Math Workshop

Somehow, and I have no idea how, I’ve become known at my school as a math person.  All of my administrators and teacher friends all seem to think that I’m one of those people who just LOVE math.  This is so funny to me, because as a student I HATED math.  It wasn’t that I wasn’t good at it, but rather that I thought it was the most boring thing in the entire world!  I’ll also confess that my first couple of years teaching, I’d have been happy to skip math altogether.

Fast forward several years later, and I absolutely love teaching math-all parts of it!  My teaching style has slowly evolved into using the workshop model to teach math, which I plan to post much more about over the next several weeks.  I won’t lie-it wasn’t a painless process for me, because I more or less taught myself and learned as I went.  There was plenty of trial and error-probably much more error than I care to admit.  However, I was very fortunate to teach in a district that strongly supported and encouraged the implementation of math workshop, and I’ve been able to attend various conferences and have different professional develop opportunities.  I also tried to read everything I could get my hands on to aid in my own professional development.  My absolute favorites were:

It took a while but I finally feel very comfortable with math workshop, and I actually couldn’t imagine teaching any other way!  I enjoy working with other teachers to help them implement math workshop in their own classrooms, and I hope to help make the transition much easier for others.


One thing that I really focus on during math workshop is requiring my students to show their work using multiple representations.   The representations that we primarily focus on are using a number sentence, making a table, making a graph, explain in words, and draw a picture.  I don’t require my students to model their work using all the representations, but I do like for them to be very familiar with each type of representation and to be able to at least show their work using a couple of different representations.  I’ve recently made a poster for each of the representations that you can download below.

You print each one as a full size piece of paper or print all of the slides on one piece of paper to make a quick reference for your students’ math notebooks! I like to have my students glue them down to the top of a page in their interactive notebook for a new entry!

I’ve made a version for younger students that only uses addition problems and a version for older students that uses multiplication.  Just click on the links below for your copy!

I like to use the smaller sized pictures for my students’ interactive notebooks.  I have them cut out and glue the representation at the top of the page and then model how to solve a word problem using that representation.

Younger Students

Older Students

I’ve recently listed The Math Workshop Guide to my TpT store, and it includes more than 80 pages that describe and give directions for effectively implementing math workshop in a 1st-5th grade classroom.  It includes parts of math workshop, math workshop must haves, organizing manipulatives, math groups, math work stations, self-assessments, journal prompts, manipulative labels, and common core standards checklists for math!

Here area a few pictures of what’s inside!

I’ve added lots of descriptions about math workshop. I explained each of the parts and gave several different scenarios or examples of mini lessons, work time, and closing. I’ve included a Word version for any page that you may want to edit or use as a classroom form. There are several rubrics, and lesson plan formats that should be very useful.

I also included LOTS of pictures! I know that sometimes I need to see an example, so I tried to add as many pictures as possible. There are several pages of book lists organized by topic that suggest literature that can be used to teach math, which is great for a mini lesson!  There is an entire section devoted to math workstations, which I absolutely love!


If you have this file and still have questions, please don’t hesitate to send me an email! I know there’s a lot to math instruction, and I want to help as much as possible!




  1. says

    I love the posters. I am doing the guided math book study with some of the other blogs, these will work well and help me a math rich environment. Love them thanks.

  2. says

    Hi Ashley, I am also looking to buy some math books online. I am debating between
    About Teaching Mathematics: A K-8 Resource and
    Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics: Grades 3-5 Volume 2

    i know you mentioned as the student centered one as one of your favorites. have you read the Marilyn Burns one?

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