Friday, March 11, 2011

Updated Math Centers - Keep It Simple!

This week was very long! We had parent teacher conferences and then the rest of the day today to work in our rooms, so I am actually ahead of schedule for a second. AND today I set up our new smart board in our room. I can't wait to use it next week. I think this might be exactly what we all need in my room. Our routine needs some spicing up, so I hope the smart board will help!

Anyways, I rethought my math stations in an effort to accommodate the 2 new students I have recently received. I find that with the size of my room I can only have 3 students in each station. With our new additions, I had 2 groups of 4 and it was getting way to loud for me to focus and get work done with my small group. I am trying to work on my "productive noise" tolerance.

Here is what my station board looks like now:

The students go to 2 stations for 15-20 minutes. I have 8 stations, a change from my previous 6. I organize each station in colored baskets from Really Good Stuff. The color of the basket corresponds to the color of the number on the station board. This was a huge life-savor at the beginning of the year when my first graders were trying to figure out how to rotate during math stations.

It's kind of hard to tell in the picture below, but I have different baskets pertaining to the major math concepts in first grade. I have file folder games, flash cards and other follow the path games that I have made or bought. Here is a quick look at what is in each basket now:

# 1: Not pictured here, but the first station is the overhead projector. Currently the students can work on counting overhead coins, or tens and ones sticks. I have recording sheets for them to show me what they worked on.
#2: Pattern Blocks - cards with pictures/patterns to make
#3: Addition Station - flash cards, part-part-whole chinet plates, counters
#4: Money Station - board game, flashcards, shopping game
#5: Place Value - Who Has It, tens and ones sticks, place value mats
#6: Computers
#7: Fractions - equal/not equal sort, fraction memory, fraction fish
#8: Subtraction - flashcards, counters, number lines, Acorn Subtraction game

It worked great this week and the best part is it takes students several days to get to each station, so I don't feel like I have to constantly be changing the contents of the baskets.

Each student has a station folder where they keep recording sheets that they have worked on during stations. I check the folders periodically to make sure that work is actually getting done in stations. I love the folder system and it helps hold my students accountable for their actions during stations. I am going to post some of my math station recording sheets soon!

1 comment:

Amy said...

I love the picture of your math stations board. I do something very similar. I only have one number but I put several different activities in one tub so when they finish one activity they can choose another without having to get up and move around (it seems like that is when trouble brews!). For example, tub #1 will have one objective (addition) but I will put in a dice game, a card game, and a puzzle. I used boring mailbox numbers last year and I love your bright ones. Thank you for sharing! I can't wait to see your math station recording sheets!