read alouds

Structuring YOUR Math Block

Coming up with the perfect structure for your math workshop can be SUCH a challenge. There isn't enough time, what stations do I need, how to I meet the needs of all my kids? The list of questions go on. I am here to show you my structure and answer some frequently asked questions!

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I am going to show you how I plan out my week first.

When I begin to think of a new week of math instruction, I really like to follow a pattern. It helps me plan effective lessons AND helps ME to FOCUS! The pattern I follow is below..

Monday, my students learn a new game related to a new math concept or a math concept that we worked on the previous week. This is a game that we play altogether because it is one that will be placed in my math games center. I use Monday as a time to introduce the concept and address any misconceptions about a game. Then, I don't have to address these when I am teaching guided math.

Tuesday-Thursday: It's almost always math workshop time. This is when we do our 4 math station rotations. So, in other words. All students are getting direct math instruction at their level 3x a week.

Friday: We are doing something whole group 90% of the time. I will either address a pattern of something almost all students have been struggling with in relation to the concept that I've been seeing in small group instruction. I like to end the week with whole group for a VERY IMPORTANT reason. The KIDS get to help each other. Sometimes, students can explain things better than I can! So, on this day I give a skill activity or an open ended problem connected to our concept. We do it, and then come together and share strategies and misconceptions. I have the kids place their paper under the projector and show it to their classmates.

These are the four stations and my rotation chart I use when we do our math workshop rotations Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Teacher Table: I am provided instruction that the kids at the table need at that moment. I use my math binder to track student data. You can read about how I track data to drive instruction here.

On My Own: Students complete their interactive math journal activities or seat work activities at this station. They bring me their math journals when we finish a station rotation for me to check. Seat work, they turn in to a turn in bin. I love this station, because kids get to review things that they've already learned. Spiral review is SO important!

Games: This is where students are using manipulatives, cards and recording forms to play games. I like to place games in the bin that don't really end. For example: this game that you see below that's called Order Up! It is a game that can be played over and over again. You have a winner once cards run out, but then you just play again. 

Here are a few other examples of things I have the kids play at the games station.
Sometimes I throw in some word problems, problem solving activities, geometry stuff, memory games. It just really depends on our focus. The games stay in their tubs for about 2 weeks before they go into retirement! :-)

Technology is the last station! Here, students get an Ipad and work on an app called ST Math. Click the link to read more about it. It's amazing and ranges from grades k-5!

I hope you got some great ideas from my post! If you have any questions, please comment below!

In the meantime, check out these other posts about all things math workshop! They're absolutely amazing!

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