A couple of years ago, some colleagues and I started using math centers in our classrooms. We learned from other teachers that were doing math centers in their classrooms and other resources. At the bottom of this entry I included the references.
We were already doing centers during Language Arts, but now we had decided to start centers during math time because we realized that our students were at different levels and we felt that we weren’t reaching all of them.
Since our math lessons were whole group, we realized that we didn’t have time to work with individual students and in small groups, and we, as teachers, were becoming frustrated.
Math Centers helped us and our students tremendously. We started using time more efficiently, we were able to immediately assess and assist student learning, and we were able to review and differentiate content as per students’ needs.
Our students were able to learn at their ability level, experience success and enjoy Math, increase their self-esteem, gain new understanding, learn from their peers, participate in activities of appropriate lengths, and work collaboratively.
Math Centers were the answer to our problems! Below I will briefly explain how math centers work.
Math Workshop Model:
Before we begin Math Workshop rotations everyday, students take turns solving daily routines, which consist of four problems on the board. This provides daily practice of concepts in the current unit and helps students review skills learned in units we have already completed.
Math Routines are in clear plastic communicators so activities can easily be replaced weekly or per unit.
For each unit in math, we divided the class into three groups (red, green, blue or A, B, C) that rotated through three stations:
1–Work With Teacher
2–Independent Practice & Math boxes
3–Math Games/ Esuite
Students do the same centers in the same order everyday so the rotation chart doesn't change.
Work with Teacher:
80 Minute Math Schedule
•10 minutes: Daily Routines/Math Message
•66 minutes: Three Center Rotations (20 minutes per center + rotation time)
•4 minutes: Closure/Exit Slip/Math Minute
•Math Workshop in Rm. 13 http://hill.troy.k12.mi.us/staff/bnewingham/myweb3/
•Developmental Grouping to Differentiate Instruction http://blogs.scholastic.com/top_teaching/2010/
• Math Workshop in the upper elementary classroom http://blogs.scholastic.com/top_teaching/2010/05/math-workshop.html
•EveryDay Math For Educators http://everydaymath.uchicago.edu/educators/