October 17, 2016

How to Manage Math Workshop

How to manage math workshop for 
student success
We all know that in order to really meet students’ needs, we need to roll up our sleeves and get right in there! Sounds easy, right? Well what about the other 20 kids? You know the ones they always show working nice and quiet in those professional development videos. Well those students are never in my room.  So I have to get real creative during my small math group time. 
At the beginning of the year, as I am teaching procedures and I am not ready for my students to be up moving yet…. I have the center come to them. Each of my math stations for the beginning of the year are in tubs. I can put 3-4 baskets at a table. Lucky for us our first math unit is Exploring Math tools. This allows students time to explore and play with all the manipulatives they will be using through out the year.

As first graders are learning the routines and procedures of a new classroom, sometimes it is hard to take it all in. Rotating the tubs allows students to still be able to practice the procedure for stations from their area, which they already know the procedure for. I think this helps them to manage themselves better. Later on, we learn how to rotate from our area and what is expected. By then we have couple of more months of school under our belt and seem to handle it better. I am not a complete control freak, I do have some flexible seating options in my room but I am not there yet to just turn them loose. I am working on it though!!! I am a work in progress, I tell my firsties all the time that I am learning too!!!
What is the teacher doing during guided math

At the beginning of the year, I am monitoring groups and making observations. As I feel students are learning the routines and ready to try it alone,  I call groups. I introduce sheets that students may see during the workshop. This way I know that students understand the directions and later on are able to complete the sheet during workshop time.

Here are some great freebies that I use and are apart of our math packs. Try these freebies and see how you like them


  1. I try to use Math centers in Middle School as well. As I read your post I thought some of our challenges are the same :) Keep up the great work!!!

  2. I think moving the tubs and not the students is a great idea! It prevents the mess and gives the students the opportunity to move around the classroom!

  3. Great tips for managing math workshop. I am a big fan of the workshop model in all subject areas. I'm definitely going to use these tips to help manage math workshop in my classroom.