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Book Study: Guided Math Workshop

“This practical guidebook provides everything needed for busy educators to bring math to life in their classrooms using the various workshop principles.” Kimberly A. Rimbey, PhD in the Foreword to Guided Math Workshop

This post contains affiliate links, which simply means that when you use my link and purchase a product, I receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you, and I only link to books and products that I personally use and recommend.

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 (K-2, 3-5, and 6-8) 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.

Reading schedule

Get ready for a great learning experience!

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  1. I have only just started trying math groupings this past year and I feel that I could improve in this practice.

  2. I am looking forward to this book study. I am ONLY teaching math to 3rd graders next year and am BEYOND excited. I really want to implement the workshop model for math, just as I did for reading/writing last year.

  3. I’ve taught kindergarten and first, moving up to second this year. I love to teach math and am excited about implementing workshops!

  4. I’ve tried to implement Daily 3 math and would like to learn more about this way of organizing my math block. Last year I was lucky to have parent help twice a week.

  5. I’m excited for this book study! Our Math Department did a book study with Laney’s book, Guided Math, this past school year! Can’t wait to learn more about math workshop!

  6. I am so excited to participate in this book study. My hope is I get a handle on Guided Math. In the last couple of years the Guided Math in my classroom has slowly eroded. I purchased this book as an e-book so that I could spend the time to read and begin working on re-energizing Math in my classroom. Being able to participate in a book study will allow me to gain insights from the author but other colleagues as well. I am so looking forward to July 10th.

  7. I am moving to a new grade level next year. I want to bring Guided Math Workshop to the 7th and 8th grade!

  8. I hope to gain great workstation activity ideas to help my kiddos master their 5th grade math standards and for me to learn more strategies that will work to ease the chaos of off task kiddos at stations.

  9. I am already reading the book and will be implementing when we start school July 31. This would be beneficial to clear up any questions I have or other ideas as I implement.

  10. just finished my first year of teaching elementary math and wish to improve for the upcoming year. I did math stations and struggled with finding and implementing adequate stations. With this book and the one releasing in August I hope to become a better math teacher!

  11. Looking forward to Book Study Monday. I have been trying to obtain a copy of the book and am having difficulty.

  12. Very excited about the book study! I am trying to implement this into my district, encouraging my teachers as both an AIS math provider and k12 math coach.

  13. I’ll be a 2nd year teacher next year in 3rd grade. I began implementing a guided math approach mid-year last year based on what I read on this blog. My top goal for next year is to complete my transition from group lessons to guided math. It’s exciting and a little intimidating, so I expect the book study to be a big help!

  14. I’m looking forward to hearing how other people implement Guided Math in order to best meet the needs of all learners.

  15. I did a version of math workshop last year. It started off promising but slowly tapered off to nothing.

    I’d really like to look into the GUIDE framework mentioned in the book and get ideas for meaningful station activities / tasks.

  16. I am very excited to be part of this book study. I have used guided math for quite some time now, but with a new math adoption this past year, I found that it started to fall to the wayside. I am eager to learn more and share ideas with colleagues.

  17. I would love to join. I am a math specialist and I work with 13 classes and am helping with the implementation of math workshop. This would be helpful. Hoping to win the giveaway so I can purchase the book!!

  18. I want to learn how to implement math workstations and how to teach math like I already do reading. I hope to learn lots of good ideas for managing everyone while teaching small groups. I hope to learn ideas for engaging meaningful activities so I don’t get stuck in “busywork mode.”

  19. I just finished reading the Guided Math book from 2010 and I really like the idea of teaching in small groups. I can’t wait to learn more.

  20. I’ll be moving from 8th grade to working with 2nd-5th grade students in exceptional ed, so in addition to implementing centers, I’m looking for any strategies that with assist students with math deficits.

  21. I am newer to using small groups, and I am looking for ways to enhance and improve what I am doing, as well as looking for specific ways to design activities/select activities that will allow me to meet curriculum demands while also differentiating better to meet the needs of all my students.

