Joined: 13 Aug 2012
Almost every teacher I know teaches a reading workshop. Students rotate through various stations (centers) and literacy activities, including small group instruction with the teacher. The reading workshop allows for minimal whole group instruction with a lot of support in small groups and skill practice in stations (centers). When I first began teaching, I wondered why teachers did not create a math workshop.
Over the years, I have tried whole group math and then pulled the students who needed re-teaching or extra reinforcement. This just does not work for me or my students. I have found they are so good at the routines during the reading workshop that they are often thrown off by the lack of routine during math.
A few years ago, I decided to change up my math routine. I implemented a math workshop in my classroom. I begin with Math Madness (read about it here). After the students have completed Math Madness and we review the skills, I lead into the day's mini-lesson. Depending on the skill, I might have several mini-lessons a week on the same skill. On shorter weeks, like this week, I introduce (or review) a different skill each day. This week, I am teaching a mini-lesson on time, comparing numbers, addition, and subtraction.
The mini-lesson allows me to see who has really caught on to the skill or who may need extra support. Based on my observations, I pull the students who need help and work with them in small groups. The other students begin math stations.
You might be wondering what a math station looks like. All of the activities in math stations are skills and materials which have previously been taught. For my students, the first two days of a station, the students are working with manipulatives. (Some activities may require the use of a dry-erase marker and/or board.) After two days of practice with manipulatives, I will then give the students a response sheet. They have the rest of the week to complete the sheet. The skill level of the students at the end of the week will help me plan for the following week's stations. They may or may not be the same. Some skills require extended practice time, while others, such as geometry and time, can be rotated in and out over the quarter.
This week, I have four stations; measurement of time, addition, subtraction, and comparing numbers. Here is a brief description of the activities for each station.
Measurement of time: Students can choose from three activities.
Activity 1: Students practice time to the hour matching analog clock faces to digital time cards. The second task requires the student to use a clock and replicate the time on the cards.
Activity 2: Students practice time to the half hour matching analog clock faces to digital time cards. The second task requires the student to use a clock and replicate the time on the cards.
Activity 3: Students create a large floor clock, assembling all the pieces.
Then one student use flashcards to call out a time. The other students show the time with the floor clock.
Addition and Subtraction: Students can choose from three activities at either addition or subtraction.
Activity 1: Dry-erase flash-cards.
Activity 2: Students use manipulatives to create addition equations. Then they write their equation on a dry-erase board.
Activity 3: Computer with fact drills.
Comparing Numbers: This game is played in pairs.
One student grabs a handful of pom-poms. They count the pom-poms and write their number on a dry-erase board. The second student does the same. They each take turns deciding which symbol is needed (greater than, less than, or equal to).
I hope this gets you thinking about using a math workshop routine with stations.