Math workshop, as I have discussed has been a sore area of teaching for me! But with the help our lovely numeracy coach, Trish Dempsey, the first grade team of teachers had time to sit down and plan and talk about math workshop. The district has a great model in place. and after discussion and looking at resources (Envisions, Investigations, Georgia math etc) I am ready to implement math workshop!
It will start with an opening. I will call it "moving math". Depending on what standard we are working on, I will give them a problem to solve (doubles, adding/subtracting) and they have to solve it. They will act out the problem by jumping, hopping-whatever movement! That will be our transition into getting our brains into the math zone.
After the opening, we will do a mini lesson. Sometimes those will be guided by the workmats, other times they will be guided by a brain pop video, a problem I have designed etc. Once the strategy or learning has been introduced and taught, they will go into work time. During work time they are working on problems relevant to their learning needs. Sometimes review will happen even if they have "mastered" a learning topic or area. Work time is for them. They will work together, in buddies or small groups and even sometimes independent. During this time I am walking around making observations, taking some formative evaluations and pulling small groups. Calendar may be phased out, or as a choice. They will also have time during work to play various "games". At times I may control what games depending on the learning.
At the end of our workshop, we will share. I will take pictures of their work, use the document camera or have them come up to the smart board to show their learning. On the iPad there is a great app called "Explain Everything". So for example today I took a picture of a student's work and had them use the app to explain how they solved the problem. This gives them a chance to see how others are learning/strategies as well as teach their peers. Sometimes walking through the problem will help make it stick!
Today was our first day and I have to say it went WONDERFULLY! That doesn't mean it's going to be perfect, there will be some tweaks but I think we are headed in the right direction!
Be aware, sometimes math work mats may go home with empty spaces or slots not filled and that's on purpose. Sometimes you may not see math go home at all because it's in their journals or they are still working on it.