The post Making Sense of Math appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>First, let’s look at a brief history of mathematics instruction. When I was learning math, computers were giant machines that filled entire rooms (yes, I realize I am dating myself). They were not accessible to the ordinary citizen or business person. It was important to learn how to do calculations, because there was no alternative. But now, I carry a phone on my person at all times that has greater computing capacity than those old room-sized computers had. So why are we still emphasizing the memorization of rote procedures? And what skills will our students need to compete in the global marketplace? The graphic below lists the skills industry leaders valued in 2015, as well as the skills they will be looking for in 2020.

So how do we help students make sense of math? Here are a few suggestions:

You simply can’t rush math understanding. Children need to *touch* the math they are doing. While 5 – 1 = 4 makes no sense to a 5 year old, show them 5 jellybeans and then eat one, and I guarantee that they will begin to understand the concept of subtraction. Now, a bright 5 year old could certainly memorize 5 – 1 = 4, but that would be the equivalent of memorizing a spelling word, but not knowing what it means or how to use the word in a sentence.

A fraction, such as 3/4, is about as abstract as you can get. I have had many students tell me that 3/4 would be somewhere between 3 and 4 on a number line. That tells me that they haven’t experienced 3/4 and are not able to visualize the meaning of 3/4. Concrete and pictorial experiences aren’t related to age–that is, they are not just for “the little kids”. Those experiences are necessary whenever students are learning a new concept, regardless of age.

You can make math less abstract by connecting it to real life. Take, for example, the order of operations. We often teach this concept as a set of rules you apply to equations. What meaning does that have to students? Students need to investigate the meaning of the order of operations through the lens of real life situations. Take, for example, this problem and the discussion you might have:

Margo made treat bags for a bake sale. She put 2 chocolate chip cookies and 3 peanut butter cookies in each bag. She made a total of 12 bags. How many cookies were in all the bags?

How would you find the total number of cookies *(add 2 + 3 and then multiply by 12)*

What happens if you multiply 3 x 12 first and then add 2? *(you’d get 38, which is not the correct amount of cookies)*

How do we indicate what order to perform the operations? *(by using parentheses)*

Once students get the hang of it and truly understand why operations must be performed in a certain order, give *them* the equations and challenge them to write stories to match.

A colleague recently told me a story about her 4 year old child and an elevator that really made me think. They had been staying in a hotel for a couple of weeks, so they had been riding the elevator to the 4th floor several times each day. On one trip up, they were on the 2nd floor and her daughter said, *We’re on 2, we have two more floors until we get to 4. *My friend was kind of stunned, and she said she didn’t really know how to react, other than agreeing with her daughter. I think that was a good thing, because sometimes we get carried away trying to capitalize on teachable moments. The math that child did made total sense to her. She probably just used the buttons on the elevator like a number line and knew it was two jumps from the 2 button to the 4. I doubt she did subtraction or addition in her head. We should certainly encourage a child to think about numbers, but that doesn’t mean teaching full blown lessons. Table Talk Math is a great resource for parents looking to engage their children in authentic mathematical conversations.

So there you have it. Our challenge is to constantly reflect on how we are helping our students make sense of math. I’d love to hear other suggestions in the comments!

The post Making Sense of Math appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>The post Implementing Math Workshop appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>As we wind down the book study on Guided Math Workshop, I’ll bet you’re full of ideas and ready to go! You can catch up by using the links in the Reading Schedule below. Jump in anytime!

- Book Study Monday announcement
- July 10: Introduction and Chapter 1, Structuring Math Workshop
- July 17: Chapter 2, Organizing Math Workshop
- July 24: Chapter 3, Managing Math Workshop
- July 31: Chapter 4, Planning Math Workstations
- August 7: Chapters 5, Math Workstation Tasks
- August 14: Chapter 6, Implementing Math Workshop

The book study may be finishing up, but the real work is just starting! Please continue to use the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM to connect with other educators on Twitter. Laney and I will monitor the hashtag, but feel free to tag us in your tweets to make sure you get our attention. Twitter can be a great source of support, as some of you have found out during the course of the book study, and I hope you’ll connect with other educators on the Guided Math journey!

