Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Math Work Stations

Can I just say how much I LOVE Debbie Diller's work?  Math Work Stations is one of the most beautiful and useful book I have.  I was first exposed to her work during my student teaching/ internship with Literacy Work Stations.  Unable to use it in the classroom I was in (long story), I bought the book and held on to it with the hopes of using it in my own classroom.  Flash forward to a few years later, I read Spaces and Places while setting up my second classroom.  This is another gorgeous book that I highly recommend.  It promotes keeping the focus on learning, rather than cute decor.  All things speak to a child in the classroom, this book spoke to me.  I went on to create 2 more classroom settings, using her work as inspiration (I've moved rooms every year so far!).

Now that I am moving to 1st grade, I am looking at this book with fresh eyes and the possibility of students with more independence.  I was able to have math stations for the last two years in kindergarten, but the activities were not always what I wanted them to be.  Kinders need a lot of support, so I made the stations more directed at the beginning.  As the year progressed, they (and I) was ready for them to take on more responsibility.  However, Ms. Diller's work has re-inspired me to change them again for my first graders.

I've been following other blogs and reading their fabulous insights into this book.  I encourage you to do the same.  So far, I'm thinking that I will have 12 stations going at a time (2 students in each).  The stations will be made up of:
  • Counting/ Number Concepts
  • Operations
  • Patterns/ Geometry
  • Place Value
  • Games & Computer (www.IXL.com)
  • Measurement
There will be 2 groups assigned to each heading, but with different activities.  The opportunities within the station will grow and change as the learning develops and concepts are mastered.  Most importantly, they will not be set assignments but rather reinforcement activities that can be repeated and expanded for differentiation. 

These are just my initial thoughts... I just started rereading, so I know more is to come on this part of my new curriculum.

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