Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Teacher Talk Tuesday: Math Centers Part 3 Organization and a Giveaway

Math center organization is the key to my sanity as I journeyed into the wondrous world of math centers! It not only keeps me in line, but it optimizes student learning.

 
Now, I have to say I have tried Daily 5 Math, BUILD and just about any other guided math/center framework.  I don't think I ever saw it as a must do.  Needless to say, there was never enough time so it was pushed aside.  I started to follow Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits and learned A LOT about math centers.  Reagan is an inspiration in the land of math centers!  Did I say I actually got to meet her in New York at the TpT meetup?  #rockstar
 
 
So now here I am in 2015 bound and determined to make math centers matter.  I learned that simple works.  My flexible groups and centers started off on hand written on index cards.  (Gasp!!) I quickly saw the benefits of small group instruction during math and started on making something more permanent. My students voted and wanted to use animal names for our groups which gave me a starting point.
 
 
I write students names in dry erase marker because the groups are fluid and students can move up and down levels, depending on skill assessments.  I tend to move students in math than reading because our units change every two weeks in our county. So the same student might understand fractions, but struggle with addition and subtraction.  That's ok.
 
 
I then selected the 5 rotating centers that I would use.  I chose to incorporate Interactive Journals in my Teacher's Group to help my struggling kids.  This class in particular needs a great deal of scaffolding and this gives me the time to do it in math.  I am lucky to have 4 computers and 4 I pads in my classroom. 
 
Now that my students are grouped and I have the center cards set, I add them to a small pocket chart. (The ones from the Target dollar section are a great size!)  I remove the bottom center card, move each remaining card one down one place and move the bottom card to the top of the rotation. 
 
 
The classroom organization is set.  Now is time for planning.  I have added some planning pages to this pack to help me wrap my mind around the skills, activities and prep needed for the week! I will be back next week to share a bit about planning for guided math and centers.
 
***Giveaway***
 
If you would like to WIN a copy of MATH CENTER ORGANIZATION before it is available on TpT, leave a COMMENT BELOW about math centers: what works, what doesn't, what you would like to hear more about...Don't forget to leave your email to win!  Winner will be picked on SATURDAY 2/7:)
 
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5 comments:

  1. As with anything...finding TIME. I LOVE small group work. I have a curriculum and pacing guide I need to "stay close to"...so I try to fit in the things I know kids need! Math groups are AWESOME! I am following your bloggy advice! :) Thanks! Wendy 1stgradefireworks@gmail.com

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  2. No matter how I organise all the fiddly game pieces for easy tidying/ storage, the kids always seem to lose bits or mix them up. Timing is always an issue too. As is finding a balance between quiet tasks and noisier tasks. I have 3 groups... Can't deal with more. 1 group with me, 1 group doing written work and 1 group doing games and activities.

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  3. No matter how I organise all the fiddly game pieces for easy tidying/ storage, the kids always seem to lose bits or mix them up. Timing is always an issue too. As is finding a balance between quiet tasks and noisier tasks. I have 3 groups... Can't deal with more. 1 group with me, 1 group doing written work and 1 group doing games and activities.

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  4. This would be great! It always seems that I have trouble keeping my stuff organized for all the different math games my Kindergarten students play during math groups. I need help! LOL Thanks for the chance!

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  5. Time has been the biggest issue. However, my team has decided to finish planning the rest of the year and ditch the paper push. In a good week I was able to do two days of math centers now I want to do small group instruction and math centers daily! Your ideas are always inspiring. Happyappy79@yahoo.com

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