Guided Math Workshop (In Progress)

A Framework for Learner Centered Mathematics Instruction

Why Guided Math?

IF we believe that all students can and must learn math, that the important work of math is thinking, and that all learners are capable of mastery, THEN we create classrooms where teachers serve as coaches, students engage as a community of learners, and all can "get it" together!

Hands-On vs Minds-On

"For many years, math and science teachers have sought to introduce "hands-on" activities, which can be highly engaging and, at times, intellectually challenging. Better than simply offering kinesthetic experiences, we need to ensure that all tasks are minds-on, that is, requiring students to immerse themselves in challenging thinking that culminates in conceptual understanding."

~From Minds on Mathematics: Using Math Workshop to Develop Deep Understanding in Grades 4-8

Components of the Guided Math Framework

  1. CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT OF NUMERACY

  2. MATH WARM-UPS AND CALENDAR BOARD ACTIVITIES

  3. WHOLE CLASS INSTRUCTION

  4. GUIDED MATH INSTRUCTION WITH SMALL GROUPS

  5. MATH WORKSHOP

  6. INDIVIDUAL CONFERENCES

  7. AN ONGOING SYSTEM OF ASSESSMENT

Key Aspects of Math Workshops

  • Challenging Tasks
  • Community
  • Collaboration and Discourse
  • Conferring

What Does Math Workshop Look Like?

  • Components of Math Workshop. The math workshop is organized into four stages: the opening, mini lesson, work time, and sharing/reflection.

Opening- A routine that welcomes the learners, invites them to activate their prior knowledge, and sets the purpose for learning.

Mini Lesson- A short, focused segment of whole-group instruction led by the teacher for ten or fewer minutes. Strategically designed to develop students acuity as independent mathematicians.

Work Time- This is where the learning happens! Students are applying their thinking strategies and using the mathematical practices that we have modeled to work on tasks.

Sharing/Reflection- The time for students to solidify their comprehension, synthesize their understanding, monitor their own progress, and focus their intention for the days to come. Also provides teachers with important data to guided future planning.


  • Roles of Student and Teacher. During each phase of the math workshop, the students and teachers each have a unique role. This document explains what each role is responsible for during each phase of the math workshop.
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Resources For Implementing Guided Math

  • Challenging Tasks: Identifying High Quality Tasks, Modifying Existing Tasks
  • Grouping Students for Math Workshop: Flexible Grouping #1, Flexible Grouping #2
  • Guided Math Planning Templates
  • Checking For Understanding: