We have just completed our very first week of implementing a math workshop. It has gone, I think, better than expected and we are very excited to really get things up and running.
I feel like the start of anything always takes a lot of work, planning, and thought. This was no exception. Our idea for the math workshop started with a wonderful blog entry about a math workshop called BUILD. The workshop format included:
- Buddy Games
- Using Manipulatives
- Independent Work
- Learning About Numbers
- Doing Math
We are lucky to have 3 teachers in the room during math time - the classroom teacher, me, and a student teacher. We decided to keep Buddy Games, Using Manipulatives, and Independent Work pretty much true to the titles. We decided that Learning About Numbers would be independent math work using either Scootpad or TenMarks (student choice). Doing Math is going to be work in small groups with teacher guidance. This is where the magic (errr... instruction) happens. We decided to have 2 small groups going at a time, and one teacher as a floater for the other stations.
As far as format goes, we have an hour for our math block. We are going to try:
5-10 minutes - get settled and started
20 minutes - rotation 1
20 minutes - rotation 2
10-15 minutes - clean up, reflection
We have 4 small groups, with about 6 students in each group. The groups meet daily, so the students do a small group during one rotation, and a B, U, I, or L choice during the other rotation. In a typical 5-day week, students will go to each station once, with a choice of what they would like to repeat on Fridays.
To get us up and running, we started by putting together our plans and "need to do" list on a google doc.
The first week was training. For those of you who use Daily 5 for literacy, you know that the training piece is an incredibly important foundation to a successful workshop. DO NOT skimp on this!
The first day, students came up with expectations for our math workshop time. These came from students' background knowledge of Daily 5 expectations, as well as expectations that we have used throughout our math time this year. Here is what they came up with:
Keep your eyes out for updates on the workshop, including an incredibly EXCITING post about creating student portfolios! (MUCH easier than it sounds, I promise!)