Workshop Wednesday: Organizing Math Workshop - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Workshop Wednesday: Organizing Math Workshop

Hello friends! Welcome to a new school year, and a new Workshop Wednesday!
I am doing things a little bit different this year in Math Workshop, so I thought I would share with you the way I am organizing my stations! I am still using my 10 cart drawer like last year, but I am setting it all up for math now (last year, I used the top 5 drawers for math and the bottom 5 for reading). This way, I can differentiate more of my stations...

Here are my stations:
Organizing math stations with Ideas by JiveyOrganizing math stations with Ideas by Jivey
The green and purple, and the blue and orange (yeah, I would have picked those differently had it occurred to me at the time that those were Florida Gator colors... LOL!) are differentiated- they match the color of the drawer they can be found in. I am also making labels to match so that in the very near future, the students will be able to go to the drawer they need, but at this time of the year, I am getting all of the stations "rolling" and so they don't need the labels yet...and I've been moving that to the bottom of my to-do list every time I sit down to work on stuff, so it hasn't gotten done. :-P I'm sure you can relate to that!

We also are working on learning the routine of stations, so this week, my stations are not differentiated. Next week, they will be. :o) I have two drawers for games, and you'll see why in just a minute... but I get the games ready to go ahead of time for each set of partners:
Organizing math stations with Ideas by Jivey
In a gallon bag, I put all the materials they need for a game- dry erase markers, cards, dice, game boards, erasers... it's all there. All they have to do is clean up properly, and then the next day, the next pair will be ready to play the game, too!

My students only do one station per day (30 minutes). I pull two groups during station time (about 15 minutes each) and then we always have at least one day where I let them "finish up" their stations they didn't get to finish because of being pulled in a group. I pull small groups based on what skill they need to work on, not by their station rotations... but I always pull them in groups as partners- so they are grouped as partners by level... maybe if I show you, it will help my explanation. (I actually have magnets with their names on them that I will rotate, but I am still working on making sure their partners are matched correctly by watching them during stations the last few rotations...)

Organizing math stations with Ideas by Jivey
When I pull groups, I might pull John and Max with Lisa and Mary to work on rounding at my table. The others at that station still have their partner, so even though some have left the station, it doesn't affect the rest. The ones I pull in my group still get to do the station for a bit that day, but probably won't finish... and that is ok, because as I said, they will get to have a "finish up day" (or two) at the end of the set of rotations. During the finish-up days, I am walking around and only conferring with students, not pulling groups.

Also, you saw I have two drawers with games. That is because I only have two student laptops... so when the students are at the technology station, they have to share their time. Sometimes, they can get on the laptops as partners, but if it's a game or program that is meant for only one person, two of them are on the laptops (one on each laptop) while the other two are playing a game from the red game drawers, then after 15 minutes, they switch.

There are more spots on my rotation board than I have students- this is so I can get all the stations rotated. There will always be one of the green/purple or blue/orange sets that will be empty so that my games and technology groups can flip-flop the next day. As I sit here and type it out, I feel like it is probably clear as mud to you... but I promise it works! :-P I hope this post did help you at least a little if you are looking for ideas of ways to organize your math stations!

**UPDATE** Here is another way I implement Math Workshop in my classroom using the M-A-T-H acronym! You can also buy the guide to Launching Math Workshop!
Launching Math Workshops with Ideas by Jivey
For even more ideas, follow my Math Workshop Pinterest board!


  1. Love that your drawers coordinate to the color of the activities! That's such a smart idea! I may need to borrow that for a few of my Social Studies stations this year... so smart and so easy to make sure kids are putting the correct supplies in the correct place!

    Hope your first few weeks are off to a great start :)
    My Shoe String Life

  2. Interesting! I like the idea of students doing one station a day while you pull groups. I also admire how you are able to keep partners together when you pull groups. I am always trying to improve my math workshop, or guided math, to meet the needs of my very diverse group. I'll be interested to hear how it works for you as the year progresses. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Great ideas. Can you tell me where you found the Making Millions activity in the bottom drawer?

    1. I made it! You can download it from my last Monday Made It post. :)

  4. I love the way you have your stations organized. I am sure your students will enjoy the changing of activities, especially because you have so many hands on things for them to do. Thank you for sharing more of your wonderful ideas!

    Fit to be Fourth


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