Math Rotations: Lesson Work




There are lots of chevron color options for you to choose from (teal, blue, purple, gray, green, orange, and red) as well as a plain background. Included are the posters you see below, each with a description underneath that still shows up beautifully if you wanted to make bookmarks (easy tutorial HERE). I don't use "Rotation One" or "Group 1" but I thought some of you might like that, so I included Rotation & Group 1-4 in each color as well... it's a huge file ;)

Lesson Work


Onto how I do Lesson Work. If you've been following my Math Rotations Series, you'll know that my main lesson delivery model is set up around I do. We do. You do. The "I do" and "You do" are done in Teacher Time, while the "You do" is all about Lesson Work time.

Students leave Teacher Time and head straight to Lesson Work, with the exception of my high kids who end math class with Teacher Time. They do Lesson Work as their first rotation the next day in math. Here's a picture of my student bookmarks to see what each group does (low is on the left, then middle, then high kids on the right):


I only assign as much work as I feel the groups can do in 15-20 minutes. Rotations are about 20 minutes long, but this gives them some time to practice and then recheck their work. If they don't finish Lesson Work in class, it needs to be finished up as homework. This sometimes happens, but so rarely since the risk of homework is pretty high motivation ;) 

Students keep their completed Lesson Work in their math folders and will bring it with them to Teacher Time the next day, where we will go over it as a group and grade our own work. Because there are only 8 of us in a group, it's easy for me to check the next day to see if they have done it and, as we go over it, to see if they are correcting it or are getting everything right. Love those small groups!

Lesson Work forces me to ensure that what I am covering is broken up into meaningful and manageable chunks. There are some times I am tempted to throw a whole packet of new info at them, but this short time reminds me that I need to stay focused and purposeful with my Teacher Time instruction so that their "You do" practice time is useful and reflects the new information we have learned.

Lesson Work is also the perfect time for differentiation-- I can adjust their independent work to fit their needs. This is something Everyday Mathematics was great at providing, and I am hoping our new curriculum does the same. Each lesson came with an extension option I could use for my high group and a reteaching option I could use with my low group.... easy peasy! I will say the typically, all of my kids have the same Lesson Work, but I do love the flexibility that Math Rotations provide!

I do require that Lesson Work be done independently at their table spots and this is on our class' anchor chart:

If they run into problems or a question they don't get, they need to try their best and look back in their Teacher Time notes and problems to try and solve the problem. If they still don't know, I have them try their best and rest assured we will go over it in Teacher Time the next day. I do not want them to "Ask 3 Before Me" like I do during other parts of our day because if they aren't understanding something, that is important info that I need to know when we check in tomorrow as a group. 

*For my low group, I will sometimes make an exception if they are brand new to a topic, or I will allow them to work on a certain amount with a partner before completing the rest independently... nothing is ever set in stone ;)

Again, because Lesson Work so closely aligns with what we just did in Teacher Time, it is rare that this comes up, but when it does, I want to make sure they know that they have a host of strategies from which to choose besides relying on the person next to them and their answer :)

If and when they finish with Lesson Work and their rotation time is not over, I have them jump into Fact Practice. This includes Xtra Math on the computers or working on flash cards with a partner and I will be explaining that "I'm Done" option in an upcoming post.

Do you have any questions about Lesson Work? I will be happy to answer them either in the comments or in an upcoming Q&A post, so feel free to ask away! I can't pretend I know all of the answers, but I am happy to share what's worked and what hasn't for me :) 


17 comments

  1. What a great post Stephanie. I sort of work on the same principal, whole group, small group, rotate on the basis of need rather than ability. but I really like the I do We do You do lables that you use. It gives more of a structure. Fantastic.

    Tania
    Mrs Poultney's Ponderings

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    1. Thanks so much, Tania! I appreciate your kind feedback and am so glad to hear this can help :) :) Have a great week!

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  2. Hey Stephanie, I"m a new follower and first-year third grade teacher. I love your info about your math rotations, it is really, really helpful! I have one question for you: What do you do to make the 2 transitions, with kids cleaning up their centers/notebooks as quick and seamless as possible?

