Sunday, June 5, 2011

Math Work Stations Blog Party Chapter 3

Chapter 3 of Math Work Stations by Debbie Diller is all about making it work.  I have had a lot of questions about how I fit it all in.  Let me show you.

Daily Schedule
Click to download
Math Workshop Schedule
  • Mini-lesson (core curriculum, whole group guided practice)~15 mins
  • Math Work Station #1 (I meet with my intervention students)~15 mins
  • Regroup/Refocus (student clean up and meet me at the carpet)~5 mins
  • Math Work Station #2 (I meet with a small group)~15 mins
  • Regroup/Reflect (student share time)~5-8 mins
What is my regroup/refocus?  I used to move my students directly from station #1 to station #2.  However, I feel this quick refocus time has really help the overall flow of my stations.  At the close of station #1, I immediately set a timer for 3 mins.  The students have 3 mins to meet me on the carpet.  I can then eyeball the stations to be sure they were put away "neatly and completely" before starting the 2nd rotation.  I also ask the students "Is there any problems I need to be aware of in your math stations?"  This allows students a chance to report issues (maybe a missing material) or a partner issue (AKA:  Ratting their partner out).

During my "Regroup/Reflect" time I ask the same question and, historically, I've also asked, "Who did something today in their math stations to be better with numbers?"  I am excited to add the "Sharing" cards from p. 224-229 to my reflection routine.

Speaking of Routine...
We are ALL about routine in kindergarten.  At the beginning of the year we co-create a chart that looks something like this:
I will insert pictures from my 2011-2012 class
Ms. Diller suggests that these charts be made with the students, but I like to know what my chart will look like in advance.  I have to make sure I keep it SUPER simple.  Here is my what my math stations chart will look like:
I will add photos of my 2011-2012 students demonstrating these behaviors.

I really, REALLY wanted to pre-make "I Can", "Math Talk Cards", and "Math Word Wall Cards".  However, as I reflect on my students' past engagement with these pre-made items, I have to agree with Ms. Diller (AGAIN) that students tend to use the items they had a part in creating... So I will wait and do them with my kiddos.  Wow!  That was easy!

Math Management Board
Here is my Math Management Board:
Click on the photo to go to Really Good Stuff
I LoVe this board.  I have it mounted to my wall.  There are pockets on the front and the back.  One side is my literacy stations and the other holds my math stations.  I just flip it over!  SiMpLe!

You can see I have students in pairs (3 is a crowd).  My students are mostly heterogeneously grouped... and boys are partnered with girls.  If I have an odd number of students next year, I will have a group of 3.  This will have to be some thoughtful partnering.

Student Work

Students place their finished stations (literacy and math) work in one of these magazine organizers.  The color on the organizers corresponds with their table color.  Once a day, I select a child from each table to grab their bin.  The students then sort their papers onto their desks.  I can then quickly look through their work.  They get a happy face (made with a SMELLY MARKER~Woo Hoo) on their paper if they have the following:

  1. Name on their paper
  2. Letters, words, numbers, and pictures (we approximate at the beginning of the year)
  3. Careful coloring (colors that make sense)
  4. Their best effort at completing the task
If they get all of these, they also get a chart stamped.  They collect these stamps for a reward.  I also put "WOW" papers up in our hallway and in the classroom.   Next year, I will put the "WOW" paper next to where the students will do that particular math station.  This will give them an exemplar to refer to.

Having said that...  Not all stations have a product (paper/pencil activity).

Next year I will plan my stations using these sheets:
Click on the image to download your copies

I will copy the stations planning sheet and common core standards back-to-back.  This way, I will keep these standards handy and in my mind!!!  Some stations never change... just the materials (computer and reading about math).  I modify the stations on a weekly basis (odd stations one week, even the next).  Sometimes I change the activity, but most of the time the activity remains similar, just the materials get modified.

I know a lot of us like to teach thematically.  I think this can be accomplished without too much trouble as long as we keep the activity familiar.  I will show you more on this during Chapter 4, so hang in there!

Whew!  This was a HUGE chapter!  Thank you Sylvia for hosting it.


  1. I love the planning pages and the posters you will create with your kiddos. I agree, it is hard to resist "getting started" but as Debbie Diller addresses student input is crucial. They are key to the success of the program.

  2. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! And your math resources are great! That pocket chart that shares math/literacy stations is awesome! I am your newest follower :) Have a great evening!

  3. Welcome to my blog Mrs. Johnson!!!

  4. Deedee,
    Thank you so much for sharing! I'm a visual person and after reading your blog, it all made sense! Although I teach first, I look forward to Reading your posts every time you blog. I am not a math person, but my students will definitely gain from what I'm learning from you!

  5. Thank you Conchy! I am like you~MUST have a visual.

  6. I love your Refocus/regroup and reflect times! I'm your newest follower, I need to read some of your other great posts :)

  7. I love the different tubs for gathering station work for each table.

  8. Thank you for the math station planning sheets and for the great comments on Debbie Diller's new book - so helpful!

  9. I'm interested in finding out how Math Work stations are working in your room once you get them rolling!
    Whyte Water

  10. You betcha Lindsey!!! I will load some photos this weekend. We had our second day of school today, so I thought I would share how I am introducing math stations.

    I will then add some photos when we get more academic next week...

    Woo Hoo! The year is off and running!

  11. HI Deedee,
    I am so excited about using literacy stations and math stations this year. I started to use it at the end of last school year but can't wait to get them up at the beginning of the year this year. I think I understand all of the stations and how to model model model in order to implement them better but for some reason I can't wrap my head around how you set up your management board. I saw a pattern on your board where it looks like the first two children on the left go to two stations while the two students on the right go to the same stations in reversed order. Do you do the same with your literacy stations? How exactly do you setup your board for day 1? Also, how do you rotate the students; do the student cards change or do the activity/station cards rotate? Do you rotate the whole board or the students on the left have their own rotation while the students on the right have their own rotation circulating? In the beginning do you start off with 4 students with you at the teacher station? Or do you start your station later? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Kristin, Yes, my literacy station board is exactly like my math stations (in fact, it is on the back of the same pocket chart.) I move the activities down, not the students. My board for day one will look probably just like what you see above.

      I do not start the "meet with teacher" station until about week 3.

      When do you go back to school? I plan to blog about this next week.

  12. I go back Monday the 20th and the Kids start the 23rd.

    1. Good! Same as me, but we go back with kids on the 22nd. My posts will be in time for you:)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...