The concept of Math Workshop changes the way math has looked in schools for the past 30 years.
Last week I was in New Orleans working with Lafourche Parish preschool teachers. The goal of the day was numeracy, and one of the highlights was the afternoon make-and-take session, where we had five stations for teachers to visit.
In the Kindergarten or 1st grade classroom, especially within the Math Workshop, it’s almost impossible to have a Math with Writing station where kids are actually reading and solving story problems without needing any kind of help to decode what the problem is asking and know apply how to apply addition and subtraction processes to that concept. We typically say that Math with Writing should be up and running around 2nd grade, so what does problem solving actually look like in Kindergarten and 1st grade?
Math involves a lot of preparation, especially when you’re using manipulatives. We want to put the C back in CPA (concrete, pictorial, abstract). Of course, C stands for concrete, but it also stands for careful planning!
Fractions are hard. There are few kids (or even teachers!) who would say they love fractions. I recently found an excellent book that presents strategies to help teachers develop fraction sense in their students!
We know accurate vocabulary is important, but how can I focus on integrating vocabulary into my day without feeling like I’m just adding one extra thing??
The focus of this station in the Math Workshop is higher-order thinking and concrete application of math skills. This will be developed differently in each grade level.
After kids understand how to do Math with a Teacher and Math by Myself, Math with Someone is the next thing we introduce as we set up the Math Workshop.
After spending time with you in Math with a Teacher, students need time to practice what they’ve learned while the lesson is fresh, and so The Math by Myself station is a logical next step.
Our first stop in the Math Workshop rotation is Math with a Teacher!