Math Workshop - Making it Work for Me

I thought I would give you a quick peek at my math workshop.  I started doing math workshop about 2 years ago thanks to the help and encouragement of my dear friend Elizabeth at Fun in Room 4B.  I was scared to do it.....I don't like change......not sure it would work........had no clue what I was doing.....didn't think I could fit it all in......and on and on.....
 
After a few tears, a little frustration, and a LOT of coaching from my friend......I DID IT!!!!  Be sure to check out Elizabeth's posts on math workshop!  They are fab!!
 
Now that I have done it, I WILL never turn back.  Now, before you read on, KNOW that I am no pro at this.....ya gotta do what works best for you and your kiddos, AND it is always a work in progress!  Another important thing I have noticed is that every year I train my kids for Daily 5.  I honestly think their training in that helps them to be disciplined in math workshop as well.  That training at the beginning of the year is so important!
 
So here we go.....a peek into my workshop....
This is where it all starts (sorry the pic is so blurry:/)  Guided math/math workshop ideally has 4 rotations.  Last year I tried 4 and then switched out between the 4.  This year I have 3 and that's how it stays.  My 3 rotations are:
Teacher Time
At Your Seat
Math Facts
I have 3 groups of kids that rotate through. 
 
Teacher Time
I love to use the Educreations app on my Ipad as a dry erase board.
I use that a lot for modeling and examples.
The kids sit with me at my horseshoe table and we do the lesson for the day.  I intro it, model it, and then they do it.  One thing I love the most about this is that they all go at "their" speed.  The ones that get it, go through it and are done quickly and can return to their seats to work on something else. 
One thing they do if they finish with me and there is still time left in that rotation is grab a Math Shark.  They can practice all kinds of skills on these.  I got these with a grant a few years ago.
 While those students go to their seats and do Math Sharks, that frees me up to work with the ones that need more help.  When my little timer goes off, it's time to rotate:)
Couldn't live without my Dollar Tree timers!!!
 
 
 
At Your Seat
Our county purchased a program called I-Ready, so for most of the year, this has had to be one of their rotations.  For At Your Seat they go to the computer and do this program.  I love this program because it targets each of the kids DIFFERENT needs.  It differentiates which is a huge help to me.  They really like the program too!  Traditionally the At Your Seat rotation is usually for seat work, usually the lesson from the day before.  Sometimes we did do that too but mostly they were on the computer.
 
Math Facts
This rotation changes every day:)  Lots of fun here!  Here the kids are mostly playing some type of game that helps them with their math facts.
 

Some days we work on task cards.  I was blessed enough to get 2 mini ipads and 3 ipods from grants.  The kids love to do QR task cards with those.  They also play all sorts of math games on them too!
Dominoes are fun for multiplication facts, fractions, on and on:)
This is another game they play.  Notice the multiplication pattern?????  We need LOTS of practice with multiplication fluency!!!
Another game they play is with foam (quiet) dice.  And yes, you guessed it.....multiplication facts yet again.  They like to keep score on their dry erase boards.

Another FAVE game is pop top multiplication facts!  The kids LOVE this!
I also have TONS of task card sets that I have made or purchased.  Today their math fact rotation was place value/rounding task cards from Teaching With a Mountain View.  The great thing about the task cards is that I can take a grade if I want....it's kinda like how the At Your Seat is supposed to be but since we had that computer program to do I couldn't.  See what I mean, ya gotta make it work for you:)
I hope you got a few ideas to use in your classroom, whether you use math workshop or not. 
 
I can't believe I only have this week and next week with my kiddos and then we are done!!!  Don't know where the year went but we are still working away:)
 
Have a great week everyone:)

25 comments

  1. Great post! I tried doing rotations this year and only seemed to be able to do it when we had multiplication down. I"m not giving up! It'll be our 3rd year with Envision and I think I'm ready to make it mine. This is a great pep talk!

    How long is your math block?

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    1. My math block is an hour:) Sometimes I take a little longer.

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  2. Tara,
    I love how you have made this your own. That's what I say all the time (to you and others). We have all got to find what works for us and for our students. You have done amazing things with your kids this year! That program sounds wonderful! I love that it differentiates for each student. I'm so proud of you for sticking with it ;) Thank you for all of the sweet compliments, too! That's why you are my bestie after all :))))

    Elizabeth
    Fun in Room 4B

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  3. Do you introduce the concept with the whole class and then send them off to the groups or do you do it by groups?

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    1. This year I have done it by groups:) If it's a tough concept that I feel like they will struggle with, I do it whole group for a day first:)

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  4. I use the envision math series as well! Love this idea and I'm so totally trying it next year. Do you use any of the centers that come with the series in your groups?

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    1. Lol....I have made or bought so much from TPT that I really haven't used those.

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  5. This makes me want to be "contained" again and teach math! I miss not having the same group all day (sometimes)- what a gift to have such discipline in the rotations! Great post!
    Squirrels
    Go Nutty with Me!
    misssquirrels@yahoo.com

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  6. Great post! I had a new team member this year who worked with leveled math groups and loved it! I've been researching and am going to try it next year for myself. Eeeekkk! Thanks for the great post and shares!
    Erin
    Short and Sassy Teacher

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  7. Do you have any ideas on how math rotations might work in a combination classroom? I'd really like to do them, but I can't combine the grade levels, so I'm at a loss as to how to implement them in my classroom

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  8. Can you explain Pop Top Multiplication facts? Curious!

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  9. I use a math workshop with a math menu as well! Can you please share directions to games and pdfs for the QR code cards? Thanks!

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  10. I have never heard of math sharks! I need to look into getting a few of those! This was a super helpful post- thanks so much for your amazing ideas.

    -Maria

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  11. Would love to hear about your grant. I would like to get some more technology in my room and know that it won't come from our district. Thanks.

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    1. Jan, the grants were through our county....lol.

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  12. I'd like to know how to play the pop top multiplication game as well!!

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  13. Can you link up those rotation cards from your bulletin board? Thanks!!

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  14. You are AMAZING! I started reading the new Daily 5, and it has the math daily 3 in it- and it sounds like what you have been doing for the past two years! I think this will be perfect for my 2/3 combo next year. I need to take the plunge next year! Thank you for the app idea too!

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  15. I started doing Math Workshop about halfway through the school year. My kiddos loved Daily 5 and they loved Math Workshop. The only problem I found myself having is balancing 4 different rotations. It was too much going on at a time. I am already using your ideas to restructure for next year!

    Cassie
    Funky in Fourth

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  16. I really want to do math rotations, but have been kinda afraid. Your post really makes me want to try and make it work though. Any books you recommend for summer reading/planning prep on math rotations?

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    1. Miss Alissa, the Guided Math book changed my world last year:)

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  17. Who is the author of the Guided Math book?

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  18. Tara, as I was admiring your rotation board, made me wonder is that striped fabric? I have NO access to butcher paper, but fabric is great! Also tablecloths. Where do you purchase any decorations you dont make? I'm an online shopper in the middle of nowhere close! Thanks!

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  19. Which Guided Math book is it that helped you?

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