Saturday, July 12, 2014

Guided Math Book Study Chapters 3 & 4

I am continuing linking up with
The Math Maniac
for a book study of
Before I start sharing my thoughts about this chapter, I want to make sure that you have seen a hilarious video that my district's math specialist showed us:)

I hope that you enjoyed it as much as I do!

Now, onto the book study...

Chapter 3-Managing the Math Workshop
I have been using math workshop (or some form of it) for about 7 years now and I will never go back to regular teaching!  You can see a recent post on how I already do it in my classroom here (with photos).

I completely agree with Dr. Newton saying to start immediately!   I start math workshop the first week of school.  I do not start the actual lessons then, but rather practicing math workshop.  We focus on what it looks, sounds, and feels like.  I make sure to choose games/activities that everyone can play and use.  I also teach students where to get things they may need such as rulers, and how to put them away as well.  I find that taking this time to "practice math workshop" makes the rest of the year run smoothly!

One thing that I have found to be very beneficial is having "math captains" for each group. I have my groups on a board and I move the push pin down each day (you get skipped if you are absent).  So math captains in this example would be: Group 1-A, Group 2-F, Group 3-K, and Group 4-P.  These students are responsible for making sure that the centers are cleaned up before switching, but they also get to choose their game/activity first (the person below them chooses next and so on which has REALLY helped to limit "it's my turn"), and they are responsible for getting math materials for my table when their group is there.  In addition, they get to sit it my teacher chair for math on the computer.  I also use this for my reading groups and it has made my life sooo much easier:)

Chapter 4-Forming Guided Math Groups
It is soooo important to have these leveled yet FLEXIBLE groups.  It has made my teaching so much easier so that I can adjust the needs of lessons to fit the needs of various groups.  There are several ways to form groups mentioned in the book. The bottom line is, you need to do what works for you and for your students (and this may chance depending on your class).

Next week, we will be discussing chapters 5 & 6:)


  1. I love that video! I had a kid a few years ago who was making me feel like the teacher in that video. Needless to say, I had to take a step back and really think about how I was teaching him. I learned a lot from that experience.

    I really like your ideas about teaching the kids how to do math workshop and starting out on the first day of school with these lessons. I really like responsive classroom ideas like this and it goes a long way toward making math groups a success!

    The Math Maniac

    1. Thank you! I have done it this way for about 7 years now (both straight and split grade classes) and it has worked extremely well!