  22. Hoping to provide more differentiated learning through centers and small groups. Also hope to provide more student centered learning and choice.

  23. I am hopeful this can help me make our math time effective and efficient with student accountability. Looking forward to the study.

  24. Looking forward to getting much better at guided math. I’m changing grade levels this year, so specifically I’m looking to learn 2nd grade content.

  25. This book looks great! Although I already do Guided Math, I’d like to work on developing more structure and efficiency in my math block. Can’t wait to start!

  26. I am looking forward to learning the structure of guided math and how to best implement it in an inclusion setting. Also, our math program we use is set up for mostly whole group instruction, so I am hoping to get more ideas and strategies of how to use it in a small group setting.

  27. I read the book last summer as some of the teachers I worked with were interested in doing Guided Math in their classrooms. We implemented Guided Math in Grade 4 in two schools using the Eureka Math. It was a huge success for our students. I am interested in learning more and how to bring it to the lower grades.

  28. I am looking forward to this study group. I have wanted to implement a math workshop model since reading Guided Math but it has been tricky. The support will be extremely helpful!

  29. I started reading the book earlier this summer so I an excited for the book study. I can;t wait to share some thoughts and learn more about guided math,

  30. I am always studying and researching ways to improve math instruction. Last summer I studied Laney’s Guided Math Framework and I’m so excited to read this new book to help refine math workshop in my classroom.

  31. I have taught math for 14 years and will be in a new as an Instructional Math Coach next year and hope to encourage others teachers to use the guided math workstation model. I hope to gain insight and evidence of successful models from the book study that I can share.

  32. I am excited that my teachers want to know more about Guided Math. Excited to see where we’ll go in year 2! Thanks for hosting Donna.

  33. I am looking forward to this book study! I am changing grade level and need to adapt what I am doing to meet the needs of second graders. I previously taught fourth grade.

  34. Hoping to learn tips from Donna and other participants on differentiating for guided math. Pleased to get additional book that spans grades 3-5 and hoping to learn how the resources in that book interface with the main book study book.

    1. That one I can answer now. The grade banded books coming out in August provide additional tasks to use in your workstations. The book that is already out, that is the subject of the book study, contains some tasks, but is primarily a handbook for planning, organizing, and implementing Math Workshop.

  35. I am very excited about this book! My goal is to better tweak and move away from whole group instruction to small group instruction more than I have in past years. I look forward to participating in the professional math talk this book study will provide.

  36. I have been thinking about trying math workshop for awhile. This will help me make 2017-2018 the year!

  37. Excited to participate in this online book study. Was looking for a great summer read for extending Guided Math ideas. Found it! Thanks, Donna (and Laney). 🙂

  38. I’ve been working towards a work station approach in math and hope this will give more ideas and direction.

  39. I am very excited about this book study! I’ve tried guided math, but always feel as though I am not organized as well as I should be.

  40. I’m interested in learning more about Math Workshop to add to my toolbox as I help teachers at my campus move away from direct whole group instruction to a math workshop framework. The more resources and research I have, the better! 🙂

  41. Looking forward to the book study. Just glanced at the Twitter Handbook. Needed a good reason to venture into Twitter…this is it!

  42. Our district is leaning towards more guided math for our elementary grades and I am a new Instructional coach and I hope that I can help use this to give them the guidance they need to be successful with guided math as they dig deep to develop better conceptual understanding.

  43. Our district is expecting to see guided math in our classrooms. We got started last year and are anxious to learn more to do even better next year.

  44. Our district is in the process of implementing Guided Math for Grades 3-6. Very excited about the upcoming book study not only to find some great activities but also to communicate and collaborate with others who have been implementing the process. Thank you so much for the upcoming book study! Can’t wait 🙂

  45. By participating in this book study, I hope to continue to deepen my understanding of guided math and workshop teaching. I read Lanney’s book when it first came out and found it very provocative. Not having a way to implement it or a partner to share successes and failures with, it went by the wayside. I look forward to rekindling this interest through this book study.