To join in the slow Twitter chat, type the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM in the search box–look for the magnifying class in the top right hand corner by your profile picture (see the picture below). It is not case sensitive, but people often use upper and lower case letters for hashtags to make them easier to read. After you have searched on the hashtag once, it will be listed in your Recent Searches, so you won’t really need to type it again.

- What is the best way to teach students workshop routines and procedures?
- How should I introduce new Math Workstation tasks to students?

You have put significant effort into organizing your room for Math Workshop and developing your routines and procedures. For Math Workshop to be successful, you will need to methodically and deliberately introduce the students to your expectations, routines, and procedures. For each behavioral expectation, you will go through a cycle of describing the routine or procedure, modeling the behavior done correctly and incorrectly, having students role-play the behavior done both correctly and incorrectly, and then providing students with time to practice. You will see this cycle repeat over and over during the 15-day implementation plan.

The 15-day implementation plan is divided into three parts:

**Week 1, Establishing Routines and Procedures for Math Workshop**

For many students, Guided Math and Math Workshop will be a very different classroom structure than they have previously experienced. The focus of Week 1 is to introduce students to the purpose and format of Math Workshop. What should Math Workshop look and sound like? Even if students have previously used math centers, it is important to communicate that workstation tasks are designed to specifically meet their needs as mathematicians and to help each of them grow. During the first five days, students participate in discussions about Math Workshop, help create anchor charts that will serve as visual reminders of expectations, and practice routines and procedures. One of my favorite lessons for introducing routines and procedures is the true/false quiz on page 141. The sample in the book is designed for grades 3-5, but you could easily adapt it for younger or older students.

During Week 2, you will introduce your students to Math Workstation tasks and they will practice working independently. Using a sample Math Workstation, students will practice storage and retrieval of workstations, using Task Menus and Student Task cards, using Talking Points cards, and working independently. It’s critical to debrief at the end of each lesson and allow students to self-assess their work habits. The success of Math Workshop hinges on student self-management, and students need to understand that self-assessment is necessary to help them grow as mathematicians.

**Week 3, Thinking Like Mathematicians: Focusing on Mathematical Practices**

The mathematical process standards outline how students should learn and acquire skills. This week, you will focus on these very important mathematical habits as you continue to practice and reinforce your Math Workshop routines and procedures. Students will engage in mathematical conversations, learn how to make mathematical connections, reason and justify their thinking, and engage in a problem solving process. It is important that students understand that these are skills that they will use in each and every workstation task. It is a critical part of creating a culture of mathematical learning.

And there you go! I hope you have gained a better understanding of Math Workshop through your participation in this book study. Please take a minute to leave a comment below reflecting on your next steps. There’s comfort in hearing from others who are embarking on your same journey! Also, if you have any lingering questions, please feel free to ask them either here in the comments or using the Twitter hashtag. Here’s hoping you have a wildly successful school year!

Here are the slow Twitter chat questions I will post this week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Just search on the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM throughout the week to see the questions, read comments, and add your responses. We will use the Q and A format. For example, to respond to Q10, start your response with A10. **Don’t forget to add the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM to your tweet and all replies to tweets**. If you don’t, it won’t show up in the feed for the chat.

The post Implementing Math Workshop appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>The post Math Workstation Tasks appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>And here we are in August! I’m sure your brain is buzzing with great ideas about how to implement or improve Guided Math Workshop! You can catch up by using the links in the Reading Schedule below. Jump in anytime!

- Book Study Monday announcement
- July 10: Introduction and Chapter 1, Structuring Math Workshop
- July 17: Chapter 2, Organizing Math Workshop
- July 24: Chapter 3, Managing Math Workshop
- July 31: Chapter 4, Planning Math Workstations
- August 7: Chapters 5, Math Workstation Tasks
- August 14: Chapter 6, Implementing Math Workshop

Wow! So much great interaction on the Twitter chat. If you don’t have colleagues in your building who are implementing Guided Math, or coaches in your district or on your campus to assist with implementation, Twitter can be a great source of support and inspiration. Be sure to check it out!

