Thursday, June 2, 2011

Math Work Stations

I am participating in the Math Work Station Blog Party over at Mrs. Wills Kindergarten!

I am so very new to blogging and really got involved when I found out about the Blog Party! I have long been a fan of Debbie Diller's. I used to joke around that without Debbie Diller and Debbie Miller I wouldn't have made it through my first year of teaching (oh so many years ago). So back to the book. As I read chapters one and two I smiled as I read about Debbie's suggestion of two students working together. I have used this system since I began teaching and it really does make all the difference. I also was inspired to make I can lists and place in each of my containers. Here are my answers to the guiding questions:
  1. Materials used by the teacher first, then placed in the station: Yes
  2. Materials do not change weekly, but rather changed to reflect the students learning objectives:  Yes, although I think that I introduce too much too soon (I'm going to work on this)
  3. All students go to stations daily: Yes...except for testing days/school programs/and all those pesky interruptions!
  4. Materials are differentiated: Well... not really although I do sometimes have games "just" for my higher level kids (I need to work on this too!)
  5. The teacher observes work or meets with differentiated math groups: Yes!
    My Math Schedule and Rotation Set Up:

    I have 90 minutes on the "books" for math although that is also dismissal time so I really only have 75 minutes.

    15 minutes: Whole Group Instruction
    60 minutes: Math Work Stations and Guided Math Groups 
    I use three twenty minute rotations I relied heavily on Beth Newingham's  Blog for creating math groups here: Beth Newingham's Math Workshop 

    Math Group Rotation

    Low Group-   Meet With Me, Work Independently, Math Station

    Med. Group-  Math Station, Meet With Me, Work Independently

    Med. Group2- Work Independently, Math Station, Meet With Me  
    (I would alternate meeting with this group and the High Group) 

    High Group- Work Independently, Math Station, Meet With Me 
    (I would alternate meeting with this group and the Med. 2 Group) 
I am very fortunate to have 6 working computers in my room that I use when students finish their independent work.

Organization: I love organization and have changed the way I store my math centers every year and I am in the process of changing it again.

One year I stored my materials in numbered book boxes on a rolling red cart. Here is a picture of the cart but, not the picture of the math centers in the book bins (I don't happen to have a picture of that!)

Then I changed and had my Math Stations and Daily 5 Word Work bins on this bookshelf:
(I know this has reading stuff on it but, I couldn't find a picture of the shelf with the math bins on it. I used the same book boxes but had my math stations in them).

And Now I am going to put my Math Stations in these containers that have little handles and open with velcro. I have not organized this shelf yet but this is where I plan to store my stations for 11-12. My only delima here is that I have a few things that are too big for the containers so I'm thinking they will be stored in a basket similar to the blue one on the shelf. Right now there are some reading puzzles I stuck on the shelf as I was cleaning up for summer since the custodians are going to be waxing the floors.

This is the cabinet where all of my math manipulatives are stored!

Some future things I am going to ponder, research, and work on:
  • Making sure my stations are more differentiated
  • Work on creating I Can charts
  • Find a place to store my station materials that are not being used 
  • Figure out what to do with oversize materials 

Note: I added some more information about my station rotation here!


      1. Hi Amber, Welcome to Blogging and thanks for joining the book study.

        I would love to know about your groups and their assigned work. Do you rotate the kids through guided math, independent work, and work stations with a chart, do the kids automatically transition, or do you set a timer for whole group transitions?

        How much time do kids have for each component of your math time. I would love to meet with this many kids each day (other than interruptions, as stated) but my district has a particular workshop model.

        I certainly would love to hear more! :)

        Primary Graffiti

      2. Welcome Amber to blogging! Glad you joined the group.

      3. Amber,
        Do you have an email button?

      4. Thanks everyone! I added another blog about how I organize my rotations (it is linked at the end of this blog). I also added an email me link! I am trying to get used to all of this as I am still a newbie! Thanks again!!


      5. Yay Amber! Thank you for linking in. Your pictures are wonderful. I like your containers with the handles... like a little math briefcase!

        Welcome to the blogging world!

        Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

      6. I love those containers too! Where did you get them?
        F is For First Grade

      7. Melissa,

        I think I am going to love them too! A teacher at my school just gave them to me. She gave me about 20 of them, they were from some program and these were left over. I too wish they were available to purchase somewhere in case some of them break but, unfortunately I haven't seen them anywhere.