The one big item that stuck with me from chapter 3 was to begin slow and have the class practice, practice, practice!
Establishing routines is so key to setting up math workshop and guided math groups! The author suggests 4 key points to getting started with your workshop.
- Teach the schedule to the students.
- Teach the students what to do during the activity or centers time. She suggests starting with review centers or hot topics as she calls them (this is what I also do, along with a few team building centers!).
- Show the students how to transition between all of the different aspects of your workshop time. Examples of times that need to be practiced are between centers, cleaning up time, getting out materials, etc.
- Practice basic classroom manners by demonstrating and play acting them.
ANCHOR CHARTS! I'm so glad she said that- I love using them! Please excuse the horrible paneling in the portable that was my classroom (I was not able to paint it, or put any holes in it- not ideal!).
She suggests using anchor charts because they are great visuals and they remind you and the students to go over or review them!
Chapter 4 discusses how important forming groups is. She suggests using data to form groups. The author also says there are two different types of groupings traditional grouping and flexible grouping; she suggests using flexible grouping!
- Groups are based on specific needs.
- Groups are fluid (at least from one unit to another).
- Everyone works on the big idea (mini-lessons, common core standards, state standards), but the groups work at their own pace or level.
There are also a bunch of great schedule ideas and record keeping ideas.
Next week chapter 5 will tell us about what data to use for creating the groups!