To join in the slow Twitter chat, type the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM in the search box–look for the magnifying class in the top right hand corner by your profile picture (see the picture below). It is not case sensitive, but people often use upper and lower case letters for hashtags to make them easier to read. After you have searched on the hashtag once, it will be listed in your Recent Searches, so you won’t really need to type it again.

- What kinds of tasks are best for Math Workstations?
- How can I differentiate workstation tasks for my students?
- In what ways can I hold students accountable for their independent work on a Math Workstation task?

Let’s first look at the types of tasks included in this collection. Using a structure such as GUIDE helps ensure that the tasks feature a good balance of skill practice, fact fluency practice, problem solving, and communication. To me, that’s a huge plus for using the GUIDE structure–you make sure you’re covering all your mathematical bases, so to speak. You also want to look for a balance between structured tasks and more open-ended, creative tasks.

So what do you look for when choosing tasks? Here are a few of my thoughts:

*Tasks that can be reused.* You would expect games to fall into that category, but look for independent activities that can be reused as well. Look, for example, at Piggy Bank Problems on page 91. Students draw 5 cards showing coin amounts and then find the value of the collection of coins. Great practice for an important skill. Contrast the mileage you can get out of the Piggy Bank task with a worksheet addressing the same skill, which would basically be one-and-done. Tasks that use random number generators, such as cards, dice, or dominoes, increase re-usability.

*Tasks that can be easily extended. *Look next at This Reminds Me Of… on page 112. We’ve including nine different mathematical models (pages 222 and 223) to use with this task, but you could easily extend the life of the task by finding additional pictures of models from your textbook or old tests.

*Materials that can pull double duty. *I love tasks that include cards, like Area and Perimeter War on page 76. I can think of lots of uses for those cards! For example: Choose a card. On graph paper, create another figure with the same area (or perimeter) as the figure on the card. Or, how about: Choose a card. Decompose the figure into 2 or more rectangles. Find the area of each smaller rectangle. Combine the areas of the smaller rectangles to find the area of the figure.

What about differentiation? Each of the tasks in the book includes suggestions for both *above-* and *below-*level learners. For below-level learners, it’s important to think about the supports they will need to be successful with the task. They might need additional materials–manipulatives, reference charts, etc.– or you might use smaller numbers or simpler versions of a task. Remember that above-level learners don’t just need more of the same thing. Spend a few minutes looking at just the differentiation notes for each task in the book and think about how you might use some of the ideas from the examples to differentiate tasks you are currently using.

As mentioned previously, it’s important for students to be independent learners during Math Workshop. Be sure you are providing students with the support they need to be successful and independent with tasks. I have three little words that I believe sum up the most powerful way to ensure student success with workstation tasks: model, model, model! Use the tasks for small group instruction prior to putting them in workstations. This not only allows you to introduce each task and guide students through the directions, but it also serves as a formative assessment and can help you determine what level of support each student will need for success or extension. For each of the tasks in the book, we have included Student Task cards and Talking Points cards. These are additional tools for fostering student independence. The Student Task cards remind students of the directions for each task, while the Talking Points cards set the expectations for mathematical communications. As you find additional tasks to use in your workstations, you can easily create your own Talking Points cards on large index cards, using the samples in the book as a guide.

Now would be a good time to look through some of your existing resources and determine what adjustments you might need to make to use them as workstation tasks. As you plan to kick off Guided Math at the beginning of the school year, use the teachers from the previous grade level as a resource. Using workstation tasks your students are familiar with from last year is a great way to review important skills while you teach the expectations for Math Workshop.

Be sure to add your comments or questions below!

Here are the slow Twitter chat questions I will post this week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Just search on the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM throughout the week to see the questions, read comments, and add your responses. We will use the Q and A format. For example, to respond to Q10, start your response with A10. **Don’t forget to add the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM to your tweet and all replies to tweets**. If you don’t, it won’t show up in the feed for the chat.

The post Math Workstation Tasks appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>The post Developing Automaticity with Basic Math Facts appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>So the shift has been away from rote memorization of math facts and toward a strategy-based approach for *learning* math facts. There’s a big difference between memorizing and understanding. Sure, we want kiddos to have automaticity with their facts, but we want that fluency to be rooted in number sense–an understanding of how numbers are related. A great resource for strategy-based fact instruction is __Mastering the Basic Math Facts in Addition and Subtraction: Strategies, Activities, and Interventions to Move Students Beyond Memorization__. There’s one for __multiplication and division facts__, too.

To develop automaticity, students also need to engage in meaningful practice. Here are some suggestions for practice games and activities:

*Provide concrete or pictorial support.*The ability to create mental images of numbers and facts helps students make sense of numbers. A student who “guesses” that 7 x 9 might be a number in the 30s clearly does not have a mental image of 7 x 9. Tasks that either use pictures to represent facts or have students draw representations for facts help them develop that ability to form mental images.*Focus on strategies, not facts.*When learning addition facts, strategies like Make a 10 and Using Doubles are very powerful. With multiplication, students learn that facts are related, for example by doubling. A game focusing on the 2s, 4s, and 8s highlights that doubling relationship.*Spotlight a specific number.*In Kinder and 1st, students need lots of practice composing and decomposing the numbers to ten. Because of it’s importance in our number system, special emphasis should be given to making ten. Use a fun skip-counting game to practice all the multiples of a given factor.*Add a twist of strategy.*Let’s face it, who doesn’t like a game of tic-tac-toe? The strategy that’s involved makes it almost addictive. Anytime you can incorporate a little strategy into a fact practice game, you’re golden. And speaking of tic-tac-toe, I’ve created a little freebie for Making 10 (addition) and Making 24 (multiplication). Click here to grab yours!

The post Developing Automaticity with Basic Math Facts appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>The post Planning Math Workstations appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>So far in our book study of Guided Math Workshop we’ve been planning the menu and setting the table. This week, we get into the meat and potatoes! You can catch up by using the links in the Reading Schedule below. Jump in anytime!

- Book Study Monday announcement
- July 10: Introduction and Chapter 1, Structuring Math Workshop
- July 17: Chapter 2, Organizing Math Workshop
- July 24: Chapter 3, Managing Math Workshop
- July 31: Chapter 4, Planning Math Workstations
- August 7: Chapters 5, Math Workstation Tasks
- August 14: Chapter 6, Implementing Math Workshop

Wow! So much great interaction on the Twitter chat. If you don’t have colleagues in your building who are implementing Guided Math, or coaches in your district or on your campus to assist with implementation, Twitter can be a great source of support and inspiration. Be sure to check it out!

To join in the slow Twitter chat, type the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM in the search box–look for the magnifying class in the top right hand corner by your profile picture (see the picture below). It is not case sensitive, but people often use upper and lower case letters for hashtags to make them easier to read. After you have searched on the hashtag once, it will be listed in your Recent Searches, so you won’t really need to type it again.

- How should I group students during Math Workshop?
- What kinds of tasks should I include in Math Workstations?
- How can I incorporate the use of digital devices into Math Workshop?

*“One hallmark of great teachers is that in their classroom, very little happens at random. Great teachers have a plan and purpose for everything they do. If things don’t work out the way they had envisioned, they reflect on what they could have done differently and adjust their plans accordingly.” *

First, let’s talk about student grouping, a task that requires a great deal of thought and planning. Part of my teaching philosophy is that all students should have the ability to work in mixed ability groups. I would not feel comfortable using a structure that did not allow that to happen on a regular basis. That said, I also strongly believe that students need targeted instruction at their own level. In other words, I need a structure that allows for both heterogeneous (mixed) groups and homogeneous (same level) groups. That is one reason why the GUIDE structure is the best one for me. Each day during Math Workshop, students work at one of five workstations (G, U, I, D, or E) in heterogeneous groups. I have the flexibility to pull small, targeted homogeneous groups from whichever workstation students happen to be in. So I might call one student from the G workstation, another from I, two from E, and so forth. After my small group lesson, students go back to their workstation and pick up where they left off. With GUIDE, I’m not locked in to a certain amount of time to work with each small group, as I found I was using a rotation model. Some groups may only need 5-10 minutes while others need extended time. Since students are flowing in and out of Workstations, the teacher has total flexibility.

