Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Math Workshop Rotation Board -Setting Up the Classroom Series


A few years back, I was finding that my friends were really struggling to attend during our math block. We were following the curriculum as prescribed, but it called for long sessions of whole group "discussions" which never played out the way they did in the teacher's guide.

I couldn't help but notice that the kids were tending to language arts without problem, but that math was a challenge. I decided to try using the same rotation strategies that I used for Guided Reading and voila! Why hadn't I started doing that sooner?

I had reservations because I didn't want to stray from the curriculum, but with a little planning I was able to cover what was required...and more! Instead of having all the students sit for a long lesson and then go off for the activities, I break the lesson down into small groups and teach the content as mini lessons (much like the Daily 5). By having the students in small groups I am able to easily differentiate instruction and it assures that each and every child gets a fair share of my attention. I feel like I know my students as mathematicians so much better.

Here's how I manage it:
I have four groups of students. I know it lacks in creativity, but I just refer to them as Groups 1-4.

I use post-it notes to show who is in which group. I simply stick them to the blue strips at the bottom left. Each strip is titled with the group number.

My 4 rotations spell out the word MATH:

M=Math Facts
All of the games and activities in this station are designed to strengthen computation skills. We use flash cards, online games, practice pages, array cards, etc.

A=At Your Seat
This is where they do independent practice activities such as math journals, number of the day, word problems and the required math practice pages from the student workbooks.

T=Teacher's Choice
It used to just be "Teacher" and that was the station where they worked with me. However, I found that there were days when I did not need to meet with each and every group so I changed it to "Teacher's Choice." Typically, I will meet with them as a guided math group, but I also use this time to meet 1:1 for individual math conferences, circulate to assist with games, or whatever needs to be done that day.

H=Hands-On Manipulatives
This is my favorite station. It's where the kids learn by doing and it's magical to see the light bulb pop on.

Using the acronym MATH makes it even easier for my friends to know where to go next in the rotation. They simply need to spell the word.
I use pocket charts to let them know what they need to be doing in each station. To make my board I took 2 pocket charts and cut them in half as shown below.

math workshop math workstations guided math managing math workshop managing guided math debbie diller free printables

32 comments:

  1. How often do you do Math rotations? Do you do them Monday-Thursday? This is something I've been interested in trying, but I don't know where to start!

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  2. Does the $4 include the 30% discount?

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  3. Love the way you use the math acronym. Can you tellmore about how you run your math workshop? In particular the hands on rotation? Thanks!

    Marlene
    I Heart Teaching Elementary

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  4. so cute! I will have to remake-my workshop has different choices, but INSPIRED!

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  5. I love how it spells out "MATH". Super cute! How long of a time frame do you have for math? I used rotations last year and LOVED it but I only did 3 groups. It worked out very well and the kids enjoyed it.

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  6. This is great and far cuter than what I would have come up with! I use 4 rotations too! I think I'll use the math facts for when my students use computers. Thanks for this awesome tool! :)
    Rambling About Reading

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  7. I would love to hear more too! Are your groups leveled or mixed? Also do you do any whole group to introduce the concept you are working on or do you address it when you do small group? Thanks so much for the great inspiration! Love your blog!!!

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  8. Hi Jodi,
    I totally know what you mean. I could never figure out why my morning went so well (LA) and my afternoon went so.... well let's just say it was challenging. I started changing it up to resemble the structure of my morning and never found a simpler solution. I love all the printables for the board. I am always a sucker for something useful, interactive, and cute! Thanks. Anais
    First Grade Garden

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  9. You are super-creative, Jodi, in how you used the MATH acronym from the math workstation rotations! I love your images and ideas- and I, too, cannot wait to hear more!

    (From http://love4thgrade.blogspot.com, http://teachingvision.org, and... the A-Z boards :))

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  10. What do you do if they finish early? How long are your rotations? Clean up ... how do you handle that between rotations? Is there more than one activity in each rotation... is that why you use the pocket chart? I love this. Thanks
    Donna
    www.kinderglynn.blogspotcom

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  11. I love this idea and can't wait to set up my rotation board! Do you have anything like this created for the Guided Reading block? If not, are you willing to create one?!?

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  12. How creative! I love the MATH acronym. I purchased your printables - thanks so much!

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  13. Love this resource! Thank you... What math fact activities do u have ? I've got timed tests (wipe off boards), multiplication ear and beat the calculator. Any other ideas?

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  14. Cool Math Games-Cool math games have a large collection of gaming stuff find latest online computer games free on this website some cool math games are so simple to play online by the kids these games have great attraction for kids and they meet different targets and bonus points to achieve the specific items in these games.

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  15. This is AWESOME. I am currently getting my Master's in Elementary Education and will be teaching on my own next year. I will DEFINETLY be purchasing this from you when I am ready.

    How long is your Math period? How long are the students at each center? In the classroom I currently work in, it's an hour. Do you think 4 rotations could be done in an hour without the kids rushing? Thanks for sharing this and for any advice you can give me! =)

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  16. This is a great idea. I already do rotations like this but love how you assign a set activity for each task. I have 5 groups so will call mine MATCH - C being for computer where my kiddies work on mathletics.

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  17. these are great! where did you find the colored pocket charts, and how do you make the printables have rounded edges and borders? also, what did you make the numbers with?

    thanks so much! i love this, SO CREATIVE!!!

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  18. I bought this from your TpT site and I LOVE it! I put the whole thing together today and will be implementing it tomorrow. Do you have a similar one for reading? I do a similar rotation for reading, I do Teacher table, computer, Seat Work, and Read to Self and would LOVE to have a matching reading rotation board.

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  19. I love this! Where did you get your green, skinny pocket charts?

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  20. I totally love this. I am wondering with the state of Florida incorporating Common Core standards next year how I will implement those with this rotation chart. Thank you!

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  21. I love this and just purchased your download! Where did you find your pocket charts? I know you can find pocket charts anywhere...but its always finding the right size that is tricky!

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  22. This is FANTASTIC!!! I've been wanting to do this with my math block, but hadn't quite been able to wrap my head around the management part. I can't wait to dive in and try it this year!

    I too, would like to know where you purchased your pocket chart. I love that green color!

    Thanks a TON!
    Alisa

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  23. Instead of the pocket charts,I'm thinking of using small white slates to erase and change the task daily.

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  24. Just found these pocket charts in the Dollar Spot at Target- lots of different colors :)

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  25. how many kids are in the groups and how would you do for a class of 26?

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  26. This is super! I will definitely get this running in my class...such a wonderful idea

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  27. Could please attach a picture? I am not sure what they look like at target.

    Thanks in advance.

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  28. How do you introduce the math stations at the beginning of the year? (how do you train your students?)

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  29. Hi Everyone! If you are using this fantastic system, how do you group the kids? By ability? It seems that with partners it would work better to mix abilities?

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  31. Hello,

    Awesome post and very interesting its sounds good and your idea about math workshop is nice, please keep me update in future.

    Thanks for sharing.
    ------------------------

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  32. Hi,
    I love it and think it is the way to go! I am wondering if you oranyone outthere hasnoticed arise instandardized test scores, particularly among students who were struggling, since usingthis method?

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