Math Workshop

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Well, I have ANOTHER snow day! Today makes 8. Yikes. I heard on the radio yesterday that my city is the winner of the snowiest city in the US this year, with 101 inches of snow this season.. and it looks like another 8-12 out there right now. At this rate we will be in school until July! Hopefully this is the last storm!

The good thing about this snow day is that it has given me a chance to check out some awesome blogs and finally write about math workshop. I mentioned how amazing it was in a previous post.. here is my experience with it so far!

Prior to being in 3rd grade this year, I taught 4th grade, but I ONLY taught reading, writing, and social studies. When I got the 3rd grade job, I was ecstatic! I wanted to teach 3rd grade so bad. When the excitement settled, I was horrified! I had NEVER EVER taught math. EVER!

So, I took to the internet to research about math workshop. I came across this article on Scholastic and it sounded just like what I needed. Check the article out at the link below..  I run my math workshop a little differently but this is where I got started! 

How Math Workshop Looks in My Classroom: 

We have an 80 minute block of time each morning for math. 

20 Minutes - Whole class mini lesson
  • During the mini lesson we discuss the objective and our goals for math that day. We typically make an anchor chart together focusing on our topic. The anchor chart below is an example. I am also able to complete quick formative assessments by having the kids practice on white boards. 

    Anchor chart about perimeter.

    60 Minutes - Math Centers
    • We have 4 centers. Each group rotates through the centers in 15 minute intervals. I am very lucky to have a great class size (20 kiddos) so I put them into 4 manageable groups of 5 students. 

    Teacher Group: I am able to review the concept from the mini lesson with the students. The small group size allows me to work closely with the students and give them a little intervention or enrichment if necessary!
    Teacher Group - Working on perimeter with shapes!

    Computers: The kids obviously love this center! I scour the internet looking for fun games that reinforce the objective for the day. I try to find 3 games for them to choose from. 
    Perimeter games at the computer center.
    Practice Page: Students work on the assigned page. We have a practice book that goes along with our math series, but it's not necessary. I occasionally use worksheets I create or find if I don't love the practice page from the series. I encourage the kids to help each other and use the resources available to them.
    Practice page focusing on perimeter.
    Math Game: I create all of the math games. I love to create them myself - but you don't have to! There are a lot of great resources out there. These games are very hands on! I have a math game box ready for the students each day. This box includes the directions, recording sheets (so I can hold them accountable!), and all the resources/manipulatives they'll need to play! Here's an example of a math game I used recently. You don't have to change your math game every day, there are times when I use the same game for an entire week. It depends on the topic

    Math Game Center - Creating shapes with various perimeters using task cards.
    Heterogeneous or Homogeneous Grouping? 
    • This was something I struggled with early in the year! I wanted students to be successful in the independent centers, but I wanted time to work with students who needed some of the same skills reinforced or extended upon. I settled on heterogeneous groups for math centers Monday through Thursday and I would run homogeneous groups on Fridays. Fridays are our "catch-up day" where we review the skills learned during the week, finish all unfinished work, and work on challenging performance tasks. 
    Does anyone else run their math block in a similar way? I'd love to hear how other teachers set theirs up! 


    1. Your math block looks great! It's obvious you have put a lot of thought into meeting the different learning needs of your students. I taught 3rd grade(for one year)and the range of levels can be overwhelming. Your centers seem to help conquer that! Awesome job! I am your newest follower...I found your blog on the TpT forum!
      Beth :)

      1. Thank you! It certainly gets overwhelming, but I absolutely love my math block! I can't imagine teaching K (now THAT seems overwhelming to me!)


    2. I love the workshop style! Do you change the groups up throughout the year?
      Forever A Teacher, Forever A Learner

      1. Yes! I change the groups every time we start a new unit! I give the students a pre-assessment before beginning each unit and those are used to form new groups!

    3. Hi Michaela,

      I found your blog through the TPT forum and YAY! :)

      I teach math the same way as you with one exception, I do not have an 80 block of time! That is awesome that you have that much time. I follow the same structure that you have; whole group lesson followed by "math stations."

      Like you, I have 4 small groups of students that rotation through the stations. Teacher station, computers, games and a daily math journal. I started using this format when I was teaching 2nd grade and brought it with me to 1st grade. My students LOVE it. I love it too, it gives me the opportunity to work with every student everyday!

      I'd love to blog about your workshop format and link back to your blog. Please let me know if that is ok with you! My email address is

      Laura ~ First Grade Spies

      P.S. Sorry about all your snow!! We only had 1 snow day this year so I was a bit sad but 8? Yikes!!

    4. Hi Laura,

      I love teaching math like this so much! It's my favorite block of the whole day! I would love if you blogged about this! (I just emailed you) Thanks so much!


    5. I am toying with doing a math workshop, I just started my spring break, so I am going to play around with it this week. Thanks for your post. I am your newest follower.

    6. Bethany,

      I hope this post was helpful to you! Please let me know how it goes! I think you'll love it! :)


    7. Thanks for sharing this with me, Michaela! I'm freaking out about my grade change next year! I was NOT expecting it at all. I'll be fine, but I'm looking for whatever help I can get! I'll definitely remember this when I get planning! :)

      Mrs. Beattie's Classroom

    8. I'm sure it'll be quite an adjustment! I'm feeling the same way not knowing what grade I'll be teaching, but I hope you like 3rd as much as I do!

    9. TeachMeWell - Online Math Help - education for children Aged 5 to 10 (Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5) - Math lessons click here math onlinekj

    10. Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to mention that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing for your feed and I am hoping you write once more soon! math problem solver


    Copyright © Reading Royalty. Blog Design by