Thursday, October 4, 2012

Math Workstation Madness!

Our math workstations are officially up and running, yippee!  We started the year learning 10 or so number sense games, one each day with partners.  Then, we made an I-Chart for math workstations (inspired by Daily 5, at the suggestion of one of my kiddos!).  This describes what workstations should look like and sound like in our classroom, and it promotes independence!  (Which equals teacher happiness.)
If you do Daily 5 in your classroom, this probably looks familiar!

Fast forward to this week, and the kids were ready for workstations!  Each day after our math meeting and math lesson, they check the pocket chart to discover which station they will visit with their partner.  Partners will probably stay the same for the first quarter, and then we'll switch!

The partners get their station tub.  Each tub has one of the games they’ve learned and an additional activity or game to practice a current math skill.  And soon, each tub will also have a math book.  (That is, whenever my Scholastic order decides to arrive! J) The point is, no more early finishers! 
I've found that these dollar store tubs aren't the easiest to get out and put away, but they were cheap and they'll work for now!  I decided to put one student in charge of stacking them neatly and in order for us at clean-up time, and that has worked well!
The partners go to their station’s designated working spot, which is shown with number signs posted around our classroom.  No more questions or arguments about where to sit!  Easy, done!

The kids work on their activities for about 20 minutes each day.  While they work, I travel around the room, teaching those extra activities in their tubs.  And eventually, I will pull kids or small groups to the teacher table for skill practice with me.

To support math stations even further, on Wednesdays, my teacher friend and I combine our firsties to teach a new math game.  She doesn’t have a Smart Board in her classroom, so it gives her kids experience with ours.  It also gives our kids the chance to partner up across classes!  After that lesson, we put our new game in a workstation tub.

If you’re using math workstations in your classroom, check out my new freebie, Fall Ten Frames.   Click on the picture below to get your copy!

That's all for now friends!  I hope to soon compile a larger set of math workstation activities!

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