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A Glimpse Into My Math Workshop & Freebie Game!!

I’ve received a couple of questions from followers about how I run math in my classroom, so I decided to share a little glimpse of our Math Workshop time with you! 🙂  We are spending a great deal of time this week learning the routines and behaviors for our math workshop!  We are almost ready to start our small groups – my goal is Monday of next week! 🙂

This year, I am teaching math strictly in small groups.  In the past, I’ve done a 15 minute mini-lesson approach, followed by small groups.  This year, in order to maximize the time I have with my inclusion intervention specialist, we are teaching all concepts within small groups and ending with a “Math Mini” (quick practice or review of a specific Common Core skill in our Math Notebooks – this is much shorter than what my mini-lessons used to look like).  Approaching the new concepts within each small group allows me to further differentiate the concept to each level of students, compared to how I presented it to the whole class last year.

This year my math schedule looks like this:

Small Group Round One: 20 minutes
Small Group Round Two: 20 minutes
Small Group Round Three: 20 minutes
Math Mini: 10 minutes (Common Core strategy, story problem, or one of Cara Carrol’s Math Mission problems in their notebooks.)

When my students are not meeting with me for small group, they are involved in one of these choices: 
Math with a Friend
Independent Math
Math on Computer

In between rounds, I quickly call their names and they tell me what choice they would like to make and what particular game they would like to play.  I move their names on the Smart board  which allows me to easily save the groups I want to meet with, and  to print the page for documentation of small group. Not to mention, it’s just easier! 🙂  (I often get asked: why don’t the kids move their own names? This is probably not the answer a tech person would want to hear but quite simply: Because they take forever to do it haha! I’d rather them use the smart board at a time that does not eat into my small group work time.)

This is what our Smart board looks like during Math Workshop:

The students who are meeting with me will have their names already pre-loaded in the green box. The students meeting with my intervention specialist will be in the pink box. These are not shown yet because I’m still assessing skills and will not form my groups until the end of the week. The remaining students get to make a choice for this particular round. The orange box at the end is Math with Tablets but we do not have that up and running for awhile. 🙂 This process has worked great for me for the past four years! 🙂

Here is our Math Center bookshelf.  At this bookshelf, partners grab the game they are playing and head off to a place in the room (these are the big bins on the bottom two shelves). You can follow my Math Games pinterest board by clicking HERE.  

The folders at the top of the bookshelf are Independent Math games.  Students take a game board and one of the little buckets numbered 1-8.  This little bin contains everything they’ll need to play with the game board: a dry erase marker, felt eraser, number cards.  I use the number cards from Hope King’s monthly math centers because my kiddos love that they change pictures each month. 🙂 

My game boards are from my Write On/Wipe Off Math Centers! These are the EASIEST math games to put together for your kids and they can play the games over and over again during the entire round.  The games are sold month to month or by the bundle.  To learn more about my independent math games and check out the bundle, click the pictures below:

These Independent Math game boards vary from month to month depending on my kiddos’ needs. For example, I have a greater amount of kiddos who were identified already within my inclusion class compared to last year, so the games we started with in September last year simply do not work with this group of kiddos.  We have been in school for less than two weeks, but some of my students do not know their numbers up to 20 and many more have difficulty reading and finding numbers throughout the hundreds chart.  Therefore, one of the games for Independent Math in September is this little game I created called Flip and Find.  (This chart will eventually progress to a 120 chart.)
Students flip over two number cards, find the number on the hundreds chart, and circle it with their dry erase marker.  Then, they erase and repeat! 🙂

Download this game from Google Docs for free by clicking the picture below.
All of my Independent Math games are put in sheet protectors to make the games dry-erase.  At the beginning of each month, we practice all of the Independent Math games as a whole class.  I simply print off a copy of the game board and the students stick it into the sheet protector that stays in their math folder. Ta da! Instant dry-erase game for my kiddos to use as practice. 
We are also practicing our touch points to help us add.  Another game board for Independent Math this coming month is this very simple addition mat. Students flip over two number cards (numbers run from 1 to 9), add the touch points, and find the sum! 

Math on Computer consists of my students playing many fun math games and apps! 🙂  You can click on the label: Weekend App Attack! on the right sidebar of my blog to find many of the apps I use for math in my classroom.

On Fridays, we complete a data chart or graphing activity during round one.  Rounds two and three are saved for math assessments, learning new monthly games, or completing a mini lesson with a review activity/game that we will all complete together. 

I hope that gives you a little idea of how I run math in my classroom. 🙂  I’ll come back to this topic in September to show you some pictures of what this looks like “in action.”  

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂 I hope your week is off to a great start!

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  1. I really like how you have your math workshop set up. I'm still trying to figure out how I want to do my small groups. Thanks for the ideas! 🙂

    1. Hello! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. My students play their games the entire round. If they finish early, they play again. So I never have "early finishers." :). I did explain my independent math games above…was there a specific question you had that I can help you with? 🙂 Feel free to email me secondgradesugarandspice@gmail.com 🙂

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