Thursday, July 5, 2012

Guided Math: Chapter 6


“Supporting Guided Math with Math Workshop”

This is the area I think I’ve been doing the best with, but I definitely have areas I want to improve. Before the end of the last school year I did a lot of organizing of my materials so I would be better prepared for next year.
These labels are available under my Freebies tab.
I did feel that sometimes the materials I was using did not focus as strongly on what students need to be practicing as they should. Have you ever put out materials just because you wanted to change things up and you already have these prepared?  As the year goes on, I find that happening. This year I’m working on making sure that the work stations are better aligned with what we are currently working on / skills we need to review and practice.

Math workshop is the answer to what should students be doing while we work with small groups, so it starts with a lot of training so that students can work independently. Classroom management is huge, because we want the kids doing meaningful work AND not interrupting our small group instruction. Advantages include: flexibility to address the range of needs of our learners (differentiating), development of life skills (independence and endurance/work habits), and freeing the teacher to provide the small group/individual instruction that students need. Challenges may include: that pesky management issue, planning/prep time and less supervision of student work. Sammons has a great table of effective uses for math workshop (p 188 – 189). I’ve already been incorporating most of them. This year I will be adding math journals and investigations while I reflect on how to make the other areas more effective.

There are two great reflection questions at the end of this chapter.

1. What are some of the ways that you can organize your classroom to support Math Workshop?

I am planning to move all my manipulatives and other materials to a new spot in the classroom so that they are all together. Hopefully this will help my students to easily gather the things they need.

2. How can implementing Math Workshop promote the learning goals you have for your class?

I believe the changes I am going to make will help me align all the activities students are working on to the posted learning goals (I Can statements) each week.

Ultimately, I want to keep all the things that have been working well AND implement the new ideas that I am learning in this book study. It’s making me feel a bit excited about the new year starting (but still happy there is a lot of summer left!).


  1. I just awarded you two awards. Come on over to claim them!!!

    From Blood to Books!

    1. Thank you, Jess! I am a new follower of your blog.

  2. I also want to take what I am learning form the book and make changes in my math classroom. I am also going to hopefully have a greater focus on my math journals. Please stop by my blog and link up your post.
    Barrow's Hodgepodge

  3. I too am sooooo glad there's still summer left to try to get all of these things figured out! :) I too agree that management is the key! I remember the first day I ran math workshop for the first time, and oh my gosh! I was astonished at all the kids WORKING the WHOLE time! It's amazing what all the hard work of practice and modeling can do... because it DOES pay off in the end :)

    Reaching for the TOP!

  4. About how long does it take before you feel like Math Workshop is fully implemented and running smoothly?

    How many times a week do you do Math Workshop?

  5. It is nice knowing that we're doing things right :)

    I am so excited to be involved in this book study! So many great ideas and discussions!!

    Thanks for sharing. I'm your newest follower.

    One Class, One Sound

  6. I have an award for you! Stop by my blog to retrieve it!!

    Third Grade All Stars


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