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How to Use the Math Workshop with Guided Math Rotation Board

When I decided to implement Guided Math Workshop in my classroom, I knew I wanted a math rotation board with a catchy acronym. I landed on M.A.T.H., which represents the four centers. M stands for “math facts.” A stands for “at your seat.” T represents “teacher’s choice.” H is “hands on.” This M.A.T.H. acronym has now spread around the country. 

In this blog post, we’ll talk about the Math Workshop with Guided Math rotation board and a little bit about how to use it, but I go much deeper into detail in my Guided Math Workshop course and Guided Math Workshop guide. If you are looking for more information about the math rotation board and the printables to create it, head over to either of those two resources!

a math workshop rotation board in an elementary classroom

This blog post will answer the following questions:

  • What is a Math Workshop rotation board?
  • What are the key components of a math rotation board?
  • Why is a Math Workshop with Guided Math rotation schedule important?
  • How do I use a Math Workshop with a Guided Math rotation board?

What is a Math Workshop with a Guided Math Rotation Board?

A Math Workshop rotation board, sometimes called a Guided Math rotation board or a math rotation board, is a workboard, chart, or PowerPoint slide that communicates to students where they will be working, what they will be working on, and who they will be working with during Guided Math Workshop.  It is an incredibly powerful management tool that can either be posted on your Math Workshop bulletin board or projected on your board (using a Math Workshop with Guided Math rotation PowerPoint).  I offer both options (printable and digital) in my Guided Math Workshop course and guide. The math rotation board is one of the many things teachers need for Math Workshop.

guided math workshop station rotation chart

3 Important Components of a Math Rotation Board

Here are the 3 main components of a math rotation board:

1. Math Rotation Grid

The rotation grid informs students where their group will be during each rotation. The group numbers are shown at the top while the rotations are recorded down the left column.

2. Math Station Agendas

The agendas include space to let students know what they will be doing at each of the stations.  You may also want to include standards, objectives, or essential questions. You can use pocket charts, dry erase boards, or simply attach paper.

3. Math Team Information

To inform students which math team they are on and who their partner will be, you’ll need to include an area for displaying the lists. I attached card stock to the board to designate the space where the list of names will go. The card stock is stapled at the corners to hold it in place, but is loose along the top. This allows for a paperclip to attach over the card stock. You can easily change out the lists of names by sliding the lists under the paper clips. When recording the students’ names onto the team list, write each child’s name and their math partner’s name in the same color. This will communicate to them who they will be working with.

rotation chart for guided math workshop

Why is a Math Workshop with Guided Math rotation schedule important?

A Math Workshop with Guided Math rotation schedule is important because it provides structure to the math block and gives students a variety of different opportunities to work on math concepts and skills. Students rotate through the math centers in a consistent way using the schedule, so that your math block basically runs itself over time. The Math Workshop board communicates this schedule to students so they know what tasks they are working on and when. Learn more about math block structures!

3 Steps for How to Use a Math Workshop with Guided Math Rotation Board

These are the 3 steps for using a Math Workshop rotation board:

1. Before Math Workshop

Post the station agendas, groups, and partnerships.

2. During Math Workshop

Go over the rotation board after the mini lesson.  Students will refer to it throughout the math rotations, so make sure it is in a spot where it is accessible to them from all parts of the classroom where they will be looking from.

3. After Math Workshop

Reset the rotation board and prepare it for the following day.

Try a Collection of our Math Resources for Free!

We hope this information about the Math Workshop with Guided Math rotation board is helpful for when you launch Math Workshop and would love for you to try these math resources with your students. They offer elementary students opportunities to practice grade level concepts and skills in fun and engaging ways. You can download worksheets specific to your grade level (along with lots of other math freebies) in our free printable math resources bundle using this link: free printable math activities for elementary teachers.

Check out these other math resources!

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