Monday, October 27, 2014

All About Math Workshop!

Hello, Hello!!

Happy Monday!

I’m Amber from Mrs. Masters Kinder Love and I am sooo excited to be writing my first solo post for The Primary Pack!

 I am going to be blogging and sharing ideas from my Kindergarten classroom on the 27th of every month.
Today, I am going to be sharing all about Math Workshop! I LOVE teaching math and I enjoy finding ways to differentiate learning for my students. A couple of years ago I read Math Work Stations by Debbie Diller!

If you are looking to start math workstations in your classroom, I highly recommend this book! It is a super-easy read and provides illustrations and examples to help you create the best version of math stations for your classroom.

First and foremost, what is Math Workshop?

Math workshop is a teaching structure that focuses on small group instruction and hands on stations that support mathematical thinking!

What does this look like in the classroom?

Math Workshop, like reading workshop can look different in every classroom.  My math block consists of the following five components:

1. Math Journals (10-15 mins.)                                                       

 Math journals are problem solving notebooks that encourage students to practice problem solving strategies and deepen their understanding of mathematical concepts. I use math journals on a daily basis to assess student learning. 

All you need to get started is a notebook, and some questions! This journal prompt was all about measurement! You can create your own questions based on your standards/math series, or you can browse TPT.  Easy peasy!

2. Fluency Practice (5 mins.)                                                       
We all know the important role that fluency plays in reading instruction, so why aren’t we focusing on it during math?! I use this time to do flashcards whole group with my class (these can be hand-held or even on the interactive whiteboard) . We are currently working on number identification up to 20. Throughout the year we will cover 2D and 3D shapes, ten frames, double ten frames, coin identification, addition facts, subtraction facts, etc.  

3. Whole group Math lesson/Math Word Wall (15-20 mins.)                 

I don’t know about you, but in my district I have to use a math series. I am just going to go ahead and say that I do not do everything in our lesson for the day. I only have an hour for math and if I followed that lesson plan, I would not accomplish anything else during our math time. I use what I believe is “best practice” when I teach and cover what is beneficial for my students. I am grateful to be in a district that supports teachers using best practice, but know that may not be an option for everyone.  I also use this time to introduce and add a new word to our math word wall! A math word wall encourages students to use math vocabulary in their math journals/stations and helps to deepen their understanding of concepts. My word wall is on sale today in honor of my first post!!! Wooooohoooo!!!

4. Math Stations/Guided Math (15-20 mins.)                                

During this time, students are working in small groups (homogenous) on activities/tasks that reinforce and extend prior classroom instruction. I use a three tier system (red, green, blue) to differentiate for three levels of learning (when appropriate) during math stations. Students know their level by looking at the color of their name on the work board. These change throughout the year based on collected data!! If the math station is tiered, there will be a red, green and blue folder inside to hold the differentiated materials.

 It is important that students work with other students at or around their same level. This encourages students to ask questions, justify their thinking and collaborate with others at their same instructional level. As students are working at their math station, I am pulling small groups to re-teach, reinforce, or enrich concepts and skills. I use a variety of assessment data when planning for my small group lessons.

 I currently have 9 math stations and I change them out monthly. My students work in groups of 2-3. The pictures below are some of the stations we are currently completing!

-5. Math Talk/ Reflection (5 mins.)                                                      

This is a time that we spend talking about what we learned during math that day. It is a great opportunity for students to share new discoveries, and ask questions.

Math Workshop in my classroom lasts roughly 1 hour depending on the day. This DOES NOT include the math we cover during calendar in our morning meeting. 

I hope you feel inspired to begin Math Workshop in your classroom! Here is a freebie to help you plan your small group instruction! Enjoy!!

Have a fabulous week! 


  1. Great post! My math workshop is very similar to yours! I love Debbie Diller!


  2. Thanks Tiffany! Debbie Diller is amazing! :)

  3. Great post, Amber! We are in the process of revamping our math block, and I love how you broke down each part of yours! Can't wait to share with my team!

    One Sharp Bunch

    1. Thanks Ashley! I hope it's helpful for you and your team! :)

  4. Love the book and love how you broke it all down! I would love to be in your classroom :)

    1. Oh Laura you are too sweet!! Thanks for reading my post! :)