The second grade team at Liberty Oaks Elementary has spent collaboration time discussing math instruction and making changes that positively impact learner agency.
Ashley Allen explains the changes she has made and the impact it has had in her classroom:
This year I restructured my math block. I went from the tradition whole group lesson followed by independent practice to a math workshop approach. My math block starts out the same every day. It begins with the statement, “Today we are going to solve a problem!” I pose a question and give my students time to independently find the solution. We discuss as a class the different methods/strategies they chose to use to solve the problem. This leads into my mini lesson which is then followed by workstations.
The structure of my math block was a BIG change for me. I love that my students are exploring math problems on their own and coming up with their own strategies before I even begin my lesson. My students are doing all the work, and I am just guiding them while introducing new strategies. They are becoming confident mathematicians. They are becoming independent thinkers. They are able to tackle problems on their own without waiting for me to hold their hand through the whole process. Because most of my instruction happens in my small groups, I am able to meet the needs of all my learners.