Making Math Workshop Work
Found in most units, Math Workshop is a structure that allows individuals, pairs, or small groups of students to work on a set of related activities that focus on similar mathematical content. Grade level, class size, physical space, student population, and management style are all factors that will impact how Math Workshop looks in any given classroom. Teachers will need to experiment to find the right fit for their room, keeping the purposes of Math Workshop in mind—giving students repeated experience with math concepts and skills; providing the teacher with time to work with individuals and small groups; and helping students take responsibility for their own learning. To make Math Workshop work in the classroom, teachers need to:
- Establish clear guidelines and clearly communicate expectations.
- Make materials readily accessible, and expect students to be responsible for their appropriate use and care.
- Think about ways to organize students – for example, when pairs or small groups are called for, or when there is a limited amount of space/materials for a particular activity – and to communicate such information to them.
- Support students in making good choices.
- Have a plan for keeping track of the work students are doing.