Creating An Effective Mathematics Structure

The process of creating or establishing an effective routine in the classroom is crucial in having a successful academic year for both the teacher and students. A Mathematics workshop is a session where the students spend much of their time engaged. The students are engaged by doing the same types of mathematics. The students are usually organized in groups (ideal groups of five or four). Organizing the students in groups will enable the teacher to travel to the various groups of students ad assist them in finding their “just-right” levels. This is done to ensure that all the students grasp the concept of the day.


Described below are the basic steps and parts of a good Mathematics workshop. This workshop is prepared with the assumption that the teacher is supposed to inform or tell his or her class when the students are supposed to “move” from one part to the other. In this context, the term move has been used to mean the mental shift from one part of your workshop to another but not the physical movement of your students. In the workshop described below, the teacher is supposed to move until the fourth part. A quick transition which takes about two minutes is made once the students are ready for the math conferring and rotation.

Mathematics focus

This is the first part which lasts for about five minutes. In this part of the workshop, your students are supposed to enter the classroom prepared with their pencils, math notebooks, and black data finders. The first step involves reading the mathematics focus question by the whole class. Each day has its focus question which changes depending on the official mathematics’ target. This is then followed by reviewing of the official target of the day. Students are required to understand this statement and rank themselves. Rating is done on four point scale.

Math talk

This session will take 10 to 20 minutes. Math talk can vary depending on the day. This is teacher-directed mini-lesson which is focused on mainly on a particular skill, strategy, game or vocabulary. Sometimes the teacher can decide to include a video which is related to a certain focus.

Partner math

This is the third session or part. Partner math is meant for helping students and encouraging them. This will involve looking for a faster method of solving problems explaining math thinking and reading about math. Before proceeding to the fourth part, the teacher is expected to prepare a quick summary.

Maths conferring and rotations

This is the last session which takes about twenty minutes. This time is given to the students to enable them to finish their partner math assignment. The students are then given an opportunity or a chance to focus on their math goals.