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    1. Hi Kristin,

      Thanks so much for following! I LOVE Daily 5 routines and use the same ones with my kids for Math Rotations. I will give a 1 minute warning, then my "Teacher's Assistant" (class job) will ring our windchime when I tell them. Students will then switch and I will have kids who transition quickly the chance to "clip up" on our class' Clip Chart.

      Hope that helps! It does take a while to get off the ground, but it's so worth it :)

      Thanks!

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  3. How long is your math time? You may have answered that in a previous post but I don't remember reading it :) Also I'm interested how you do this with Everyday Math. That is what we use also, and I tried rotations at the beginning of the year and couldn't quite wrap my brain around it and stopped :(
    Thanks for sharing!
    Briawna
    briawnacallahan@gmail.com

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    1. Hi Briawna,

      Our math time is about 60 minutes, so between 15-20 minutes per session.

      I am also not using EM as much as I used to-- the pace was intense and it was the first year my kids had been exposed to it (I was a pilot classroom and our district ended up choosing something else), so I can feel your pain with trying to keep everything up with that curriculum :) What I did love from EM was the differentiation option for each lesson, so that's what I would keep for Lesson Work or even Teacher Time, depending on the needs of my group. For the majority of the time, we are all doing the same Lesson Work, but sometimes it's fun to throw in some extras (especially the extension activities for my high kids- they are fun!)

      Long-winded answer, sorry! Hope it helped and definitely check back for how I do Math Centers and Fact Practice, since those two help glue the class routine together :)

      Thanks!

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    2. Thank you so much! I've got reading groups going strong but math is always a struggle. I'm looking forward to seeing how it all comes together in your room!

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  4. Hi, Stephanie! I am new to the 3rd grade, and I love your blog...it is so helpful!! I love math stations and small group instruction...however, this year, with this group of kiddos, stations are impossible! I tried and tried. The maturity is not there. I have to do so much whole group that I miss out on the small group interaction. Any suggestions? I have taught kinder and 1st and did Daily 5 and it worked beautifully...but something about this group has me stumped :(

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  5. I am so thankful that you shared this information. I currently use rotations, but something was missing. I rearranged my rotations after reading your posts and started them today. I love it! I'm even sharing this information on my blog. I can't wait to keep reading about your groups.

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  6. I am really inspired to try this in my classroom! Thank you for the details. The one thing I need to work on is my math stations--I don't have a lot to do besides flash cards and multiplication bingo.

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  7. Hi....love so much your blog! Quick question.....is this what you do EACH day for math??

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    1. Hi there,

      Yep, I do this Monday-Thursday :) Friday is catch-up and game day.

      Hope that helps!

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  8. What do the notes the kids take each day look like? I would just like to see a sample :)

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  9. I would love to set up math centers in my classroom but I have a question: How do the students do their lesson time (independent work) before they have their teacher time? That confused me. Can you further explain?

    Thanks!
    Grace

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    1. Hi Grace,

      They do Lesson Work after they have met with me for Teacher Time. It is the "You do" of the "I do. We do. You do" lesson format I like to follow.

      Hope that helps!

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  10. I might have overlooked this in the post but you said your high kids do lesson work on what they were taught the day before so what do they do on Monday during lesson work?

    Thanks,
    Heather

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  11. Hi Stephanie!! Ohmiword I'm loving these math station posts!! I teach 2nd grade and this will be just my 2nd year teaching EM ( and if I'm being honest, it's not my favorite!). Fortunately, my kiddos have had the EM series exposure in 1st grade, and last year, it being my FIRST year teaching EM, they knew those routines better than I did! ANYWAY - one of my summer goals was to revamp how I do math, because there were so many days this year that I just did not feel good about how things went! I'm nervous about trying this format, but excited at the same time - I think it's exactly what I need to help me "chunk" and focus those crazy EM lessons!! I actually had the same question as Heather above - I love the idea of having Friday just be 1 rotation for the high kids to get their Lesson Work in before the weekend and then games (my Fridays in math are game days already, which is perfect!) - but what do the high kids do 1st rotation on Mondays?

    Thanks SO much for sharing such beautifully detailed explanations of how you do math! I'm really excited to change it up this year in my classroom!
    Ashley
    Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd :)

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Thank you so much for your comments! :)
~Stephanie

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