Figure 4.1 on page 60 is a great resource for the Dos and Don’ts of forming workstation groups. You need to carefully consider and balance ability levels, work habits, talkative students vs. quiet ones, personalities, and student relationships. As an Instructional Coach, I saw teachers who sabotaged their own best efforts by not being strategic about forming groups. Plan to change your groups every month, but don’t hesitate to tweak the groups if the composition is not quite right. Remember, these are your Workstation groups, not the groups you are pulling for small group instruction. Your small group instruction groups will constantly change based on student need.

Next, you will need to start looking for tasks for your workstations. The book provides some sample tasks, and Laney and I recently published three grade-banded books with additional tasks. Luckily, there are a wealth of tasks available to teachers from educational blogs, social media, and online teacher marketplaces. You may already have resources on your campus that you can adapt for use in workstations. As you begin the year, talk to teachers from the previous grade level to see if they can share tasks with you that the students are already familiar with. Gradually add to your bank of tasks throughout the year, and before you know it, you’ll have a great collection of quality tasks. As your collection grows, however, think about how you will store and organize your tasks to make planning easier.

Because there are now so many resources readily available, it’s your responsibility to properly vet the available resources to determine which ones will provide quality mathematical experiences for your students. I summarized the details from the book into a visual you can use as a guideline for choosing tasks. Download a copy and hang it in your planning room or tape it in your planning book!

Here are the slow Twitter chat questions I will post this week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Just search on the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM throughout the week to see the questions, read comments, and add your responses. We will use the Q and A format. For example, to respond to Q10, start your response with A10. **Don’t forget to add the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM to your tweet and all replies to tweets**. If you don’t, it won’t show up in the feed for the chat.

The post Planning Math Workstations appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>The post Managing Guided Math Workshop appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>This week in our book study of Guided Math Workshop, we will be discussing considerations for the management of Guided Math Workshop. So important! You can catch up by using the links in the Reading Schedule below. Jump in anytime!

- Book Study Monday announcement
- July 10: Introduction and Chapter 1, Structuring Math Workshop
- July 17: Chapter 2, Organizing Math Workshop
- July 24: Chapter 3, Managing Math Workshop
- July 31: Chapter 4, Planning Math Workstations
- August 7: Chapters 5, Math Workstation Tasks
- August 14: Chapter 6, Implementing Math Workshop

Lots of useful conversations this week as part of the Twitter chat. Even some great pictures shared! If you are new to Twitter and need some information about how to use it, check out this handbook for educators.

- What should I take into consideration as I develop routines and procedures for students working independently in Math Workshop?
- How will I hold students accountable for their independent word during Math Workshop?

You’ve decided on the structure you will use for Math Workshop (rotations, GUIDE, etc.), planned how to organize your room, and now it’s time to think about how you will effectively manage Math Workshop. Effective management is absolutely critical for the success of Math Workshop, so you’ll want to spend plenty of time developing your routines and procedures. After all, if you don’t have a clear picture of how Math Workshop should look in your classroom, you can’t communicate your vision to the students. The lists on pages 50 and 51 are helpful for determining the types of routines and procedures you’ll need before, during, and at the close of Math Workshop. If you are new to Math Workshop, seek out the advice of teachers with experience in the structure. While you want to be as thorough as possible in planning for all situations that might arise, understand that you can always add to or adjust your procedures once you get started with Math Workshop and learn more about your students and their needs.

Probably the biggest shift when moving to a Guided Math structure is the amount of time students work independently. For Math Workshop to be effective, students must have the mindset that the workstations are their “work” as mathematicians and they are expected to do their very best. Will it always be perfect? No! But you must have processes in place to hold students accountable for their work, or Math Workshop is likely to more closely resemble playtime than workshop. The first step to accountability is developing a learning community in your classroom. Students need to see themselves as mathematicians. At CAMT this summer, a teacher from Duncanville ISD shared a Mathematician’s Pledge she uses with her kiddos that is based on the oath used in Taekwondo. It goes like this:

I am a mathematician.

I look for patterns in the world around me.

I work hard.

I never give up.

I will continue to learn and grow.

Having a self-reflection component to Math Workshop emphasizes the link between work behavior and learning and helps students develop the skills needed to be self-directed learners. Just *knowing *that they will be asked to reflect on their work habits makes students more keenly aware of the expectations and their behavior.