  46. I wanted to learn more about guided math because I wanted to implement it my classroom this year.

  47. Bought this book awhile back and now have a reason to get started. Love reading professional material but also enjoy reading others thoughts on the same topic. Hope to get guided Math going in the Fall.

  48. I hope to gain some implementable routines, procedures, and strategies for running effective small groups and math stations.

  49. Now that I feel more confident teaching Guided Reading, I look forward to honing my skills with Guided Math and workshop. I think I can really grow in this area.

  50. I’ve ordered my copies through Amazon and they are pre-selling at the moment. I won’t seem them until August. I plan to follow along though. I hope to be able to coach my teachers better with the workshop model. Our district has adopted the framework for all subject areas.

    1. The books that are preselling for August are just additional tasks. The book for this book study is already available. It contains all the info you’ll need to plan, organize, and implement Math Workshop.

    1. Oh no! Could you cancel the Amazon order and order it from Teacher Created Materials? If not, you can still read the big composts and comments throughout the study.

  51. I’m looking forward to improving what I currently do in my class. I’m a 4th grade special education teacher in an inclusion class and sometimes it is difficult to differentiate for so many different needs.

  52. I am hoping to see how I can incorporate guided math into my clas room as much as possible. We are mandated to use a basal, which actually isn’t so horrible, but I am hoping to pick up some pieces that I can supplement with, and to create more numerical sense opportunities for my students.

  53. I love, love, love the book! I am looking forward to learning from you and all the participants in the book study! I am hoping to learn more about implementing meaningful math stations for the early grades. I am curious how others use choice in their guided math time for K-3.

  54. I hope to learn how to incorporate this into my 7th grade math class. This is my 1st year trying it

  55. I am also very excited about this study! I have been doing math stations, but need to fine tune the stations and my small group instruction.

  56. It looks like the book is on backorder through TCM (at least the paper version). I’m looking forward to implementing math stations and Kehl ping my students become more engaged and more flexible math thinkers!

  57. I really hope to gain a better understanding how to have. A better guided math and productive math stations. I have changed to a new school, district, and grade (2nd). I am hoping the book study will bring it all together for me to be a better and do better for my students.

  58. This is exactly the type of professional development I was looking for this summer as I prepare to teach 4th grade math next year!

  59. I plan on using more formal math grouping in my classroom this year, and I’m sure this would give me a wonderful framework!

  60. As a math specialist using guided math groups and math workshop is something I encourage teachers to use. There are many different approaches that can be used. I am looking for another perspective that may more closely match some of my teachers’ styles and opinions about math instruction. Adding this book to our professional library will also be a great resource. I do plan to get the grade band task books as well!

  61. TCM says the book is on backorder, however, ebook is available. Is there anyway to release a preview of chapter 1 so we can join on the 10th with the hope that our books will be arriving?

    1. Wow! We sold them out. Ha ha. I will check with the publisher and see when they expect the books to ship.

  62. This is my 38th year of teaching and I want to make it the best year ever for math learning for my sixth grade students!

  63. I look forward to learning about guided math groups! It is something that I would like to learn more about..

  64. I am going to start small groups for math this year, but I am not sure where to even start. I am hoping this book will help me get going successfully this year, as I will be only teaching 2nd grade math this year.

  65. My principal gave me this book to look at over the summer, so this study is a perfect way for me to do that!

  66. I have been implementing Math Workshop for the last 1.5 years and love the results I’m seeing. I am always looking for new ideas!

  67. Ordering today! I am excited to see this new book. I loved the OG Guided Math book so I am pumped to gear up for a new year with this one.

  68. I can not wait to learn more about guided math groups. Want to be able to help other teachers implement them in their instruction.

