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



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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More Great Math Games

Posted on January 10, 2012. Filed under: Assessment, Common Core, Digital Learners, Elementary math, Guided math, Math Centers, Mathematical Proficiency, RTI, virtual manipulatives | Tags: , , , , , , |

Here is a great site for math games.  I like the interactivity and the fact that they use different models and strategies in the games.  Watch the videos for each game to understand how they work.  For example, in the alligator subtraction game, the students see a fact like 8+9 and then they are encouraged to think 9+9 and take away 1.  They do this by looking inside the alligator’s mouth and then pulling a tooth.  They have a bunch of games that use the open number line as well.  For example, in the Catapult Castle, students have to figure out how many to the next ten and then adjust the target by pulling on a line that moves that many. They also have the beadstring for teaching various number facts.  This is an interactive model for teaching “the dolch words of math” – illustrating facts through 20.  They give you the choice of one or two strings.  Try out the games. Let me know how you are using them.

Sometimes, for a guided math group, I will sit with the students at the computer center and have them play the games and talk about what they are doing.  I can see them use virtual models, question them about the strategies and models they are using and really bring out “the math” in the game.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki


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Tiered Math Library Resource

Posted on November 18, 2011. Filed under: Common Core, Differentiated Instruction, During the Guided Math Lesson, Elementary math, Guided math, RTI | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Differentiation is the Key!

Here is a great website with a library of tiered math lessons!



Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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More RTI Math Resources

Posted on November 7, 2011. Filed under: Assessment, Differentiated Instruction, During the Guided Math Lesson, Elementary math, Guided math, Mathematical Proficiency, Problem Solving, RTI | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Here is the IES guide to RTI (federal gov) in Math.  It outlines the interventions very clearly, with a discussion about the research findings of each recommendation.  Well worth using as a study guide in PD sessions.  Everybody that works with students in  math should be aware of the information in the packet!  Here are the research based recommendations:

Recommendation 1. Screen all
students to identify those at risk for
potential mathematics difficulties and
provide interventions to students
identified as at risk.


Recommendation 2. Instructional
materials for students receiving
interventions should focus intensely
on in-depth treatment of whole
numbers in kindergarten through
grade 5 and on rational numbers in
grades 4 through 8. These materials
should be selected by committee.


Recommendation 3. Instruction during
the intervention should be explicit and
systematic. This includes providing
models of proficient problem solving,
verbalization of thought processes,
guided practice, corrective feedback,
and frequent cumulative review.


Recommendation 4. Interventions
should include instruction on solving
word problems that is based on
common underlying structures.


Recommendation 5. Intervention
materials should include opportunities
for students to work with visual
representations of mathematical
ideas and interventionists should
be proficient in the use of visual
representations of mathematical ideas.


Recommendation 6. Interventions at
all grade levels should devote about
10 minutes in each session to building
fluent retrieval of basic arithmetic facts.


Recommendation 7. Monitor the
progress of students receiving
supplemental instruction and other
students who are at risk.


Recommendation 8. Include
motivational strategies in tier 2 and
tier 3 interventions.


Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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Great RTI Math Resource: Strategies for Guided Math Groups

Posted on July 23, 2011. Filed under: Assessment, Classroom environment, Common Math Errors, Differentiated Instruction, During the Guided Math Lesson, Elementary math, Guided math, Mathematical Proficiency, RTI | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

RTI is a great structure for planning differentiated interventions!  I do a great deal of workshops on it around the country.  I find that people struggle with really knowing what research based math interventions look like.  As a nation we are really good at knowing and talking about research based literacy interventions!  We have to spruce up our knowledge on RESEARCH BASED MATH INTERVENTIONS!   Math research is alive and well (as quiet) as it is kept.

Here is a great resource by the Federal Government about how to implement research based math interventions called Doing What Works!

Following the recommendations of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel they state that RTI interventions should:

• For K–5, focus on whole numbers, including place value and addition and subtraction operations with whole numbers

• For 4–8, focus on rational numbers and operations with fractions, decimals, ratios, and percents and complex operations with whole numbers

• Explicitly teaching how to solve word problems using problem types with examples and information about teaching students to identify irrelevant information

• Daily practice on fluency with math facts during interventions and cumulative review

• Strategy approaches to fact teaching, including counting on, deriving facts using properties

This website is filled with resources such as powerpoints and videos.  It also has a great deal of information about screening and monitoring as well as actual implementation at all 3 levels.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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