When I decided to implement math workshop with guided math in my classroom, I knew I wanted a work board with a catchy acronym. The math workshop rotation board includes four quality stations that spell out M – A – T – H. In my third grade classroom, M stood for “math facts.” A stood for “at your seat.” T stood for “teacher’s choice.” H stood for “hands on.” This acronym has now spread around the country. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the rotation board and a little bit about how to use it, but I go much deeper into detail in my guided math workshop guide. If you are looking for more information about it and the printables to create it, head over there!
This blog post will…
- explain what a math workshop rotation board is and identify its key components
- suggest how to use a math workshop rotation board
- provide information about a printable resource about math workshop with guided math
What is a math workshop rotation board?
The math workshop rotation board, sometimes called a guided math rotation board, is a workboard, chart, or slide that communicates to students where they will be working, what they will be working on, and who they will be working with. It is an incredibly powerful management tool that can either be posted on your math bulletin board or projected on your board. I offer both options (printable and powerpoint) in my math workshop rotation boardresource. For the first three years, I had a bulletin board dedicated to the rotation board, which I referred to as my math rotation bulletin board. It housed the rotation schedule, the team members and pocket charts for listing daily assignments. In later years, I chose to project the powerpoint on the board. You can decide which works best for you and your classroom.
Important Components of the Math Rotation Board:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
3 Steps for How to Use a Math Workshop Rotation Board
- Before Math Workshop: Post the station agendas, groups, and partnerships.
- 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.
- After Math Workshop: Reset the rotation board and prepare it for the following day.