The Differentiated Math Classroom: Discussion Points 3 and 4 - The Teacher Studio: Learning, Thinking, Creating

The Differentiated Math Classroom: Discussion Points 3 and 4

Ready for some more?  Of course you are!  Hasn't it been GREAT reading the ideas of others?  I can't wait to see how this unfolds over the next few weeks!

Here are the questions for today!

3.  What changes might be needed with your physical space next year?  What is working in your classroom?

4.  On pages 36-37, the author refers to "anchor activities" that can be used with very little instruction as the year unfolds.  What types of anchor activities do you currently use or what might you want to try new next year?

Keep the discussion moving and put your 2 cents in!  Don't be shy!
Thanks for stopping by today!


  1. I really need to work on my classroom space. Last year I had 25 kids and am told next year will be about the same. It was the most I had ever packed into my room and it was miserable. I wanted to switch from desks to tables but I would have to buy them and I can't do that. So I am really trying to re-evaluate things in set-up this summer. I was thinking of putting my word wall on a shower curtain so it wouldn't take up so much wall space, which I also don't have a ton of. That way I can hang up more anchor charts. I wish we could post pictures on here :) I'd ask you all to take a peek and see what you think I could do.
    An anchor activity that I was hoping would be a HUGE differentiation tool is making videos on the Smart Video in Smart Notebook. If "Bobby" needs review on decimals, he can have me teaching him on that video about it again, while "Sally" next to him is doing a review video on place value. I'm trying to create a bank of these videos this summer and having them in "workstation" rotation while I work with small group and the rest of the class is engaged in problem solving/task cards. At least that's my idea.

    1. Space planning is so hard, isn't it? Have you considered taking photos of your anchor charts and copying them for the kids to keep in a folder? I have always had dreams of doing that but struggle maintaining it as a system. The video idea sure sounds intriguing! Lots of work, though!

  2. I have gathered all kinds of furniture into my room from my years in special education. I have a round table ( seats 4-5), 4 rectangular tables (seats 5-6) and a kidney table for a personal desk and small group space. I also have a small couch, 50's desk chair combo, and three study carrells. We called the carrells Alaska and the old desk Hawaii all year. I would like some Hikko stools which rock but don't bounce around the room like exercise balls. Most of the time students ask to go to Alaska for test taking and quiet time but sometimes I have to direct unfocused students to Alaska to get their work done. Even if I could only have desks, I would use similar arrangements. I have a ton of book and supplies on shelves around the room. I will work on thinning and labeling when I can get back in my room.
    I began to use task cards at the end of last year. I liked them for review and the lack of copying I had to plan for. I would like to use more independent projects for next year. I would like the students to incorporate more Educreation type creativity Apps on the 6 iPads in my classroom.

    1. I like your states! I have two empty desks that are called "Quiet Zones". Kids can CHOOSE to work there or I can PUT them one can bother them there.

      I have to find a way to do more independent projects next year...researching the "genius hour" movement...have you heard of it?

    2. I have 2 45 minute blocks of time a week to do something like this. I also teach science (my first love) and would hope that science would inspire good research projects. I will add it to the list!

  3. I have a large rug area and 2 smaller rug areas where students seem to gravitate towards when working in small groups or with partners. I have an area that I use for small group instruction, which is a hexagon shaped table and a whiteboard easel. I would like to have more work stations for independent work, but I don't think I have the space. I like the idea of putting the study carrels out for students who have a hard time focusing in larger groups.
    I usually teach students easy to use math games with dice and playing cards. They are a go to whenever they finish work early. I have games for most math concepts. I'd like to develop more problem solving centers.

  4. I will be a 3/4 teacher next year, so this is all helpful as I think and plan for teaching my math class. I know this will be the one curricular area that will be differentiated the most because I will have such a range of abilities. I have been really thinking a lot about how to utilize my space the most. I had a couple carts and shelves on wheels that I asked to be removed from my room to help open up some space for small groups. We're getting permanent work stations for our main computer (ugh) which will take up far more space than need be, but we have no choice. I think I will turn my teacher desk into a Hawaii or Alaska since I am not allowed to lose it. I too have been working on problem solving centers. Wish I could have a rug in my room...


Back to Top