going to have for the first week of math station.

Day 1:

  • Have students share how they feel about math (what do they like/dislike about math, what’s they favorite math topic, what are they excited to learn)
  • List why math is important in life
  • Share with them my rotations board and give an overview of how they will be working hard to become problem solvers
  • Go over the self-evaluation cards students will be expected to use

Day 2:

  • Make an anchor chart of what each part of math workshop should look like.  What is the teacher doing?  What are the students doing? (whole group, small groups, independent)
  • Complete a mini-math workshop session.
    • Mini-Lesson (Think Aloud) – My goal is to start math workshop block this year with TWO math word problems.  I will use the first problem to model what thinking process (vocabulary/strategies) I am using in order to solve the problem.  So – this is my ‘think aloud’ time as we do during reading mini-lessons.
    • Group Problem (Discussion)  – After I have modeled how to solve this problem, I will go over the expectations of working in a small groups (everyone has an important job and will participate, model how to have meaningful math dialogue).  I will them give the students a similar problem.  Students will be given a couple of minutes to read the problem independently and start the thinking process BEFORE they get together with their group (This is when they will use their self-evaluation cards).  As students solve this problem I will walk around and listen.  I will of course continue to go back to reviewing expectations, but for he first few days getting students accustomed to showing their work, explaining their work, critiquing student work – all in a respectful way in the main focus.
  • We will most likely gather together again at the carpet and discuss how the first part of math workshop went.  Students can share what they thought worked and what we need to improve.  I will then introduce one math center: math sorts.  Math sorts is the perfect center to start with because it’s something that can be taught whole group and then reviewed independently.
    • I will explain what a sort it, how to cut it, where to store the cards.
    • I will also explain the importance of keeping up with their math sorts notebook and how it will keep them and myself organized
    • We will mostly likely complete an addition math sort.  I will start and complete a few whole group and let them finish the rest.  If some students finish early, they can come up with other cards that fit under each category.  We will not glue the cards today.  They will store them and we will move on.
  • Students will compete a simple exit ticket where they share one thing they learned and any questions they may have.

Day 3

  • We will refer to the anchor charts that we made and review what math workshop should look/sound like.
  • I will complete a mini-lesson where I think-aloud as I solve a problem
  • We will again review expectations for each group member.
  • They will be given a similar problem and begin organizing their thoughts independently before they start working in their groups. They will use their self-evaluation cards at this point
  • We will model and practice sharing/critiquing
  • We will go back to the math sort, re-sort and glue
  • I will introduce a new math station: interactive notebooks.  We will review expectation for that (how to cut, where to throw trash, how to glue, when to color, etc.)
  • Complete and exit ticket/reflect and discuss what worked and what we need to improve

Day 4

  • We will refer to the anchor charts that we made and review what math workshop should look/sound like.
  • I will complete a mini-lesson where I think-aloud as I solve a problem
  • We will again review expectations for each group member.
  • They will be given a similar problem and begin organizing their thoughts independently before they start working in their groups.  Again, they will practice using their self-evalatuion cards.
  • We will model and practice sharing/critiquing

Now time to practice stations and groups! Yes, it’s only been 3 days and we will begin practicing going to groups 🙂 Again, the focus is on procedures and expectations.  I will model how to use the math board to find what group they are in and what station they are expected to complete.  We will practice with one group at a time.  For example, group one will stand up and walk to computer center.  They will model where to find log-in information, how to turn-on computer, go to the internet or program they are required to use, how to put on headphones, how to exit the program, how to put away log-in folders, how to put away headphones, how to push in their chairs… and more).  The group will go to their desks and another group will model going to independent practice, math station, and teacher time.

If there is time, we will do 2 mini-rotations for about 5-10 minutes each.  These are so students practice the routines of each station.

Day 5

  • We will refer to the anchor charts that we made and review what math workshop should look/sound like.
  • I will complete a mini-lesson where I think-aloud as I solve a problem
  • We will again review expectations for each group member.
  • They will be given a similar problem and begin organizing their thoughts independently before they start working in their groups (self-evaualtion cards)
  • We will model and practice sharing/critiquing
  • Students will complete 2 math workshop rotations. There are four stations (computer, independent, math station, teacher time) and below is listed what they will complete at each station.
    • Computer (IXL – If they don’t have their log-in, they will work on their ‘All About Me’ Dodecahedron project)
    • Independent – Math fluency booklet (addition/subtraction word problems) or practice sheet from today’s math lesson.
    • Math Station – Interactive notebook activity
    • Teacher Time – Students will work on their ‘All About Me’ Dodecahedron project.  This will free me up to walk around as needed to assist students as they continue to learn the procedures.  Typically, we will work on our math tri-folds during this time.
  • Gather together and either complete an exit or have a closing discussion.

Day 6 and beyond

Now that the basic structure of the math workshop has been introduced, we will continue to refer to the rules and expectations.  Now the focus will shift from procedures to the content that needs to be taught.  During the next week I will use observations/assessments to guide my instruction.  I know that I will be able to reach each and every student at their level and beyond using this framework.

Resources

Click the pictures below to view the resources mentioned in this blog post.

math rotations board display - student accountability sheets for math workshop check for understanding student cards - self assessment freebie math sorts grade 5

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Kelly
    August 14, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Thank you for this helpful post!! I changed districts this year and am going from the freedom to teach entirely in small group to a strict curriculum that will take away the bulk of my guided math time, so reading through this and through your other post have been really helpful in approaching this year’s small group time! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Belinda
    June 3, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    I’m a little confused on the schedule rotations with the Day A, B, etc. Can you explain it again to me? I want to be sure I understand because your process looks great to implement.

  • Reply
    Melissa
    June 17, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Sounds amazing!! I will definitely use these ideas to frame my classroom

  • Reply
    Kristi
    July 14, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Mariela, This is a great article. I love the steps for the implementation of math workshop at the start of the school year. I look forward to giving this a go with my 3rd grade class this year! Thank you!

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