  69. I have been using math workshop for a few years now. I am keen to get a new perspective and see how I can change up and improve what I am already doing. Thanks!

  70. I led a K-2 math PLC focusing on Laney Sammon’s Guided Math book. Looking forward to implementing the ideas this book as well as the workstations book to our group this year!

  71. I’m hoping to try out math workshop in my 7th grade classroom. Hopefully this book study will help give me ideas about how to implement this.

  72. I’m very excited to start math stations in my 5th grade class this year. We start school in July so I hope to finish the book before school starts! ?

  73. I am teaching 3rd Grade Math and I am looking forward to the book study. I hope to implement the workshop model.


  74. I would love to find more practical ways to make Guided Math work in my classroom. I want to be able to use this model and still cover all of the curriculum.

  75. I’ve been thinking about implementing guided math but just haven taken the leap. I expect through this book study I will feel more confident in understanding the process. I really need this to help push me on over.

  76. Hi Donna! I’m looking forward to reading this book for any additional insight into managing a successful workshop in junior high. Thanks!!

    1. Hey, Becky! It’s exciting to see how many of the comments reference junior high/middle school!

  77. Help getting small groups started in math classrooms is one of my top requests from teachers as a math specialist. I am thrilled to get the chance to do the book study side by side with you. This should be a game changer for next year.

  78. Hi Donna! I follow both your blog and your Twitter account and find both of them to provide helpful strategies, articles and activities for teaching math in my first grade classroom. I’m very excited to participate in another summer book study with you! I bought Guided Math Workshop last summer but didn’t finish it because of a busy schedule. Looking forward to this book study for the opportunity to read and discuss this book with others! I used Math Workshop for 4 years with our old curriculum. Last year we adopted the Singapore Math curriculum (which I came to love!). Our trainer mentioned that SM is not intended for small group instruction. So, I tried it whole group last year. It was fine, but I really missed connecting with all of my students on a daily basis. I’m hoping to gain some ideas for Guided Math Workshop and possibly some strategies for implementing workshop from anyone out there who might also be using Singapore Math. Thanks for organizing this study!

    1. Ooops, I dug out my copy to get started and now realize that I was talking about the wrong book! I have Guided Math: A Framework for Mathematics Instructions, not Guided Math Workshop. It’s not currently available on Amazon. Any suggestions for another place to purchase the book? Thanks!

  79. I love teaching reading and writing using the workshop model and am anxious to get this going for my third graders with math also.

  80. I am hoping to learn how to differentiate to meet the needs of all my young mathematicians. I am looking forward to the book study and the slow Twitter chat.

  81. I’m looking forward to gaining knowledge as a Math Instructional Coach this school year. I will use strategies gained to improve instruction in our school.

  82. I teach grade one and two so I’m looking forward to learning how to use math workshop better in order to differentiate for my students,

  83. I teach first grade and started math workshop last year. I would love more direction on what to do during the stations.

  84. I am a 1st grade teacher in Pearland (right close by). I have dabbled with Guided Math, but really feel I have a long way to go to feel like it is running smoothly in my class. I am currently studying the first Sammons Guided Math book, so I think this book study will be a great help in getting my thoughts and plans together to begin the new year off right as far as implementing GM. Can’t wait to start.

  85. I started using Guided Math and math centers at the end of the school year. I am looking forward to starting out the new 3rd grade year with them & “beefing up” my math curriculum.

  86. I’d really like to change my math block…..hoping to get some good ideas from this book!

  87. My Chloe Pearl LOVES math! It’s her favorite subject in school and she excels at it. I would imagine that something like this could make her even greater at it.

  88. I hope to gain a better understanding of what I am doing as I tread upon the homeschooling pathways.

  89. I’m hoping to improve my teaching techniques. My daughter struggles with math so it’s something we have to work on at home a lot as well

  90. Really looking forward to incorporating guided math instead of the current block we use as I feel it would make a tremendous difference for the students.

