Math Workshop

Hi everyone!

Today I'm here to talk about how I run my math block in my first grade classroom!
I have a 60 minute daily time for math. It is our first part of the day.

I utilize a math workshop in my classroom. Each day, we start with a 15 minute calendar time followed by a 10 minute number talk {read more about these here}, and a 20 minute mini-lesson and guided (or independent) practice. Then the students participate in 1 math station for 15 minutes. There are 5 stations total, so by going to 1 a day, they go to all of them throughout the week.

My students work in mixed ability groups. I like to do this so that the students can help each other while they are working. If I need to pull guided math groups for review instruction or advanced instruction, I can just call them to my meeting table from their stations.

Some people like to have open flow for their math station time, but I still like to have a little control in my classroom and I know that not all of my students would be able to handle the open flow format. For this reason, I assign groups for the students to work in during this time.

I like to keep some aspects of the station time consistent and familiar to the students.
This is typically what we work on in our stations:

Station 1: Math Game or iPads
Station 2: Math Journal
Station 3: Independent Practice
Station 4: Math Journal
Station 5: Computers-DreamBox

Station 1: I try to alternate between games and iPads. If they are on the iPads, they play math apps like: Quick Images, Ten Frame Fill, Splash Math, Geoboards, or Osmo Numbers & Osmo Tangrams. If they are playing games, they play Race to 120, Collect 10, and Addition Bump.

Station 2 & 4: These are always math journals. Sometimes they are story problems, sometimes they are activities that involve dice or dominoes, and sometimes the students write their own story problems in their journals. I can then use their journals as work samples with all of our different math concepts inside. The journals are also great for me to see their thinking. They know that they are not supposed to just write an answer; I want them to show/explain their thinking (pictures, tallies, equations, words-whatever they did to solve it).

Station 3: The activities at this station vary. Sometimes they are independent practice pages or activity cards and recording pages. I have many of these activities in my store.

Station 5: This is always a computer station. In the past the students have used the Numbers section on ABCya or Math Dojo. Last year, our principal purchased a subscription to DreamBox Learning for the whole school. So my students now use this as their computer station.

I like for my stations to be review work so that they can mostly work independently at their stations or only require a little help from a group member or myself. If we were learning about fractions last week, one of their stations the next week will center around fractions so that they can continue improving their skills. This spiraling helps to reinforce concepts even when they aren't the focus of our unit & mini-lessons.

While the students are working at their stations, it's a great time for me to pull a few students for guided math. If students are struggling with a concept, they can get some extra small group time with me to reinforce skills during this time. If I don't feel that I need to pull a group, I can also use station time as a time for math conferences. I can meet with students right at their station, observe what they are doing, and ask questions as they are working.
Hopefully this gives you an idea for how I operate math workshop!
There's isn't one right way, so try things out and adapt them to fit what works best for you and your students!

Do you do something similar in your classroom?
Are you looking to start a Math Workshop in your classroom?
Let me know in the comments! :)


  1. Very informative! Thank you! :)

  2. I loved doing math centers! I could never go back to whole group.