Thursday, February 10, 2011

Math Centers

I've been reading Debbie Diller's Math Work Stations book online for free. It inspired me to change my math routine. My school uses Saxon and can be very mundane at times. I also feel like it doesn't always meet the needs of my students. I decided that I needed to break my class in half. While I'm doing the Saxon lesson with group A, group B is working on a center then I flip and work with group B. I have a very small class so this works. 

I have a very small room and am out of "tub" space, so bought gift bags at the Dollar Tree (2/$1) and sponge painted them. I modeled and practiced with the kids how to treat the bags and so far there haven't been any problems. 

Again, Debbie Diller has amazingly easy ways to make math fun. Here is what are currently in my centers: 
Bag #1- Valentine's Bump
Bag #2- Heart Grid Game
Bag #3- Valentine's Fractions
Bag #4- Pattern Block Mat
Bag #5- War with a twist. Take out the face cards in a deck of cards and add a spinner or die. The students flip a card like they're playing War and then either roll the die or spin the spinner and add that number to their card. The player with the higher sum takes the cards. 
Bag #6- Measuring mice tails (see photo below). The picture below is from when I taught kindergarten last year, so instead of having the kids use unifix cubes, my second graders use rulers and measure the tails to the nearest inch. 

This is how I'm managing my math centers. I laminated it and write "Ms. D" if they're working with me that round or the center bag number that I want them to work on. The nice thing about many of Debbie Diller's center ideas is that you can easily make them more challenging. 

What are currently in your math centers? 


Mrs. Magee said...

I haven't started math work stations yet! I went to Debbie Diller's workshop on Math Stations at the end of January. Since then we've had snow day after snow day. I can't wait to get my stations started! Yours look great!

~*~Ash~*~ said...

Oh thanks for sharing! I am excited about viewing the book for free online!
I'm still trying to get the hang on math centers. This is a great post- thanks again for sharing! :)

Rachelle said...

I just bought her book! I'm so excited to start the stations!!!

Katie said...

I have to admit that I use math tubs... I have 12 tubs and two of the stations are computers. I put all kinds of manipulatives for each tub and then switch out different seasonal math games that have to do with the concept of the tubs.

I love your mice tails measuring! I am going to try to add that to my tubs. Thanks for the inspiration!

Chantelle said...

I clicked on the link to read the Math Work Stations book for free but it says that the book costs $30-something dollars. Where do I go to read the book online for free? I love Debbie Diller, I am a HUGE fan of her Literacy Work Stations book so I am super excited to read her Math Work Stations book. Thanks for the information, in advance. Your Math Work Stations look great, by the way! Which makes me want to read the book even more!!! :)

Ms. Durning said...

Oh bummer Chantelle... it's no longer free. I wasn't completely done with it either ;(
Honestly, it's worth the 30.00 if you teach K-2. There are MANY simple game ideas that require little effort and materials.

Francesca said...

Hi Ms. Durning and Chantelle,
This comment might be a little late but I just tried it today and I am able to read it for free. Just click on the green preview online sign right above the book. When you do that, all 310 pages are available for free! Thanks for the link and great ideas:) I love all of your cute/smart ideas!

Ms. Durning said...

Thanks so much Francesca! Yay :)

Kathryn said...

I read the book online, and then when I was at a math conference, I just had to buy it! At the beginning of the school year I had tweaked my math workshop because I had students who still hadn't mastered their addition facts and some who could divide!

I really love the mouse tail activity. We will be doing measurement soon and I will definitely add that to my choices.

One of my students favorite math activity is called Coins in a Cup. They take some coins (whichever they are comfortable with) and put them into a cup. They gently tumble the coins onto a "quiet mat", one student calls heads and counts all the coins that landed heads up. The other student counts the tails, then they record each amount on a recording sheet and compare the numbers using >, <, or =.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just went and previewed the book online. Just click on the green tab "Preview" and all 310 pages are available!

Mrs. Bachar's Class said...

Where did you find the pattern block templates?

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