Monday, June 6, 2011

Math Work Stations: Chapters 1 and 2...I've got a LOT of work to do!

Well I got my book, read Chapters 1 and 2 (went pretty quick, learned a lot, and have so much to do), and am going to reflect on my Math WORK stations as I answer the questions.  I'm actually pretty scared.  I've also got to decide if I'm going to "link" up to the rest of the bloggers that have joined the PARTY!

Chapter 1: What is a Math Work Station
1. Materials used by the teacher first, then placed in the station: Most of the time (either in whole group or small group), so...YES! But... I am guilty of putting a new game or manipulative in stations before introducing them.  Sometimes I will put a new manipulative in my stations to allow students to "explore" with them before we use them in class. I'm starting to wonder if this was a good use of "station" time??? 

2. Materials do not change weekly, but rather changed to reflect the students learning objectives:  I do switch out some of my materials as we switch math objectives (they're not always based on student needs, though).  I'm sure I leave some activities and objectives that students may have already mastered in the stations too long, and I tend to put review materials in them.  I'll need to "step it up a few notches" in this area!

3. All students go to stations daily:  Sadly, shamefully, and with regret (because I know my students have missed opportunities for meaningful learning) I must answer NO  :( Math Stations are one of the things that "go" when days get away from me...which since I'm admitting my Math Station faults, I must say this is a frequent occurence in K-S. 

4. Materials are differentiated: Nope...but they will be next year with the help of Debbie Diller, Math Work Stations, and my newfound blogging buddies! :)  I hope you all are up for the challenge!  I AM!!!

5. The teacher observes work or meets with differentiated math groups: Yes, but I do not meet w/groups everyday, so kinda...  

On to Chapter 2: Organizing and Managing Math Materials
1. How do you (or will you) differentiate your math stations? I must admit that I am not the best at differentiating my stations, or getting them done daily, for that matter.  Like Jackie (Here We Go Loopty Loo, although she is quite successful at math stations) I attempt to use the B.U.I.L.D. model for my math stations.  After reading chapter 2...I feel like a lot of my problem has been organization and possibly manipulative overload!  I really need to find S.P.A.C.E.!!!
2. How and where do you keep your math stations?  I keep my BUILD tubs on top of my storage shelves, a lot of my manipulative are stored on the shelves below, but I have materials  ALL over the place.  I'm sure there are some undiscovered treasures in my storage closet!  I'll explain more below! ;)

3. How do you keep your math materials organized?  Well...I've just completed my 2nd year of teaching Kindergarten. The previous 11 years were spent in grades 1-4 (most in 2nd and 3rd).  I enherited a retiring teacher's classroom and a LOT of things she had acquired over the years.  I must admit that I have not spent the time needed to really go through the closets in my classroom.  I will be teaching summer school for two weeks (only 1/2 day...don't feel too sorry for me) and plan to spend some time after school discovering, sorting, organizing, and PURGING!!!  I am very excited to discover the awesome teaching materials that are hiding in this closet!  I'm sure I will be much  more organized (which isn't saying a lot...I'm VERY challenged in this area) next school year.

I've got LOTS to think about and LOTS of work to do before August rolls around! I want Math WORK stations to be meaningful learning experiences for my lil' love muffins!!!

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