One of the most enjoyable things about M.A.T.H. Workshop is the ability to modify the specific approach to instruction and practice within a consistent framework.
Depending on the results of your pre assessment, you will often modify the structure and approach to your mini lesson. Below are three possible mini lesson approaches to spark your planning creativity.
If you want to learn more about the framework for M.A.T.H. Workshop, please read this post first.
Teaching a live lesson is one of the most fulfilling parts of being a teacher. You can interact with your class, instantly modify the course of the lesson, and get immediate formative assessment data based on student understanding. This approach is beneficial if you can consistently limit the duration of your lesson to ten minutes or less.
Limiting the amount of class time spent on teaching a one-size-fits-all live lesson allows your students to jump into differentiated practice, and allows you to start pulling individuals and small groups as needed.
The down side to to live lessons is, you will always have students who need a slower pace and additional examples, while others long for a faster pace and fewer examples. Therefore, combining live lessons with supplemental mini lessons or lesson flows (explained below) will be important as your M.A.T.H. Workshop routine becomes more established.
We all know our students love video content. Even the most unengaged learners become instantly drawn to any information presented in video format.
Recording the same content you would present in a live lesson using tools like Educreations transforms a live lesson into a more interactive learning tool. Students can pause, skip, and re-watch throughout the lesson, giving them a more personalized learning experience.
In addition to a high engagement factor, video lessons are a perfect way to keep parents in the loop. Actively involved parents love the perks of having access to the video content you are sharing with your students so they can follow up with conversations and practice at home.
On the flip side, students who don’t have parental support during homework time, or who struggle to collaborate effectively with their parents during homework hour can access the content you introduced in class to receive at-home support.
If you have a class with a particularly large range of learning styles and math levels, a lesson flow can help you personalize the mini lesson portion of M.A.T.H. Workshop for your class.
Using this approach, your students decide how long they want to spend on the mini lesson portion of workshop, depending on their level of understanding.
Those who already understand the day’s concepts can jump right into the M.A.T.H. practice rotations. Those who need instructional support can watch any of the predetermined lessons you have set up for them. Some may watch one, while others may watch several.
The lesson flow approach does require organization, planning, and access to technology in the classroom. A few websites I highly recommend for video content to include in lesson sequences are LearnZillion, StudyJams, BrainPop, Khan Academy, Front Row, ShowMe and Educreations. Teachers Pay Teachers is now building a library of math video content as well.
Implementing These Ideas In Your Classroom
Keep in mind, M.A.T.H. Workshop in your classroom is ever-evolving. Easing into these mini lesson approaches one at a time, and giving yourself time and room to find what works best for you and your students is part of what makes this approach to teaching feel fun and creative.
Have another mini-lesson approach that’s not listed above? I’d love to hear from you! Share your mini lesson ideas in the comments below.