My current goal is to revolutionize the way I teach math. I spend a great deal of time scouring Pinterest boards and reading blog posts about teaching methods, and I know without a doubt that I need to incorporate a Math Workshop format this year. I'm kind of embarrassed to say that most of my math teaching experience has been whole-group. And it went well, truthfully. I was able to incorporate a good amount of group work and problem-based learning to supplement the whole-group presentation. But now, in hindsight, and after analyzing their test scores, I think that I could have grown them even more if I gave them small-group attention.
As I sit here on my couch in my new apartment on a rainy Saturday, I'm trying to wrap my head around how I want this to work. I will have my students for 110 minutes for Math & Science combined. I figure I want to spend about 75 of those minutes on Math. I'm expecting around 25 students to be in each class. This is the class time break-down I am mentally chewing on:
Math Warm-Up: 5 minutes
Mini-Lesson: 10-15 minutes
Rotations: 3 rotations at 15 minutes each
Whole Group Recap/Exit Ticket: 10 minutes
I am aiming to have 5 student groups, put together based on math skill level. Based on their need, I want to have them cycle between the following rotations:
Teacher Time: Fairly self-explanatory. This is when I will meet with students to discuss their math thinking, and to provide interventions/acceleration as needed. I'm working on learning more about how to ask good questions, because I think it is really important that I work on helping students to understand math concepts without straight-out explaining every little thing to them.
Skill: During this time, students will work on the skill at hand. I am looking at the math curriculum very closely and trying to come up with some challenging tasks that aren't simply "skill and drill." However, I'm not 100% against a practice worksheet, either. There's a time and place for both! (And that time is this rotation).
Hands-On: This is a station that each student will visit only once per week. At this station, I will have some sort of activity involving manipulatives. As I have never done a whole lot with math manipulatives, I might need some help coming up with ideas!
Calendar: I am an avid reader of the Teaching in Room 6 blog. Mrs. Moorman has some excellent Calendar Math resources that she describes in detail in these posts. I use her resources in my room, with a slightly different spin. GREAT way to reinforce skills.
Spiral Review: Like I said, I love some Teaching in Room 6! She also has some great Spiral Review sheets. I love keeping skills fresh, and I plan on incorporating these into my rotations.
In the schedule I have worked out so far, students with a weaker grasp of mathematical concepts will meet with me more frequently for Teacher Time, while other students will spend more time at the other stations.
If you have any ideas or suggestions from your experience, I'd love to hear from you! How do you teach math?