Math Workstations: Component 2 (Differentiation)
First of all, Math Workstations are data-driven. Second, they are differentiated. After-all, you have to do something with that data. It is one thing to collect data, it is another to analyze, interpret and then provide learning experiences based on the data. What do you currently do with your data? Put it in a binder and on the shelf? How do you USE it? Key word here, USE…
Data should directly inform what children are doing in math workstations. Everybody shouldn’t be doing the same thing in a math workstation…otherwise it is just like doing whole group instruction (everybody at the same time doing the same thing) in small groups…with no attention to individual student needs.
Math workstations are about children engaging in purposeful practice in their zone of proximal development.
Math workstations are not busy work.
Math workstations are engaging but more.
Math workstations are directly connected to where the student is on his/her learning journey.
So, that means that in the Fluency Center…students are working on activities that help them achieve mastery where they are and help them to move onto the next level. Some students might be working on make ten facts, others might be working on doubles and still others might be working on adding 7’s,8’s and 9’s. In the Word Problem Center, some students might be working on Take From Change Unknown problems and others might be working on Part Part Whole Part Missing Problems. In the place value center, some students might be building numbers with base ten blocks, others might be drawing out representations and others might be working on expanded form with styrofoam cups (at an abstract level).
Now, just ease your way into it! Don’t try to differentiate everything at once or you’ll get overwhelmed and not do any of it. Start slow, start with a plan…just start!