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Middle School Math Workshop
Transcript of Middle School Math Workshop
The workshop model may be more familiar as a literacy model. There, children write, revise, share work with others, and celebrate and publish their stories. Teachers circulate the room and confer with writers, questioning, challenging and supporting. Children have work folders and pieces in progress. Portfolios are used for selected pieces that document the students' progress as writers.
Description and Overview
Math workshops are very similar-- based on the belief that knowledge emerges in a community of activity, discourse and reflection. The same way we learn to write by writing with others; we become mathematicians by engaging in mathematical problems, finding ways to mathematize them, and defending our thinking in a math community.
In a math workshop, learners are inquiring, investigating, discussing and constructing. They present their ideas to their peers and justify and defend their thinking. Teachers encourage students to explore, notice patterns, develop efficient strategies and generalize ideas.
The heart of a math workshop lies in the ongoing investigations developed within contexts and situations enabling the students to connect math in their lives. As the children work, the teacher moves around the classroom, listening, conferring, supporting, challenging and celebrating.
Description and Overview (cont.)
After the investigation, students write up strategies and solutions for the whole group share, which is more than a regurgitation of what they did--- it is a forum wherein students communicate their ideas, solutions, problems, proofs and conjectures to others.
Planning is the most important piece to an effective math workshop!
In order to create an effective math workshop you have to anticipate! As you reflect, ask yourself:
* What do my students know or understand about this topic?
* Did I choose tasks that engage EVERY student in deep mathematical thinking?
* How will I scaffold instruction so every student can engage with the problem(s)?
* Which strategies and models will students use?
* What misconceptions may arise?
* How will the Common Core Math practices be woven into the tasks?
* How will I formatively assess students?