Ever wonder why I started this here blog?!? Back three and a half years ago when I first started, it was all about reflection for me. I have always been one who thinks better when I write.
My blog makes me a better teacher.
I have a confession. I let workstations slide over the last month or so.
No good reason.
Except that it is easier to stay whole group. OUCH! That is hard to admit. But it is true. This year I have worked SO hard on shaping my ELA and Writer's Workshop just the way that I want it that sometimes by math time I am exhausted and don't give it the effort that it and my kids deserve.
Well that is changing RIGHT now.
I planned out my week so that we could take our measurement test yesterday and review routines and rituals for Math Workstations today so we could get those bad boys ROCKIN' and ROLLIN' again. No more excuses.
Need convincing in order to join me on this journey?
Here are my top 5 reasons why you should try work stations.
1. Number sense, number sense, number sense.
I really don't think you need numbers 2-5 after you think about this one. I don't know a math teacher that doesn't wish their kids had better number sense. It is the basis for everything. Our kids rely on the PROCESS way too much. When they really GET numbers, they shouldn't have to memorize routines.
2.Every kid is accountable.
My kids work in pairs. There is no lally-gogging, bumps on a log, daydreaming, whatever you want to call it. EVERYone works. I do not, repeat do not, put my high kid with my low kids to help them out. In my opinion this is a huge no-no. Here's my reasoning, all too often the low kids just copy or the high kids do it for them. I stick low with low, high with high. This way the low kids are not intimidated and if need be I can tailor the work just for them. The high kids challenge each other to try out new ideas or improve their automaticity.
3. Small group reteach or acceleration.
I have worked it out so that the four kids that come to me during each station have relatively the same needs (I will explain this better next post, I promise). This way I can tailor my instruction to exactly what they need. This means that two pairs of kids come to me at a time. That means that there are 8 other activities are going on around the room *quietly*.
4. Work Stations are fun.
What kid doesn't like games?!?! Now- I intentionally don't call them centers. They are WORK stations because the kids WORK the whole time, but they are still fun and kids learn through play.
5. We need to reach them ALL.
I promise you. If you are only teaching whole group, there are kids who are hiding. I've seen it this month. The kids who follow along well but don't REALLY get it. We owe them the chance to explore with numbers. We owe them the chance to ask questions in small group. We owe them the chance to REALLY get it.
Did I convince you?
Are you saying okay, okay, now what?
I've got you. :) Well at least soon I do.
I decided to break this post into several different sections because--well it's Friday and we are all tired. No really. It would be way too long for one post! I will be back soon with a post on organization with tons of pictures!
For now, here are links to some(?) of my Math Work Station packets on TPT: