Whole Class or Workshop Approach?

I vacillate between the two.  To be honest, the best set up for my teaching style (and most of the classes I’ve taught) is a combination approach.  September is a great time of year to remain in whole-class-mode for math lessons.  You establish expectations, you gain a greater appreciation for the differences in your students’ abilities, and you get a solid foothold on the structure, language, and purpose of math class.  Your students do too!

Then, after the first math unit or two, moving toward a workshop based math block allows for differentiation — meeting the unique, individual needs of students.

Whole Group:

Math Workshop:

  • Students Grouped Flexibly
  • Class Works in Groups Around the Classroom
  • Groups Often Start Together for  Short Mini-Lesson
  • Group Activities are Math-Based
  • Groups Rotate Through Activities Every 15-20 Minutes
  • Teacher is One of the “Activities”
  • Teacher uses Gradual Release of Responsibility During Lesson
  • Math Lessons are Paced

Curriculum Resource

Math Curriculum Resource - Meacham

The documents on this page support the first grade Math Expressions resource from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  We previously used the resource from Macmillan/McGraw-Hill.  When we first adopted Math Expressions as our resource we were encouraged to use it with fidelity, stick to a pacing chart, and use the scripted lessons.  The first two years, I tried to do just that!  The past couple of years, we’ve received additional math training in AVMR.  Add-Vantage Math Recovery training 1 and 2 was wonderful!  I feel so much better to meet students where they’re at, and to work to close the gap.  It works well with a math workshop approach.  I now do not follow Math Expressions page by page, but use it as a resource and reference the pacing guide every so often to keep me on track.  We have also moved to a standards based report card.

Math Pacing

math pacing

download-icon Our grade level pacing guide (old dates, won’t be updated for blog).

SMARTboard Files

Math Smartboard Files Meacham

Feel free to access my SMARTboard files for math.  They are sorted by skill/concept.  After you click the link below, just browse and download as your needs dictate!

download-icon SMARTboard Files to Download

Assessment Rubrics

download-icon (1)  download-icon (2)  I have two older versions of an assessment rubric that may work for your needs.

download-icon Currently we used standards based rubrics for report cards

Assessments & Grade Book

Despite our move to be more AVMR based as a district, my students still take the Math Expressions unit tests.  They don’t earn one overall grade for the Math Expressions unit assessments. Instead, they earn several, based on the standards that are assessed on each particular unit test.  At the end of the quarter, I look at each standard individually.  Take a peek at the recording tool that first grade teacher, Laura Ruger shared – they’re a great help!  In addition to the Math Expressions unit tests, all students are administered the District’s grade level screener throughout the year.  Based on the screener results, teacher observations, and student needs, some students also take the AVMR assessments.

1st Grade Math Screener-page-0011st Grade Math Screener-page-002

download-iconSouthern Door 1st Grade Grade Level Screener (above)

download-icon AVMR Assessment

download-icon Math Expressions Unit Test Score Sheets by Laura Ruger’s District

download-icon Math Expressions Grade Book Template by Jessica Meacham

Math Tubs

I am in the process of updating my math tub resources to align with my AVMR training.

2015-11-09 11.59.53

One AVMR activity that’s already for you to view is my Add Within 10 Math baggies, as seen above.  Check them out!

You can access the original activities below.  The upcoming school year will be a big year for updates to this page.  I’ll keep you posted with changes as they occur!

download-icon Browse {old} Math Tub Activity Files

Math Homework


In an effort to move away from worksheet-based math homework, I created math activity choice charts.  Check out this post for more information!

Pinterest Resources

I’ve been collecting resources to help support my understanding and delivery of AVMR math; they can be found on my Math Pinterest board:

Math Pinterest Board Meacham

What are your favorite math resources?  Share them below!

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  • Christine Motl
    December 11, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Hi Jessica,
    It seems that the smartboard files for your math lesson won’t allow me to download. Is there a reason for that? I really enjoy and appreciate your structure and routines that you set up in your classroom.
    I’ve been a fan for years!

    • Jessica Meacham
      December 20, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      Sorry about that! Somehow the link disappeared. I fixed it.