How I schedule my upper elementary math block
Math workshop and small groups are my jam! I have done guided math in many different ways and scheduled my math block differently depending on different factors. But THIS is my absolute favorite way to schedule my math block and teach in small groups.
I’ve done this type of schedule with anywhere from 75-100 minutes. This year I will have 90 minutes, but you could easily adjust and make this work with a few less minutes or a few more.
Heres how I break it up:
Warm up (5-7 minutes)– We use number of the week as our daily warm up
Go over homework (10 minutes)– I use spiral review homework. We check it every day and it is never taken for a grade
Stations (60 minutes)– Variety of activities; usually a game, a maze, and some sort of technology activity.
Clean up and reflection (10 minutes)– exit ticket, turn and talk, self rating/reflection
That may not look like anything special, buuuuut I’m obsessed with my station schedule! It provides the perfect balance of heterogenous and homogenous math small groups. You can find more info on how I organize and display my groups here.
When do you teach?!?
At my small group teacher table!!! Here’s how it works:
My stations run on a 2 day rotation. On day 1, students will go to 3 of 4 stations. That means I will see 3 of my 4 groups and teach the lesson.
These groups are mixed, meaning students are not grouped by ability. I love that because then when they are at the other stations without me, I don’t have all my lower friends together wandering around with no clue what to do! There are always helpers and friends readily available.
Then, on day 2, I see my last group of kids and teach the math lesson. Well that only takes 20 minutes of our 60 minutes station time. With the remaining time, we do what we like to call “Ketchup and Pickles”. This means students “ketchup” on any station work that has not been completed, then once they are done with all their station work they may “pick” an activity. This is usually a game, math color sheet, or Prodigy.
Intervention and Enrichment
While my students finish catch up work and other choice activities, I pull homogenous groups, based on understanding of the previous lesson! I am able to pull both an intervention group for students who didn’t quite grasp the skill and an enrichment group for students who are ready to go just a step deeper. If I have more kids who didn’t get it than did, then I may just pull two intervention groups! It really just depends on the lesson, but this schedule allows me the flexibility to meet the needs of my students.
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Are you a math workshop fan? If not, what’s holding you back?