While pencil and paper tasks offer built-in accountability, it’s easy to hold students accountable for a wide variety of workstation tasks. Use simple recording sheets for games, or have students record work in math journals. Digital devices can be used to snap pictures of the work done in workstations. It’s my goal this year to investigate Seesaw, which is a tool for developing digital portfolios. When reviewing student work, it’s important to address mistakes, misconceptions, and work output immediately.

Here are the slow Twitter chat questions I will post this week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Just search on the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM throughout the week to see the questions, read comments, and add your responses. We will use the Q and A format. For example, to respond to Q1, start your response with A1. **Don’t forget to add the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM to your tweet and all replies to tweets**. If you don’t, it won’t show up in the feed for the chat.

Add your thoughts about planning Math Workshop in the comments below. If you’re not using Twitter, you can still use the Twitter questions to frame your comments here.

The post Managing Guided Math Workshop appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>The post Organizing Guided Math Workshop appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>Welcome back to our online book study of Guided Math Workshop. If you are joining in for the first time, I suggest you use the links in the Reading Schedule below to catch up. Because of the nature of this book study, you can really jump in anytime!

- Book Study Monday announcement
- July 10: Introduction and Chapter 1, Structuring Math Workshop
- July 17: Chapter 2, Organizing Math Workshop
- July 24: Chapter 3, Managing Math Workshop
- July 31: Chapter 4, Planning Math Workstations
- August 7: Chapters 5, Math Workstation Tasks
- August 14: Chapter 6, Implementing Math Workshop

Wow! the Twitter chat was very active this week. So many great conversations and ideas shared. If you are new to Twitter and need some information about how to use it, check out this handbook for educators. I also thought I’d share some tips for participating.

To see what’s been tweeted, type the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM in the search box–look for the magnifying class in the top right hand corner by your profile picture (see the picture below). It is not case sensitive, but people often use upper and lower case letters for hashtags to make them easier to read. After you have searched on the hashtag once, it will be listed in your Recent Searches, so you won’t really need to type it again.

Be sure to follow others who are participating in the chat to grow your Personal Learning Network (PLN). And remember, although I am posting guiding questions for the chat, feel free to start your own conversation. If you have a question about Math Workshop, tweet it out using the hashtag. You’re likely to get some great feedback, because that’s the power of Twitter!

- How can I arrange my classroom to effectively accommodate Math Workstations?
- What should I include in my Math Workstations?

Now that you have decided on the structure you will use for Math Workshop (rotations, GUIDE, etc.), it’s time to think about how you will organize your room. Your first consideration is how you will arrange your classroom. Of course we all have different sizes and shapes of classrooms, and you have to work within your constraints. But teachers are incredibly resourceful, right? So look at your room as a blank canvas.

I think of my small-group instruction area as the hub. From there, I want to be able to take in the whole room, but I also want as few distractions as possible. My seat is always facing out into the room, while the students at my small-group table have their backs to the room. Take into consideration noise level as you decide where each group will work. You might want to position the groups with the greatest potential for noise (games?) farthest away from the small-group instruction table. If students will need to access a storage area to retrieve materials for workstations, position that storage area away from your small-group table as well. Speaking of materials, I like to have a bookshelf right behind my small-group table to store the materials I will need for my lessons. Everything at my fingertips!

As resourceful as we are, teachers can also be pack rats. Am I right? At the end of this past year, I did a major purge using the SPACE process described on pages 38 & 39. It was time well spent, and the materials that I kept are organized and easily accessible. As you set up your room for Math Workshop, consider what you need, how often you need it, and how best to organize and store your materials.

Finally, how will you actually organize the workstation boxes your students will use? Because the students are working independent of you, you need to make sure they have everything they need to be successful with the workstation tasks. Depending on the structure you are using, each workstation might have one or more tasks. Workstation boxes should be clearly labeled so students are able to quickly retrieve the correct container. A Task Menu within the workstation container can communicate to students which tasks they “must do” and which they “may do”. Student instruction cards can provide students with the guidance they need to complete tasks independently. And finally, consider including Talking Points cards to facilitate mathematical discourse. The cards should contain relevant vocabulary words that students should be using in their conversations, as well as sentence stems to help students frame their thoughts.

Here are the slow Twitter chat questions I will post this week. Just search on the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM throughout the week to see the questions, read comments, and add your responses. We will use the Q and A format. For example, to respond to Q1, start your response with A1. **Don’t forget to add the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM to your tweet and all replies to tweets**. If you don’t, it won’t show up in the feed for the chat. Feel free, also, to ask your own questions of the group. You may be wondering how to best make workstations accessible to your Kinders, and other participants might have answers for you! Just remember to use the hashtag.

Add your thoughts about organizing Math Workshop in the comments below. If you’re not using Twitter, you can still use the Twitter questions to frame your comments here.

The post Organizing Guided Math Workshop appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>The post Structuring Guided Math Workshop appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>I’m so excited to kick off another series of Book Study Mondays! Be sure to check out all the comments on the announcement post to read what your colleagues are hoping to gain from this book study and to learn more about getting started with Twitter. It was super exciting to hear from so many middle school/junior high teachers who are hoping to get Guided Math going in their classrooms. My apologies to those of you who have had a hard time getting your hands on the book, but it is back in stock at Teacher Created Materials. Even if you don’t have your book in hand yet, the format of the book study makes it easy to jump in at any time.

So let’s get going!

- Book Study Monday announcement
- July 10: Introduction and Chapter 1, Structuring Math Workshop
- July 17: Chapter 2, Organizing Math Workshop
- July 24: Chapter 3, Managing Math Workshop
- July 31: Chapter 4, Planning Math Workstations
- August 7: Chapters 5, Math Workstation Tasks
- August 14: Chapter 6, Implementing Math Workshop

If you have participated in Twitter chats, you know they are typically regularly scheduled events, taking place once a week on a certain day and time. Depending on the chat, they can move pretty quickly! I participate regularly in #elemmathchat on Thursday nights at 8:00 CST. Twitter chats are a wonderful way to collaborate with other educators and become part of an online professional learning network (PLN).

A relatively new twist on the Twitter chat is the slow chat. Rather than having a scheduled time to show up and chat, questions are posted throughout the week and participants respond at their leisure. It’s a much more relaxed way to participate in a chat. For our slow Twitter chat, we will use the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM. I plan on posting questions each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday throughout the book study, however you can respond to the questions at any time. Search on the hashtag to read the questions that have been posted and add your comments. We will use the standard Q & A format–questions will be tagged Q (Q1, Q2, etc.) and you tag your response with an A (A1, A2, etc.). Don’t forget to tag your response with #GMWorkshopTCM so it will show up in the search. You can also use the hashtag to share what you’re doing in your classroom related to Guided Math. That’s how the PLN grows! It’s one-stop professional development, and you are now part of a learning community.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I skip a book’s Introduction, because I want to jump right in! If you have not previously read Laney’s original Guided Math book, then you most definitely don’t want to skip the introduction. Even if you have read the original book, the Introduction provides a great reminder of the Guided Math framework and the importance of Math Workshop within the framework.

One big take-away here is that Math Workshop is just one of the seven components of Guided Math, albeit a critical one. This book does not, for example, explain what and how you teach in your small group lessons–it focuses on the Math Workshop component. Math Workshop is the work students are doing independently–in pairs, individually, or in cooperative groups–which allows the teacher to pull and instruct in small groups. What you will find in this book is everything you need to plan, organize, implement, and manage a successful Math Workshop.

On pages 18 and 19 of the Introduction, guiding questions are included for each of the chapters in the book. I’ll be using those questions as we discuss each chapter

- What Math Workshop model will work best for me?
- How can I create a management board to help students identify where they will work during Math Workshop?

