Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Guided Math Chapter 6

"Supporting Guided Math With Math Workshop"

Advantages of Math Workshop
  • Instruction is differentiated
  • Students develop stamina 
  • Students learn how to work collaboratively through communication, assuming joint responsibility, and sharing materials
  • Permits teacher to work with small groups or confer with students
Challenges of Math Workshop
  • Students following procedures and expectations
  • Include only those activities that are meaningful and work well for the students
  • Lengthy planning time -- OH! How true this is! Researching, printing, and prepping activities takes me at least 6 hours!
  • Difficult to closely monitor student work
Tasks That Can Be Completed During Workshop
  • Review Previously Mastered Concepts - Although I agree for mastery to occur skills must be revisited, I think I will still include only concepts that we are working on that week. 
  • Practice for Math Fact Automaticity - Last year, my district purchased a software called FASTT Math. The program determines which operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) the student will start through a diagnostic test. Then daily, the students complete a lesson and activity. 
  • Use Mathematical Games to Reinforce Concepts - I use corporation-made board games and printed games from Teachers Pay Teachers. What are your favorite math games???
  • Practice Problem Solving - We are moving to the Common Core Standards and the push for problem solving is upon us. This section mentions Marilyn Burns' criteria for meaningful problems. I wish examples were included so I can see what a meaningful problem looks like. Blogger buddies -- examples?? 
  • Write in Math Journals - I like the questions that Whitin and Whitin suggest:
    • What did you notice?
    • What patterns do you see?
    • What does this remind you of?      
    • What did you find interesting?
    • What do your findings make you wonder?                                                                                These questions really take thinking to a higher level than using "What did you learn today?"
  • Complete Computer-Related Work - In my computer center the students create a word problem with a chosen operation. Then, they post on their blog and fellow classmates solve. Afterwards, they can play predetermined online math games.
Managing Math Workshop
The best way to manage is plan...plan...plan. Plan for everything from how the students will behave to what unexpected events might occur. The biggest piece of advice I can give is DON'T GIVE UP!! Prior to this last school year, I tried centers for 2 years! They never worked because after a week I was so discouraged. This past school year I did not give up and stuck it out through the good and the bad. It took a month for things to start running smoothly, but once it did that month of waiting and practicing paid off. Be consistent, patient and remember it can happen!!
I came across a cute freebie from Valerie at All Students Can Shine. The students take a number and wait until you are ready to meet with them. Click the picture to grab yours.

Planning With Co-Teachers
I could not have asked for a better co-teacher last year!!! We worked so well because we collaborated on every aspect of the lesson and shared responsibilities. Unfortunately, changes have been made in my school and we won't be teaching together. As Forrest Gump would say, "That's all I have to say about that."

Hope you enjoying reading! 
Don't forget to link up with our hosts:

Amanda @

Mechele @


  1. I loved your post. I agree that you must plan and plan some more. You a right on the money with don't give up. Please come back over the my blog and link up, I have have the linky party up! Thanks
    Barrow's Hodgepodge

    1. I have linked up. Thanks for hosting!


  2. Yep- plan! Such an important part of it. Really enjoyed the questions up above you mentioned. Great reminder that I needed, and some really good questions to add to the ones I already use. Thanks for sharing! :)

    Reaching for the TOP!

    1. Thanks for reading and hosting this chapter!


  3. This post makes me miss teaching math so much! I'm departmentalized now that I moved up, but I miss teaching math to my second graders. Thanks for stopping by my blog!! I'm a new follower.

    I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

    1. What are you teaching?

      Glad to have you as a blogging buddy!


  4. I agree planning is very important. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas.

    The Very Busy Kindergarten

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my post :)


  5. Just gave you a special award – please pick it up at my blog.
    Math is Elementary


Translate This Blog