Wednesday, November 12, 2014


One of the biggest pieces of advice I would give to new teachers is USE THE WORKSHOP MODEL!! It literally saves me so much time each week it's not even funny. Not only do my kiddos get small group and one-on-one attention from me throughout the week, but they also get the opportunity to work independently, with partners, and with small groups of students. It provides the kids with some independence and allows me to get in some small group time with everyone so I can differentiate where needed. Also, not to mention I don't have to write plans for every day. I just come up with my four centers for the week, organize the work, and the kids pick it up each day when it's time for centers. Works beautifully.

I thought I'd share some pictures and explain how I use the workshop model for Math and Reading in my classroom.

At the back of my classroom I have a giant bulletin board that stretches across the whole back wall. This is where I keep our rotation boards and materials for each station. This is probably my favorite spot in my room!

The boards are pretty self explanatory, but basically the students know their groups and look at the board to see what their group is supposed to be doing during each rotation.

Close up of each side // math workshopreader's workshop

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Here is an overview of our Math Workshop board. Above the bulletin board I have four posters that show the four multiplication properties. Next to the rotation board I keep a weekly list of what we are working on during the nine weeks. This helps me stay on task throughout the nine weeks and helps the students know what's coming up--great accountability for everyone! To the right of that is our multiplication fact tracker sheet. The kiddos take multiplication tests once every few weeks and if they get a 100 they get a sticker by that number. Below that is a list of my different Math groups. Underneath everything is what is in each station for the week. I stapled sheet protectors to the bulletin board and change out the paper every week. Our four centers are Math Facts, At your Seat, Teacher Time, and Hands on. In the green baskets on the desks I keep everything needed for centers. I also stapled our Science and Social Studies schedule for the 9 weeks on this board.

In between the two bulletin boards I keep the drawers where students turn in their work. Each drawer is labeled with a different subject. This has been a LIFE SAVER for me. I have a student who gets everything out of the drawers in the afternoon and I can easily grade everything from the day.

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Next is our Reader's Workshop and jobs bulletin board. Below the rotation board I have what is in each station for the week just like math. We have a Reader's Response center, Enjoy a Book, At your Seat, and Discuss the Text. Each week Enjoy a Book and At your Seat stay the same and the other two centers rotate depending on if were doing Science or Social Studies that week. Since I integrate Science and Social Studies into my literacy block this is a great way for students to practice their Science or Social Studies content through literacy strategies. I also have a list of our reading groups and a schedule for our Writer's Workshop. I will do another post on how I do Writer's Workshop soon : ) The blue baskets on the desks hold everything the students need for Reader's Workshop during the week. 

To the right of our Reader's workshop board is our jobs board! Each Monday during our morning meeting we change jobs. I have each student's name written on a Popsicle stick. I choose a stick, call their name, and they choose their job for the week. My kiddos this year are ROCKSTARS when it comes to their jobs. They take them very seriously ; ) I also keep our Eagle Bucks here. Students earn Eagle Bucks around the school for showing good behavior. When we get to 50 as a class they earn a surprise (lunch with the teacher, Popsicles, Free Friday, etc.)

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I hope this was helpful to my teachers friends and I can't wait to share more of my classroom soon! Let me know what kind of things you'd like to see or hear more about : )


  1. I love how you have everything organized! We do LA and math rotations in our room but do not have this sort of system implemented. When I have my own classroom I would love to set up something like this! Fingers crossed I have the bulletin board space :)

  2. When do you do the math rotations? Is it every day, once a week or what? When do you teach whole group lessons?

    1. We do one rotation every day for four days : ) I usually do whole group on Mondays or Fridays. I always do a mini lesson before we begin our rotation--usually guided practice with their workbooks.

  3. I've heard great things about Writer's Workshop!!! I want to try it in my classroom. Love your organization!!

  4. What Math cirriculum are y'all using! I would love to do workshop but not sure it's friendly with our cirriculum. We have Pearson EnVision.