As I have said before, I teach 5th grade so I am constantly trying to get my kids up and moving. The math curriculum we have is….kind of boring. The written format for math workshop is essentially- whole class lesson on the rug, then the kids go off and complete workbook pages. It’s just not fun-and kids need to have more fun in math. And let’s be honest, it’s no picnic for me as the teacher either. So, last year I made a pact with my class-at least 2 days a week we don’t do workbook pages. Instead, I pull something from another resource or modify the scheduled lesson in another way. Yes- this does sound time consuming but it’s really not.
As a Type-B teacher, I am always pulling things last minute from Pinterest or from someone else. One of my favorite things to do on non-workbook page days is to take the problems from the pages, put them up around the room and have the kids walk around and solve them. Essentially they are just doing the pages but in a fun way that gets them moving around the room. It requires very little work on my part. Sometimes I have them do their work on post-its and stick them to the poster the problem is on, and other times I give them a recording sheet that I collect.
To differentiate, I try to throw in a few problems that are simpler, and some that are more challenging. Sometimes I set a timer and tell the class to solve as many as they can in a given amount of time. Other times I tell them to solve at least 3/4 of the problems available. This allows students to pick and choose which problems they try, and puts less pressure on them, making it a bit more fun. ** Anytime you can give kids a “choice” do it! They love having control, and you inevitably are dictating that choice.
So if you are looking for a quick and easy way to spice up your math workshops and get your kids up and moving, try this strategy!