Guided Math: Supporting Guided Math with Math Workshop

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This chapter got me thinking about how I want to organize my classroom to help support math workshop for next year.  It also got me thinking about what works in my classroom and helps me to stay organized when implementing this structure with first graders.  
Some of the important ways that I have found help math workshop to run smoothly in my classroom are…. 
We use manipulatives every day in first grade, no joke!  Students use them to solve problems and to show/explain their thinking.  It is important that manipulatives are easily available for all students to use when they need them.  Some of our most common manipulatives that we use are dice, counters, base 10 blocks, counting books and cubes.  Most of my manipulatives are organized in plastic containers that kids can easily grab.  Below are my favorite ones because they also have a lid which makes them perfect for first graders.  

Dice, counters, game board, whiteboards and markers all in one easy to grab red bin.
Having all materials ready to use for students will help make your life (and your first graders’ lives) much easier.  I put all of the materials for the specific center in a bin.  This way when we are ready for math workshop students simply grab the bin and get to work!  
In order for you to be able to spend the time you need to with small groups students should be working independently on activities that meet your objective.  You want to make sure students know how to play each of the games/activities and that they are meaningful.  When possible, I like to use whiteboards to help hold students accountable for their work.  When I look up or quickly walk around I can easily see who is on task and who is not.  

Although I will not have as much technology in my classroom next year as I did last year, you better believe that I will use the technology I every day!  Technology is extremely helpful with engagement, differentiating and giving students instant feedback.  
I have some go to websites that students use on a regular basis such as Xtra Math, IXL and Shepard’s Software.  Students also have choice of other websites that match our objective for the day/week.  I have my math websites organized here (to see more on how to organize your websites using Draggo click here.)    
Common Core QR Code Math Centers are also used on regular basis in my classroom.  I have them for the majority of first grade common core math skills.  If you have not yet tried QR Codes with your firsties give it a try because you will be amazed at how quickly they are able to use them independently.  Students will be engaged while they reinforce specific skills and get immediate feedback.  Getting that instant feedback is reassuring as a teacher because you know students are practicing the skill correctly.  Click here or on the picture below to get the first grade common core task cards I use in my classroom.  
Implementing math workshop can help promote learning goals by allowing students time practice skills independently and with their peers.  Math workshop allows students the opportunity to reinforce a variety of skills through independent games and activities.  The hardest part about math workshop is finding meaningful activities that will help students continue their learning after their small group instruction.  Once finding meaningful activities it helps my students achieve the learning goals because they are given more time to practice and to discuss strategies with their peers.  
Thanks to Amanda from The Primary Gal for hosting this linky. Don’t forget to check out the other blogs for more tips and tricks on guided math…and remember to enter the giveaway below for your chance to win some QR Code Centers and many more amazing prizes!  
Happy Thursday!

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Aylin and Amanda


 Elementary educators who love to create engaging resources and provide ideas for other teachers! 

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