The power of the Guided Math framework is in the flexibility it provides teachers. Your first decision will be how you want to structure your Math Workshop. The book explains two rotation methods, a method that allows students to choose from available workstations, and the GUIDE model. There is no *right* model! You have to decide what will work for you. When I was in the classroom, I was least successful with the rotation model. The timing was hard for me. Some students finished the tasks too quickly and others never finished their tasks. I was more successful with a menu approach–students had a weekly list of *must do*s and *may do*s. They could choose the order that they wanted to work on the tasks. It solved the problem of students finishing too quickly or not ever finishing. I just had to make sure my *must do*s were doable for all students and the I had enough *may do*s to keep all students engaged. I should mention that I taught 5th grade, so the kiddos were pretty independent. I think the GUIDE model takes the menu process to a whole new level and the structure of GUIDE makes planning easier.

The GUIDE model features five workstations, each with a different focus. Students visit only one workstation each day, so each workstation must include enough tasks to keep students engaged. As with the menu model I previously used, some tasks might be mandatory, while others are optional. Tasks don’t need to be changed each week, which makes your life a little easier. I like that groups are heterogeneous and that the teacher just pulls the students she needs for small group instruction. Also, if you need to skip a Math Workshop day, the rotation just rolls over to the next day.

Once you decide on the model you will use, you need to think of how you will communicate the structure to your students. What type of management board will you use? To maximize your instructional time, it’s important that students know quickly exactly what they are doing once Math Workshop starts. You have lots of options for management boards–just make it each for both you and the students.

Here are the slow Twitter chat questions I will post this week. Just search on the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM throughout the week to see the questions, read comments, and add your responses. We will use the Q and A format. For example, to respond to Q1, start your response with A1. Don’t forget to add the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM to your tweet. Also, be sure to follow other participants to grow your PLN!

Can’t wait for the conversations from this chapter!

The post Structuring Guided Math Workshop appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>The post Book Study Monday: Guided Math Workshop appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>I guess you could say that Book Study Monday is personal this time around. I have been a fan of Laney Sammons since first reading her book, Guided Math, shortly after it was published in 2010. The book, which provides the rationale for Guided Math and outlines the seven components of the Guided Math framework, transformed the way I taught math. So it was a huge pleasure to meet Laney in 2014 at the NCTM Annual Meeting in New Orleans. We hit if off both personally (she loves Astros baseball) and professionally. We have worked together on several math institutes, and I was incredibly honored when she asked me to coauthor a book on Guided Math Workshop, one of the seven components of Guided Math. I was so very fortunate to have both Laney and the great folks at Shell Education (a division of Teacher Created Materials) to hold my hand through my first publishing experience! The book was published in March, with three additional grade-banded books containing additional workstation tasks now available for preorder in advance of an August publication date.

The summer is a great time to plan for the coming school year, so I hope you’ll join me for this online book study.

Grab the book and begin reading! We’ll follow the reading schedule outlined below. On the six Mondays listed on the reading schedule, I’ll post my thoughts from the reading and update the reading schedule below with links to each post. Join in the conversation by adding your comments. I’m also going a little more high tech this time by including a slow Twitter chat. Once the book study starts, I will post questions throughout the week using the hashtag #GMWorkshopTCM. Participating is easy! Search on the hashtag anytime during the week to follow the conversation. Add your thoughts using the same hashtag. If you haven’t used Twitter for professional development, this is a great way to start.

- Book Study Monday announcement
- July 10: Introduction and Chapter 1, Structuring Math Workshop
- July 17: Chapter 2, Organizing Math Workshop
- July 24: Chapter 3, Managing Math Workshop
- July 31: Chapter 4, Planning Math Workstations
- August 7: Chapters 5, Math Workstation Tasks
- August 14: Chapter 6, Implementing Math Workshop

Get ready for a great learning experience!

The wonderful folks at Shell Education (a division of Teacher Created Materials) have graciously provided four $50 gift cards for a giveaway! To enter, just add a comment to this post stating what you hope to gain from the book study. There is also an option to tweet about the book study and giveaway to earn additional entries. While you can only enter once by commenting, you can enter daily by tweeting to earn extra entries. Please be sure to meet the requirements of the entry, because I do check.

The post Book Study Monday: Guided Math Workshop appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>The post Online Addition Fact Practice appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>I created a flyer to send home to parents highlighting some of my favorite addition fact practice sites. The PDF file has links to each of the sites, so if you send it electronically, parents can access the sites by clicking on the links.

The post Online Addition Fact Practice appeared first on Math Coach's Corner.

]]>