Thursday, November 15, 2012

Math Centers Lately

Last year I had the amazing chance to learn all about Math centers and raved about them before. Now I have LOVED introducing them in my math class. It is more work up front, but the kids love it and they really learn! 
This is how I organize and display who is going to which station and what the week's groups are. I took a piece of card-stock and divided it into 4 (the amount of centers I have). Their names are also laminated and have velcro to attach them to the board. I mix up the groupings each week.

Logistically: they usually get to 3 centers a day. To make sure they get the repeated practice they start at a new center each day. So if the group started at station 1 on Monday they start at 2 on Tuesday, etc etc. It took them some time to learn this system and tried to insist they had to start where they didn't go the day before (it's confusing but this gets them more exposure!)

So what are we doing right now?
Estimation. This was a modified idea I found online. I wanted them to have a genuine experience estimating. So they had to estimate how many stickers would fit in my hand and then they traced their hand and made an estimate for that too. Then they added the total of their estimates. Then it was sticker time (a serious way to an 8 year old's heart!). They then counted all those stickers and added the actual total.
As they finish them up, I've mounted them on colored paper for a bulletin board. The kids' estimates have been really close to the accurate number (i.e no one guessed 300!) They did conclude that I have a huge hand! Here is a link to the hand size estimate sheet if you want to print it for your class!
This is a creative center! I call it "What's the Question?" - the kids got a packet with sheets that said, "The answer is 5 (or 6,7,8 etc), what is the question?" - they then come up with equations that fit the answer! They can multiply, add, subtract, divide, etc. One kid asked if he could do binary! Here is a link to that packet (5-10).
We're also working on double digit addition with rounding. To make it more fun, I made these folders out of construction paper. One pocket says "regroup" and the other "don't regroup" - each kid has a cup with their name (in addition to their folder) that is filled with math problem cards. They choose one, solve, and file it away. Simple but effective!
The curriculum has a strong focus on rounding and adding the same equation. So I made these little flip-books to again jazz up an otherwise boring task. The kids roll a 9-sided dice twice to get a two digit number and then do it again. They then lift the flap that says "solving by rounding" and round to the nearest ten and add. Then they lift the second flap and add the first equation the typical way. Here is the link to this little center.

If you made it to the end, you are probably a teacher (-: but none the less, a little peak into my math class right now. Feel free to pin away!
Little by Little

11 thoughts on the matter:

Sarah Halstead said... {Reply}

Oh looks like you all have been working hard.

Pride In Photos said... {Reply}

You have put SO much work into these stations...I homeschooled my kids for a few years too. I know what it takes...its great to see moms put so much love and time into their children. Stay blessed.

Pieni Lintu said... {Reply}

Oh, it would be so nice to have you as the teacher for my kids. :)

Kim C. said... {Reply}

Made it to the bottom and I am a teacher! :). These are great! Thanks for the printables! I think these are great centers. I enjoyed the peak into your classroom!

tiarastantrums said... {Reply}

love these ideas! I may have to steal the Math idea for my 3rd grader as she is getting bored to TEARS (literally) with Saxon Math!

Kim Stevens said... {Reply}

You are so awesome, and yes I made it all the way to the end, no I'm not a teacher, but sometimes I wish I was! :) I'm sure if you had to guess, a Science teacher wouldn't surprise you! haha

Have a wonderful day!

Nicky @ said... {Reply}

Wow, I could NOT think up these kinds of activities, you are a wizard!

Melissa Bliss Rich said... {Reply}

That is too cool! I wish my teachers had been that creative. I did have some great ones, and I am thankful, but I think it's so important to make learning fun and exciting. Your ideas look awesome!

momphotographer said... {Reply}

it looks like fun... and a hard work, which math always is! ;)

Buckeroomama said... {Reply}

I'm so glad that most kids these days don't learn math in quite the same way we did when I was little. The way you do it is definitely more work for the teachers, but I think kids get a better understanding of the concepts and have more fun while learning. :)

Renae said... {Reply}

Tamar! hi!

very creative and organized method. i have always struggled in the math department. could have used that when i was younger and silly. now i am older and still silly. hahahaha.

hope you are well due to no post today. have a great weekend, k?