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Chapter 3: Getting Started with Math Work Stations

At the conclusion of the chapter, Debbie Diller offered a section for reflections and dialogue to share interpretations
with faculty, staff, and colleagues. I used these questions to guide my discussion. The two resources following are
printable work station brace maps and work station response cards with graphics from Thistlegirl Designs.

Think about what math work stations time should look like, sound like, and feel
like in your classroom. Brainstorm a list. (see brace maps resources for planning)

When introducing a new station, gather all materials and place them in a container that is
labeled. (I provided labels in the previous post on Chapters 1 and 2). Show the students all the
materials and model what the station will look like, sound like, and feel like to eliminate off task
behaviors.

I brainstormed my own list of effective behaviors which will guide my discussion with the
students. Creating the chart with the kids will help with ownership of expectations and
sentences will be kid friendly.

Here’s my list:

Looks Like: Actively Engaged, Working on Task, Sharing Supplies, Taking Turns, Using Resources
(Math Word Wall and Anchor Charts), Collaborating with Partner, Using Effective Strategies,
Appropriate Use of Math Materials, and Properly Cleaning Up.

Sounds Like: Level 1 Conversation (CHAMPs), Accountable Talk with Partners, Sharing Ideas, and
Explaining Concepts

Feels Like: Positive, Encouraging, and Calm

I’ve provided brace maps in which I will put on the Elmo (visual projector) while creating with
my students. Once the maps are complete, they will be stored in the container at the work
station. I created the brace map with the same graphics from the work station pocket chart
and container cards.

Discuss how sharing time be used. What’s learned from the response? (see math
response cards)

I believe the closing or sharing time should engage all students. I learned through my coaching
cycle how to incorporate all students during this component of the math workshop. I have
students share their work or journal on the Elmo. I then incorporate guided questions to help
engage students on the carpet.

Ex: Which tools were used for solve the problem? What strategy was used during the explore?
How did they get this answer? What were the steps to solving the problem?

By having all students answering the questions, more than a select few kids are engaged. I
often break and ask the kids to ‘turn and talk’ with their partners. This stimulates discussion
from everyone.

By having students respond and give reflections, I can better determine how to remediate,
differentiate, or determine when to move to a new math concept.

Create an “I Can” list.

To help students focus on the given task, “I Can” list provide a positive reminder of what
students should be doing during math stations. This chart should be created with the kids.

Step 1: Decide what you want your students to review from prior lessons taught.
Step 2: Make a list of several things activities they can complete independently at the station.
Step 3: Create a tub to store all ideas developed for math concept.
Step 4: Include brace map of expectations, I can chart, and math talk chart.

Addition and Subtraction Work Station:


I can...........

Cooperate with my partner.


Create a flashcard.
Sort the fact family.
Play a game with my partner.
Write a word problem and have
partner solve. Addition and Subtraction Talk

Decompose 24
Decade
10 to 20 on a 100 Chart.
20 4

Base Ten
What is my behavior plan for math work stations? (see CHAMPs chart and icons)
My district has implemented CHAMPs for behavior management.

I created a chart for work stations. My expectations are the same for each station. Some
teachers at my school die cut C. H. A. M. P. and put up the picture to align with the activity next
to the letter. The ICONS are the same for the entire district.

Here’s a CHAMPs planning sheet: