Last Friday I presented a professional development session to our K-2 teachers on how to improve the effectiveness of math workshop. We are about two years along the path of implementing math workshop, and the session grew out of observations I had made across grade levels. I focused my discussion on three aspects of math workshop: expectations, planning, and accountability. Most of what I presented came from Debbie Diller’s book, Math Work Stations: Independent Learning You Can Count On, K-2. If you have not wandered across this book yet, it is a treasure trove of ideas for organizing and implementing workstations as well as several chapters on actual ideas for workstations organized by math content.
Our 1st grade team is arguably the most Type A, gung ho team on campus. They are thirsty for new ideas and drink them in like a sponge, which makes them an amazing team to work with. Of course they wanted to leave the session and immediately implement every idea I presented (pretty cool feeling, actually). It’s not that they were doing anything wrong, they just always want to be better! Their team leader stopped by my room this afternoon and excitedly invited me down to see the changes they had made based on the new ideas. So, camera in hand, I went down to visit. What an awesome way to end the day!!
|New and improved math workshop corner. Notice how compact it is. And do you see the 10-frames for assigning workstation numbers?|
|Inside the writing workstation box (using 3 addends): manipulatives, an example of how student work should look in the math journal, and sentence stems to help the kiddos get started.|
|Workshop expectations poster based on an example from Debbie Diller’s book. Notice the kid friendly graphics.|