Monday, October 5, 2015

Daily 5 Math Centers with Freebies!

I'm finally getting caught up with grading and planning since the wedding! It only took me a month :) I wanted to share how we do math centers in my classroom- which the routines set in place for those were a God send with being gone for a week!

Although I call it Daily 5 centers, we actually do 3 a day. We only have about 45 minutes for centers so by doing 3 each day I get a longer chunk with my math groups. There are 5 centers that we rotate between.

1. Math by Myself
2. Math with partner
3. Math Writing
4. Math technology
5. Math with teacher

I love that these 5 centers allow for different approaches to a concept where students can have independent practice, play games, write about vocabulary or explain their thinking, and use technology to reinforce their skills.

This is a few examples of what math centers look like around my room. You'll see children all around the room in seats, on the floor, crowded on the couch, bouncing on our bouncy ball chairs, even standing. I believe movement is so important to incorporate, not only as they transition between centers, but also while they're at their center. You'll also see different manipulatives, technology, and games to reach all learners and keep that engagement going. However, you won't see blurry faces.. that's just a fancy app I have ;)

Every day students do "math by myself" which could be a page in their book, a worksheet, or interactive notebook activity. This should be something they can do completely on their own, since it's not partner work and I'll be working with a group. "Math with a partner" and "Math Writing" centers are visited twice a week, and "Math technology" and "Math with Teacher" are 3 times a week. On Friday I meet with all my groups to reteach anything they missed from our weekly quizzes.

So, here's the kicker. I start centers on day 3. I promise I'm not crazy!! The first full I week I do not do my "Math with teacher" group and they just play a game or do a review activity as a group. Meanwhile, I monitor the class and check on groups to make sure everyone is on task and I can answer any questions. I set a timer for 12-15 minutes and display it on the smartboard. When the timer goes off, we clean up our centers and all the of the students return to their seats. I start by setting a timer for 1 minute, and then each day I see if we can beat our previous time to clean up. Once all students are at their seats I announce where the groups go next and send them on their way.

During that week my students learn procedures such as where to find their work for each center, what materials they need (and where they can get them), when it's appropriate to talk or when they should work quietly, and where to turn in their work. This takes a lot of modeling and repetition, but that saves you a whole lot of time in the long run! Now my students know exactly where to go, and can even move into their next center without me announcing each group. They know to move quickly during transitions before I start the timer. They've even gotten the hang of "early finishers" activities and working on those independently. I'm so proud of how far these kiddos have come so far and how independent they are! They take pride in their work and do not take the responsibility of centers lightly.

If you're interested in trying out our centers I've made a few different schedules and cards for math centers to help get started! I'm still working on a product that has the 3 centers, but feel free to check them out and see which fits your schedule the best!

Rock on,


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