As a principal, I take pride in the literacy workshops in our school—places where students are consistently invested in their learning and their work. When I step into a fourth grade classroom, it has that quiet hum of productive engagement. When I pull up a chair next to Clare, she tells me that she wants her narrative to have feeling in it, just like in The Other Side, by Jaqueline Woodson. The book is open on the table next to her draft covered in arrows, stars, and cross-outs. In a first grade classroom, I stand back and watch as Carlo finishes the book he is reading. He gets up and heads over to the classroom library, and after browsing a few different bins selects a book and plops right down in the bean bag in the library corner to embark on his next reading adventure. Children here see the literacy work they do in school connect seamlessly with the rich reading and writing they do outside of school–work that they do not as an assignment, but because they enjoy it.
Minds on Mathematics is a landmark, practical resource for bringing the workshop model to life in your math classroom. In today’s blog, which is adapted from the book, author Wendy Ward Hoffer discusses the heart behind the math workshop model and the benefits this instructional approach offers to you and your students.