Let’s take a look at different ways you can organize your math workshop block. The three versions below are just examples. You can always modify and come up with your own.
- Three Groups (start here)
- Four Groups (good for skill groups)
- Extra Choice (24+ students)
Below I will write about two ways that I organize my math groups. I find that I start with version one during the beginning of school. I then gradually move to version two.
You teach the math lesson during whole group (students are at their desks). After the math lesson, students break into stations. (Teacher, Independent, Computer)
This is a great way to start, because math stations are short in this version. This makes it a perfect way to practice the routines of each math station. This is also a good choice if you have a math textbook you must use each day.
Notes: Whole group lessons lasts a maximum of 30 min. Each math rotation(3 per day) is no longer than 15 minutes.
After students understand the expectations of each math station, we move on to version 2. In this version, I teach the math lesson during teacher time. Each math rotation lasts 20-25 minutes.
This is my personal favorite. I get to know my students well and can teach each lesson according to their needs. Some students might be ready for mulit-step word problems, while others might need me to slow down and review the basics.
I find that four groups is a great way to create standards/skills focused math groups. I tend to switch to 4 groups when we are in our test-prep mode. This lasts for about 2 weeks before the big state test.
However, if you have a larger class size (18+ students) this works well as a framework for your regular math workshop block.
Let’s take a look:
You will NOT meet with every group if you decide on this version. For this reason, you should teach a whole-group lesson that is 20-30 minutes long. Below is a look at how often you will meet with each small group.
Notes: Whole group lessons lasts a maximum of 30 min. Each math rotation (two per day) is 20 minutes.
I’ve had several teachers ask how I would organize math workshop if I had a large class size (24+ students). I have not had personal experience with this, but I will gladly share my thoughts with you. Click here to read more.