Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Math Workshop--A plea for help!

Just a quick post...

I wanted to implement workshop last year, but our periods got cut to 60 minutes and I just didn't see it possible.

This year I have 80, but I am having a hard time coming up with how to organize things. Here are the two options as I see them now:

Option 1:
* 10min to do warm-ups, check hwk, any announcements etc.
* 20min for a mini lesson--whole group. This is where we would do our INB/ISN right hand page.
* 50min of rotations--I have my class in 4 or 5 groups (one class only has 21 kids, the others are 24 and 28). I need to have 5 rotations because of this, but is 10 minutes enough time to do task cards? What if they don't get all of them done? If I did this, my math workshop board has the following rotations:
Math Journal--Complete the left hand page in their notebooks
At your seat--Partner work/task cards
Teacher's Choice--task cards/game/SMG on Thursdays
Help Desk--With me
Skills Practice--independent work

This leaves no time for recapping at the end of the block. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Option 2:
*10min for hwk/warm-ups/announcements
*60min of rotations
*10min recap

The catch with this is rotations would either be 4 15min rotations or 3 20min rotations. I would do the lesson as the help desk. My problem with that is I will have to have two groups at a time (12 students instead of 6. Not as effective), and kids will have to be working on task cards for skills that I haven't taught unless they are in my first group.

So the question is...

If you use workshop or rotations as part of your daily routine in middle school math, how do you do it? What works, what doesn't? What do you recommend?


  1. I do 4 groups (WORK) for With the Teacher, On your Own (Seatwork), Random Review, & Kinesthetic.
    I usually have 5-6 groups in my room, and I have them do 3 20 minute rotations. To keep it easy for me, I always have 2 copies of the O and R stations. So a group might do WOR the first day, then KOR the next. Between the 2 days, 1 has the W station and 1 day has the K. I always have the O as part of the rotation, and usually R as well. But it lets me see every student every other day, as well as have them do something with manipulatives/fun stuff at least every other day. At any given moment, 1 group is with me, 1 group is at K, 2 groups are at their seats (O), and 2 groups are working on review activities.

  2. This blog post explains how I do math workshop in my 7th grade classroom. I have three regular math classes (two or which are inclusion) and one section of Honors. I do not do rotations. Two days a week I pull small groups for targeted mini lessons or tutorials while the rest of the students are working on our personalized computer program MATHia. I would like to implement some learning stations this year. I've used them in the past with great success, but last year was my first year doing workshop and it just wasn't doable.