Well, I decided to jump ship of this routine and try Math Groups. After browsing Pinterest and many blogs I finally felt like I had a good idea of what I was wanting for my 3rd grade classroom. Below is a run down of how I set things up.
Looking at my schedule I knew that I had enough time to do 4 math groups in one day. Each group would receive modified versions of the same lesson. My first 2 groups were 20 minutes each and my last 2 groups were 15 minutes each. Now... like you I thought that it was a crazy idea to try and teach in 15-20 minutes. How would I teach everything I needed to teach? How will I make sure these students got and practiced what was being taught? Well listen up, I did it and it worked. I figured out what I really wanted the kids to master with me in the short time and what they could do in another rotation/station. My decision: Get down to the nitty gritty at my table and spread out review, worksheets and practice out into the other rotations/stations.
Rotations/Stations (same thing!)
With 4 rotations decided on, the next step was to figure out what students would do in each station. Station 1 (teachers table)- students would meet with me for the nitty gritty lesson of the day.
Station 2 (at your set work)- students would work on that days worksheet/visual that is related to that days lesson.
Station 3 (math games)- students would play different file folder/teacherpayteachers.com games that I found and created.
Station 4 (math facts)- extremely important and improved my students memory with daily math fact games that I created or purchased on teacherspayteachers.com
Teachers Table- manipulatives needed for the lesson, a pencil box/container containing everyday materials they may need (5-6 glue sticks and scissors, sharpened pencils, eraser caps, dry erase markers)
At Your Seat Work- Worksheet that is related to what students learned that day. There would be a sign letting them know if this was practice or if it was for a grade. Either way, students turned in their work at the end of their station time.
Math Games- I started off with 6 choices... TOO many. My kids were crazy and they did not take care of my games :(. Taking that down a notch, I got a three plastic container from Target and took the game choices down to 3... JUST RIGHT! Now to prep for this, I looked at my units and created or purchased 5-9 different games from teacherspayteachers.com that would relate to each unit. I found a bunch of free games. Click HERE for some of the games I created myself. These would last for about 4-5 days and then got rotated with another game that was related to the unit... hint the need for 5-9 games revolving around each unit.
Math Facts- Again, these are games that I found on TPT that are all focused on math facts (+0 to +10, mult/divide games, etc).
Whew... almost done
Now that we know all about my stations, the number of them and whats going on in each. Here is what a day would look like in my classroom. Students would take a pretest at the beginning of the unit to determine if they are in group1,2,3,4. Two groups were reserved for my higher level students, one group was reserved for my med/bubble kids and one group was reserved for my struggling students. I tried to keep groups in sizes ranging from 4-6 students. That allowed them all to fit at my teacher table.
Once groups were decided, students would be told their group number and who their partner was in that group. Their partner was who they would pair up with and work with in all the stations. Partners changed weekly but groups stayed the same throughout the unit. When all students were assigned a group and group partner, students would look at our board and figure out what station they would start at everyday during the unit. Students would go to that station and begin that days activities. For my sanity I would keep a timer on my phone that would ding when it was time to rotate. Students would get a 1 minute warning to clean up, the timer would ding, they would look to see where to go next and rotate. Simple! After the first 2 days students began to remember where to rotate. It was basically a big circle that they would follow each and everyday.
By the end of all the rotations for that day, students would have received their daily nitty gritty lesson, did their worksheet, practiced the topic by playing related math games and lastly review their math facts.
Now... breathe. I know that was a lot to read but I hope at this point is that you have an idea of how it worked in my classroom. From prep to execution, my students saw success and was able to feel confident in their learning. When asking students, they ALWAYS said they preferred small group math rotation because they "got to learn more".
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask below!