Archive for June, 2013

4 Must Have Workstations

Posted on June 24, 2013. Filed under: Common Core, Digital Learners, Math Centers, Math Workstations, Problem Solving | Tags: , , , , , |


There are a variety of workstations that you can set up throughout the year.  But, there are 4 must have workstations that you should set up all year long. Why?  Because these workstations allow students to engage in distributed practice throughout the year on the basic skills and content for their grade level.  I am going to list the stations below and during the next couple of weeks. I will write extensively about these stations and how to use them.

Workstation 1:  Fluency – You need a fluency station that is leveled and allows students to review facts they know and practice facts that they are working on.

Workstation 2: Word Problems- Remember in the CCSSM there are specific word problem types assigned to each grade level.  Do you currently take this into account?  Do you know what types your students have proficiency with?

Workstation 3: Vocabulary – Math is a language.  If you want your students to speak it, they must know the words and phrases.

Workstation 4: Digital – Our students are called Digital Natives and we are called the Immigrants by Prensky(2001).  How is this reflected in your math workstations.

I look forward to a wonderful discussion about workstations with you in the next couple of  weeks!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

Reference: http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/prensky%20-%20digital%20natives,%20digital%20immigrants%20-%20part1.pdf

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Math Workstations: Part 5 (Engaging Activities)

Posted on June 11, 2013. Filed under: Math Centers, Math Workstations | Tags: , |


Engaging activities “tend to draw favorable attention or interest.”  Do your math units and lessons meet this criteria? Do your students show up everyday ready to learn and excited about the next step on the journey.  Are they sitting at the edge of their seats waiting with baited breath for what is going to happen next?  In other words, is your math class engaging?

What do you do to connect with your students?  Remember that these folks are the digital natives. Do you use technology in a variety of ways to connect with them?  Do you show videos, play digital games, do math workstations on ipads, pods and laptops?  Do you have them play games with each other and in groups?  Do you use a variety of tools and manipulatives (even though this is a k site the manipulatives go across the grades)? What do you do exactly to engage your students?  Because, according to NAP (2001) engagement matters just as much as all the other stuff!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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Math Workstations: Component 4 (Academically Rigorous)

Posted on June 6, 2013. Filed under: Assessment, Common Core, Guided math, Math Workstations, RTI, Test prep | Tags: , , , , , , |


Math workstations should be academically rigorous.  One way, (a very important way I might add) is to use the DOK Framework.  If you are teaching the CCSSM, both assessment agencies (PARCC and Smarter Balance) are framing activities around this framework.  As the NYC website notes:

Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK) provides a vocabulary and a frame of reference when thinking about our students and how they engage with the content. DOK offers a common language to understand “rigor,” or cognitive demand, in assessments, as well as curricular units, lessons, and tasks. Webb developed four DOK levels that grow in cognitive complexity and provide educators a lens on creating more cognitively engaging and challenging tasks.

Here are a few DOK resources:

http://static.pdesas.org/content/documents/M2-Activity_2_Handout.pdf

http://schools.nyc.gov/Academics/CommonCoreLibrary/ProfessionalLearning/DOK/default.htm

http://dese.mo.gov/divimprove/sia/msip/DOK_Chart.pdf

http://www.cfn609.org/uploads/4/6/9/6/4696562/s_nevada_dok_math.pdf

http://www.pvpusd.k12.ca.us/images/uploads/Intermediate_math_Toolkit_2.pdf

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Webbs-Depth-of-Knowledge-Common-Core-Classroom-Posters-504358 (Download the free samples)

http://www.polk-fl.net/staff/professionaldevelopment/documents/DOKmath_descriptors_by_level.pdf

http://www.education.ne.gov/assessment/pdfs/Math_DOK.pdf

I plan to do a whole series of posts on DOK soon.  In the meantime, just know that DOK is the framework used for rigor in the CCSS.  It is very important to consider this framework as you  look at units of study, individual lessons, workstations, guided math lessons and performance tasks.

Happy mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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