What will the other students do while I am working with a small group? This component of the math workshop might be worrisome for teachers, but it doesn't have to be. The key is making the stations simple, and very routine. I do not spend weekends creating tons of activities or worksheets, nor do I want to have stacks of papers to grade during the week. So, what do I have my kids do?
My first station is independent work time. During this time my students are working on an assignment from my school's chosen curriculum. We use Everyday math, so the math boxes associated with the day's lesson are the assignment during the independent station (I may call this independent work time, but my students are allowed to work together in pairs at this station if they need extra support).
Station number two is a skill or enrichment station. Students might play a game related to the day's teaching point, or they may work on math puzzles, practice telling time, count money, look for patterns, measure things, create graphs, create story problems, create a book about a math concept...the possibilities are endless. This will be the one station you'll need to prep, but it can remain the same all week. Many times I'll use the "readiness", or "enrichment" activities from the Everyday math series, but you could use folder games, skills-based activities, or even an online program like Kahn Academy.
My third station is fact practice! This station has my students partnering up with a peer-tutor and reviewing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. The facts the students practice are based on their own level, are sent home for homework practice, and match a daily time test. The time test ensures that they are practicing the facts, and making progress. Once students have gone through the tutoring process they move on to a game. Everyday math has many games that are based on fact practice, but in addition to these games the students also have access to math games on an iPad.
Debbie Diller has a great book for math workstations!
I have put together a 52-page resource for teachers to use if they are interested in starting a math workshop! The link is at the bottom.
Well that is all for today! I hope everyone is enjoying their last day of June! sigh.