Response to Chapter 1 of Math Work Stations
Math workstations are different from math centers. Stations are more focused on the needs of the students, and are designed to make it easy for the teacher to differentiate for different groups. Students should be engaged in higher level thinking at stations. On challenge I have in a self contained classroom is storing and setting up both literature and math work stations. Another challenge I have is that sometimes if feels like our administration does lip service to the ideas of work stations, but really wants busy work centers. I’ve been told that giving the kids choices leads to off task behavior. In my observation it is 3 or 4 students that are off task. 1 because he thinks he should be able to play in centers. 2 because they lacked confidence to try new things. That attitude has been improving, because making mistakes is not failure in my classroom but a sign you are learning something new. Then there are 2 students that are so far above the others in some ways it is hard to challenge them.
My students are engage by puzzles, they enjoy problem solving it presented as a puzzle. They are becoming more comfortable with the idea that there are many different ways to the correct answer. They are also engaged by contests and technology. They love number battle on the Ipad. They are more comfortable making mistakes on the Promethean Board, so they are more engaged in those activities.
I need to teach more problem solving strategies going beyond what Envision does. My students are held back by the low level of the problem solving lessons that Envision gives them. They need more strategies for higher level problems. They also need to be writing their own problems to challenge classmates with.
My locations work well.
Computers at computers
Ipads in the library area this gives me space to post QR codes.
Promethean at the promethean board. Only problem with this is that kids need to talk and my 1 mile voice kids can be disruptive to the teacher table.
Number sense on the floor at the back of the carpet.
Problem Solving at the Yellow table desks.
This is actually a literature station, but students use the Ipads in math stations also.