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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Math Stations... Simple, Easy, Fun and Effective!

I wish I knew the best way to explain my Math Stations.
I've said it many times, I like it simple, clear and meaningful.
So ... in a nutshell... here is how I run my math stations in my 2nd grade class.

Each month I cover 12 CC standards.
4 from each domain:
Base Ten Notation
Fluency w/ Addition and Subtraction

This can be found on page 1 of my centers... below is March.

Storing the completed set.  I am going on year 3 of using these.
The first year, I had the expense and lamination to cut... however,
since then... it's been easy!!
I use these fancy storage boxes (he! he!... yes that is a gift box ;)
Each month has its own box.

The bottom picture (of the post) shows what the inside of the fancy box looks like.
12 large baggies of math station task card, talk card, activity, manipulatives etc.

I took pictures today of our last rotation in March.
I have 12 pairs of kids working around the room... completing their activity in the box, completing their workbook and then playing a math facts game board until the timer goes off.  Each station has its own game board to practice their various math facts.

When the timer went off, I reminded them that we were finished for the month.
They needed to place ALL pieces inside the bag for their station.
Clean off the white board and organize the chips and dice.
I then called up station #1:
1 partner brought me the supplies (bag)
1 partner lined the box on the floor
I repeated through #12.

Once I had all 12 large baggies of March Math Stations in my hands,
I place them BACK in the March (gift) box and back into my file cabinet.
The kids handed in their math notebooks (because all pages were completed), then packed up their back pack.
While they were doing this...
I took out April's (gift) box and loaded the 12 plastic boxes for the students.
It took about 3 minutes ;)

A quick thing that I did learn that has helped tremendously...
I number my booklet pages 1-12.
If the skill on page 1 is clocks... I make sure that box 1 has the clock supplies.
page 2... box 2
page 3... box 3...
it really helps the kids keep track of the stations.

I have a rotation chart that I rotated each day we do centers, however the kids are pretty good predicting where they'll go next since they use the Punch Pass each day (punch the station number they did that day)

Last thing... copy the April Math Stations booklet.
I copy them back to back to save paper.
They will turn them in the last day of April and we'll repeat the process for May.

Simple, easy and effective ;)
I'd be happy to answer any questions... that I'm sure I missed even though I read your emails many, many times. 
I know there are many wonderful ways that teachers use math stations. 
It is always fun to check it out through the blogs.
I am so grateful for the many examples that have taught me so much via the internet ;)
1 more day until Spring Break!!!

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Unknown said...

Could you tell how you work the stations at the beginning of the year. I loved them but they were too hard for my kids at the start so they did not work them like I had wanted. I may have started to much to fast.... but I would like to know how you have started them.

Melissa B. said...

This is exactly what I am wanting for my math rotations. I am going to try it out in APril and May. Quick question...how many rotations do you have the students working on each day? What is your rotation system? Do the students ever repeat a box? How many kids are usually working with one box at a time? Do you see students during this time? Thank you so much for your time. This post is great!! -Melissa

Lory said...

Hi ladies...
Chelsea... September Math Stations I do all together as a class. They each have a SEPTEMBER booklet, but we do the activity and assignment together. We sit in a large circle with the box in the middle. We read the task card together and model exactly what we want to see and hear during this time. Modeling each and every station during September was very helpful. I pretend like "I don't get it" (something kids might want to say)... they help ME figure out what the task card is asking for.

We do one rotation a day. I partner kids up with a boy/girl... high/low. This helps with discussion and success. I have a rotation chart ... it's free on TPT that we use. 2 kids work from one box at a time. October/November I gave them 20 minutes after we finished all the boxes at the end of the month to finish any station they didn't complete. By December,they had the speed and we don't repeat anymore. I have kids that are absent ask if they can stay in for recess to make up the station they missed. I have freedom to pull struggling kids, test individually, walk around and join the partnerships and listen to the math talk going on. I love it!!

Krystal said...

I really need to learn how to do this!! I think I'll be picking your brain this summer :) your homework has been such a refreshing change of pace... I think this will be my next project to undertake!

Lory said...

Krystal... my brain is not too large so it should be easy pickin' :)

Unknown said...

Lory - I love your math stations! I was wondering if these math skills would match my math series. Are you able to tell me which series you use?

Anonymous said...

Are these for sale?? :-)

Jen said...

Hi Lory, I love this idea. I do have one question... since you stated that you complete one rotation a day, and there are 12 stations in a month, what do you use the remaining days for? various activities or something specific? Thanks so much for sharing.