Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Workshop Wednesday #1-Getting Started

Every Wednesday for the remainder of the summer  I will be blogging about the components of math workshop,  how I implement math workshop in my 7th grade classroom, the tools and resources I use, and I will be answering any questions posed by readers.  I have previously written several posts about doing Math Workshop in middle school.

Today is the first post of the series; Workshop Wednesday #1-"Getting started".  If you are interested in implementing math workshop in your classroom I recommend you do a little reading about it first and this blog post will help get you started on your journey.  I have linked several previous blog posts I have written about math workshop, as well as, some summer book studies I participate in before I started doing math workshop in my own classroom.  

This post will give you a little background on how I got started on doing math workshop in my 7th grade classroom.  It will also give you some resources to check out if you are interested in doing math workshop yourself.  Subsequent posts will highlight each component of math workshop in more detail.  This post will give you plenty of resources to read through if you'd like to research math workshop for the middle school level in more detail.

Back in the summer of 2012 decided I wanted to do something different in my math class.  At the time there was nothing out there about doing a middle school math workshop.  The only thing I found that was helpful, although it was geared toward the elementary level was this book:

Guided Math by Laney Sammons

I joined a Guided Math Book Study that summer and got lots of ideas and a framework for how to do guided math, but it just didn't fit with our very challenging math curriculum.  I did dabble with doing Learning Stations with my students, but I never found a way to incorporate them consistently with every unit.  That's been a work in progress for several years.

The following summer I found a book geared toward math workshop in Grades 4-8.  It was first recommended to me that Spring by our school literacy coach who knew I was looking to do something innovative and different in my classroom, but needed a resource to help guide me.
Minds on Mathematics by Wendy Ward Hoffer

That summer I ended up hosting my own Minds on Mathematics Book Study here on my blog and Twitter using #momathchat  If you click on that link it will take you to numerous blog posts from a variety of teachers interested in doing math workshop in their middle school (or upper elementary school) classrooms.  There is a wealth of knowledge to get you started if you are interested in doing a math workshop in your own classroom.

This post gives an  Overview on math workshop in my classroom.  I strongly recommend you read it to gain an understanding of the four lesson components for math workshop:
  1. Opening 
  2. Mini Lesson 
  3. Work Time
  4. Sharing and Reflection
There is no right or wrong way to do workshop in your math classroom.  How long your class periods are and whether or not you have a strong math curriculum will also will impact how you implement math workshop.  I teach using Carnegie Learning Curriculum.  Here are some  blog posts about Carnegie.  I teach math everyday for 60 min periods.  We use a blended model of students working in a consumable text and also working independently on MATHia software. Our curriculum resources work very well with the workshop model of delivery.  I know lots of teachers have classes that are less than 60 min long and some have no formal math curriculum available.  I personally understand what a challenge it is to do math workshop in a middle school classroom because it is definitely not as prevalent as it is at the elementary level. 

Please feel free to share any questions you have and I will either answer them individually or incorporate them into upcoming blog posts in this series on math workshop.  Stop by next Wednesday for another post on Math Workshop.

1 comment:

  1. What great resources! I'd love to know how your math workshop ideas worked out this school year. I'm really interested in how to make math more meaningful and hands on for kids.


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