1. The math workshop contains three parts: opening meeting, work period, closing meeting
1. During the opening meeting, the teacher explains the goal and teaches a mini-lesson, introducing a new concept or skill. The teacher then poses a problem or series of problems for each child to solve based on the conversation during the mini-lesson.
2. During the work period, your child works individually, with a peer or with a group, to solve the problem(s) presented in the mini-lesson, developing ideas and strategies. The teacher facilitates learning by circulating around the room, working/conferencing with students individually or in small groups.
3. During the closing meeting the class regroups to discuss strategies used to solve the day's problem(s), to share misunderstandings and correct them, to make connections to other areas of math and the real world, and to reflect on what was learned during the lesson.
2. Are the children learning the basic skills?
Yes. With experience, each child will learn to remember basic skills by constructing sense of them. Although fluency is more important than memorization, occasional drill and review exercises occur during the mathematics workshop to create balance of learning.
3. Why is there so much written work?
One of the main goals of standards-based education as well as Investigations is for students to be able to confidently communicate about mathematics. In order for a child to truly understand a concept, he/she must be able to use, represent, and explain his/her thinking of the mathematics. Communicating about math gives children ownership over their understanding.