Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Launching Math Workshop, Part 1

I'm super excited about my plans for launching math workshop this year! So excited, that I'm starting a new blog series to explain it all to you!

Last year I went way out of my comfort zone with the structure of my math workshop. It also happened to be my first year in a completely digital classroom - meaning that each kiddo had their own ipad.

You can read more about how my digital math workshop went last year here.

It went pretty well, but I definitely think with the right amount of planning, this year will go better. Last year I pretty much threw my kids to the wolves... I quickly explained the structure and then let them have at it. While there were some advantages to letting the kids problem solve their way through workshop, I definitely didn't set clear enough expectations (which I paid for later in the year).

So that leads me to this year. I'm going to be MUCH more explicit in how I explain and model math workshop.

Over the next few weeks, I'll share with you each step of launching math workshop in the upper elementary classroom, starting with the first week of school. My math workshop is very digital, however you could use the same steps for any classroom!

I start launching math workshop on the 2nd day of school. 

Our first math unit this year is place value, so while I'm teaching the routines of workshop I'm also trying to fit in some place value review and instruction. 

So on day 2 of school, I have the kids take a place value pre-test. You could start day 1 if you're super ambitious : )

The pre-test covers skills from 3rd grade and the new skills they'll learn in 4th grade. I really stress to the kids that this is not for a grade and helps me know what they remember or already know. Click on the picture below to download the pre-test I use for free.

I'll use the data from this pre-test later when I start pulling guided math groups (more on that in a later post).

This also gives us a chance to discuss what the classroom looks like and sounds like during independent work.

Once everyone has finished their pre-test, we set up our math journals. In the past I've had kids create their own table of contents. This year, I'm giving them a template to glue into their journals. Maybe this will keep them neater...

We glue in the table of contents, number the pages in our journal and then add our very first entry: "Place Value Review".

This year I'm going to try having the kids color code their math journals. All the entries on place value will be in one color in the table of contents and then when we switch units, they'll switch colors.

You can download my table of contents template from Google Drive here.

We'll also spend some time discussing our math journals - where we keep them, how we use them, what they should look like, etc.

There you have it - day 1 of launching math workshop!

Next up: introducing kids to blendspace (the website we use for workshop) and instructional math videos 

No comments:

Post a Comment