  91. I’m in my third year teaching. I am following a guided math routine, but I haven’t really had any training with it. I’m joining this book study to enhance my guided math knowledge and hope to learn some ways to better manage my time!

  92. I’m very interested in the guided math book studied. Do I need to register, or simply participate in the Twitter discussions. I’m new to using Twitter so I’m not sure how it works. I have download the teacher guide you shared to help me get off to a great start. Any suggestions/pointers on how to successfully be a part?

    1. I’m so glad you are diving into Twitter! It a great professional development resource. Be sure to also visit here at my website each Monday to read my thoughts on each chapter as well as the comments of others!

    1. No sign up is required! I will publish a post each Monday night according to the reading schedule. You just read and comment!

  93. Our school is currently reading the Guided Math book for the framework. I can’t wait to start the Workshop book to gain strategies for the classroom. Thanks for doing this! So excited!!!

  94. This will be my 2nd year in 3rd grade. I taught guided reading for many years in 1st and 2nd but have never taught math in he same way. I am so excited to be a part of this book study. I have already read the Guided Math framework book this summer. My goal is to implement math workshop this year in order to meet ALL of my students’ needs.

  95. I teach 4th grade math and hope to incorporate a workshop model this coming year. I just ordered my book, so I’ll be behind on reading. I look forward to learning from everyone during this book study.

  96. I am starting my second year teaching and am not very familiar with Guided Math and am excited to learn! Would it be beneficial for me to have the Framework book as well as the Workshop or will the Workshop book be sufficient?

    1. The Workshop book provides some info on the framework, but I think you’d want a copy of the book to really understand each of the components well.

  97. I’m teaching Grade 3 and have used the rotation model, with a teacher station. My stations include choice of activities for a variety of levels. I find it challenging to maintain this format. I am interested in trying the GUIDE model this year. I am excited to be part of this book talk!

  98. I have been using the guided math format for a few years. I am hoping this book study will give me ideas and strategies to better implement guided math!

  99. Hi Ann,

    I just wanted to pop in to commiserate…I also teach grade 3 and have done rotations for the last 3 years. I agree that rotations are challenging, and my last class really struggled with that model. It seems that some years go really well, and others make me want to pull my hair out! I am also looking forward to the GUIDE model.

    1. It’s always a work in progress with anything we do in our classrooms, right? And that’s why so much of this book focuses on planning and implementing Workshop. That piece is critical, as I’m sure you’ve seen in your three years.

      1. Yes, teaching is a work in progress! I have an attitude of try it, reflect on it, try it or tweak it, reflect, repeat. So each year I take note of what worked well and why. Then I ask myself if it could be or should be improved. Then I do the same with the things that didn’t work well, and ask myself why, and if it should be improved, tweaked, or dropped. Part of teaching is having enough tools to be flexible and responsive to the learning needs of each new class. So, while rotations worked really well two years ago, they tanked this year and I needed to dig through my toolbox to find a solution.

        I just finished reading Guided Math Conferences, and my hope is that after I finish Guided Math Workshops, then I will more intentional and purposeful in my teaching and planning, as I am also a work in progress!

  100. Hi,
    I finally got my GM workshop book. It is a wonderful resource!!. My question is , how long should I plan for my Guided math GUIDE rotation? Would one hour be enough or should I plan on i and 1/2 hours?

    1. Yea! So glad your book is in hand. As to your question, of course I’m going to say 1 1/2 hours! You can certainly do it in one hour, but if your schedule is flexible, 1 1/2 hours would be great.

  101. My book came in today although it was scheduled to be here late August!!! What do I need to do to get caught up? Also please remind me the details of the study. Thanks!

    1. Woo hoo! Glad the books are filling out. To get caught up, use the links in the Reading Schedule to go back and read the first two posts and comments. There’s also info on joining the slow Twitter chat, which has been very active.

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