How to Organize (and Love) Math Workshop in 3 Simple Steps

Math Workshop a.k.a. guided math is an amazing way to approach math instruction.  Organizing it on the other hand can be a challenge. 

1.  Create Groups with a Purpose
In order to best meet the needs of all learners students should be grouped purposefully.  The best way to do that is to figure out what your students already know.  Give a pre-test at the start of each unit and form groups based on the data.  Following up with a post test at the end of the unit will clearly show how much each student learned.

2.  Organize Materials in the Classroom
A clear defined space for math materials makes organizing a breeze.  I organize math work by group.  Each group has a plastic basket.  Math books,  interactive notebooks, and group folders are kept inside.

Keeping math manipulatives together is another way to help organize for Math Workshop.  When materials are kept together students can easily find what they need to be successful at each station.

3.  Plan Ahead 
A clear plan helps Math Workshop run smoothly.  Differentiated lessons that are targeted to each group help to keep students engaged throughout each station.  I use a folder system to keep each group on track.  Work for each group is placed inside the folder along with a set of directions for the group to follow at each station.  Folders are prepped each afternoon before I leave the classroom. Here is an example of the direction sheet that I use.  The direction sheets follow the order of the math stations the group follows.  If you are interested you can check it out here.

I also use my interactive white board to show the order of the Math Workshop Rotations. This is helpful if there are other teachers, teacher assistants, or administrators coming and going throughout your math class. You can find it here.

Check back soon to read more about how I use Math Workshop in my classroom.  How do you organize for your math class?


  1. I like your math schedule. I also pinned this post! The blog's looking good!

  2. Keeping materials organized is half of the battle! Thanks for sharing your ideas. Pinned! :)

    Linda at Primary Inspiration

  3. Love this resource! Using the editable group rotation sheets keeps the students (and me) organized.


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