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The First Day of Math Workshop

How do you get students to start working together and thinking and talking like brilliant mathematicians on the very first day of school? Below are three ways to start getting more Kid's Math Talk in your classroom on opening day.


Day 1 of Math Workshop

The first day of school is crucial for setting expectations for all types of management and behaviors, and math workshop is no exception.

While you won't have students engaged in all the elements of a full math workshop, start to make expectations clear and begin to set the tone of what math workshop will look and feel like in your classroom.


1. Clearly Show Math Workshop Expectations

Make an anchor chart (pictured above) with students that clearly show what math workshop looks and sounds like in the classroom. This chart will become a part of your classroom all year long for student and guest teacher reminders.


2. Practice Math Workshop Expectations

Explicit practice with transitioning to and from the meeting spot, whispering to a partner, getting started right away, when to sharpen pencils, etc. will get repetitive for you as the teacher.

Most likely a few of your students will want to roll their eyes or show their frustration with the repetition, but don't give in to this!

Repeat, repeat, repeat the expectations that you want your students to meet all year long. And then hold them to these same expectations.

breaks down the different expectations into focused mini-lessons so that the "same" is presented in many different ways. A few examples:

Day 3 - How Do I Take Care of the Materials?

Day 4 - Setting up the Math Notebook

Day 7 - Carpet Summary


3. Self-Assess Math Workshop Behaviors

Have extra print outs of the Math Workshop Looks Like/Sounds Like bookmarks. Pass these out at the end of the mini-lesson and have students shade in their three "proud" areas. Meaning, things they think they do very well. This will give you an idea of how the class is thinking about expectations and how what you are seeing is matching with how students are feeling. There might be some areas that are not shaded by anyone, which might mean a revisit to that expectation.

Grab the Freebie "Day 1 of Math Workshop" by clicking below.

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