Back to school means getting ORGANIZED! So your goal is to get Math Workshop up and running in your classroom, but you are dreading getting “buckets” together with materials such as dice, chips, game boards, etc.You know how much planning time you lose setting this up and how much time you spend after they are done cleaning up. Then something familiar rings in your head from last year when you were doing a guided math group and attempting math workshop…you hear “Mrs. Samulski, I only have 9 chips instead of 10 and I am missing a dice.”
STOP the madness! It’s time to have your students take responsibility for the materials they need for math workshop by creating a “Math Salad Bar” (yes, even Kindergartners get this concept). My “Math Salad Bar” is on two carts with easy-to-use pull-out drawers. Students go to the salad bar by grabbing a bowl (all manipulatives MUST travel in their salad bowl in the room) and loading it with the necessary materials to play their game.
I use the Removable Dry Erase Labels from Office Max on the drawers of the cart so I can switch the name of the manipulative with ease instead of needing a new label or bin each time.
A math salad bar wouldn’t be complete without a drawer of My Counting Buddy Juniors and Seniors, now would it?
Be sure to set expectations and work toward a goal of everyone putting things back where they belong (game boards, chips, and other math tools). Feel free to use this sample I-Chart!