Remember, since everyone's start dates are so different, the topic for August AND September will be Getting Workshop Started in the Classroom. Please write about only one workshop in your post so that you can link it up accordingly below, and then please come back each week to share! (In other words, if you use Reading, Writing, and Math Workshop and you want to share about all three, please link up in three different weeks-or more if you'd like!!)
Because of my total overwhelmedness (yes, I just made that word up), I am going to re-share a post that I first posted back in January. Since most of you weren't with me back then, maybe this will be "new" to you!
I've been using a Guided Math model for a couple of years now. (If you're unfamiliar with this, imagine what Guided Reading looks like and now think math- groups are still pulled, but it's based on their understanding of that math skill. Students are working on other math "things" while you are working with groups- and groups can change frequently, based on how they progress on the skill...) This year, I borrowed some ideas from a few different teachers to try something new in my Math Workshop.
So, I know the next questions already- how do I form my Green and Orange Groups, and how do I form my small groups? Great questions! I'll tell you! There is no right or wrong way really- I do it differently every time. Sometimes, I give a quick pre-test of what we are about to learn. Sometimes, I pull groups based on how they've done on a quiz to reteach the material. And sometimes, I pull just based on what I'm seeing from them in the classroom during my mini-lessons. A way to keep track with who I've pulled or who needs to be pulled for what skill is a check sheet I created. You can click on the picture below to download the one I used for my Fractions Units.
I can already anticipate your NEXT question!! How do you know the other kids are really doing what they are supposed to be doing? Well, for one, you can't just START Math Workshop pulling groups and telling them to work. Just like Reader's Workshop, you have to train them. But once you feel good about letting them go on their own, you still want to make sure you are holding them accountable. This is one of the ideas I borrowed from a fellow teacher- my students fill in an accountability report at the end of Math Workshop each day. They tell me what they did, and how they feel they did. As they do this, I come around and take a peek at what they worked on and what they are writing about it. Sometimes I have a mini-conversation with them, sometimes I just look. Either way, they never know when I'm going to ask them about it, so they are always honest. Here is one of my "middle of the road" kids:
As you can see, my Skill Review is going WAY back to place value and forming numbers, juuuuust to make sure they remember how to do it! And you can see, she is totally honest with how she felt she was doing while working with me in groups on multiplying fractions by whole numbers... (you remember in my last post, I said I wasn't going to talk about my frustrations in math that day... HA! Clearly, she was frustrated too!!)
Want the Accountability Report? Click on the picture below!
Did you make it this far? Hooray!!! I hope that this long-winded post will help you with your Math Workshop!!
Now it's your turn to link up! Don't forget to check out some of the link-ups from the last couple of weeks, too, because there are some really great ideas being shared! :o)