# Math Centers

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by thirdgradebuzz, Feb 5, 2011.

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Feb 5, 2011

I am in the process of creating math centers for my students to supplement Saxon Math program. This is not something widely done at my school in math, but lower grades do it for reading. I will have enough centers for each child to be working on their own individual activity.

In Saxon math, there is a whole-group lesson component, a math facts worksheet, and a guided practice worksheet. My question is, which way do you think would be more effective for the students for me to organize centers:

Possibility 1:
-Do Whole Group Lesson
-Followed by Small Group Guided Practice/ Other kids in Centers

Possibility 2:
-Small Group Lesson/ Other groups work on Centers
-Followed by Whole Group Guided Practice

Also-- I am a little hung up on an odd number/even number practice center for 3rd grade level, if anyone has ideas! I can't seem to think of anything using manipulatives for this skill. Any ideas would be great.

3. ### moparMultitudinous

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Feb 5, 2011

I think that you would be better off going with possibility 1. This way you can work with students more individually during the guided practice and remediate if needed.

odd/even number....could you have students roll 3 or more dice and create an even number or explain why they couldn't make one. You could do the same with number tiles or cards 0-9.

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Feb 5, 2011

Thanks for the dice idea! Maybe I will have them roll the dice and then also use digit cards to represent the number. They could make two separate numbers and then figure out greater than/less than/equal to.

I think you're right too, about Possibility 1. That was my gut instinct, because I thought working through problems would be more beneficial. But then I second guessed myself, thinking if they had gotten the lesson in small group, they might not need as much support during guided practice. I think I will try #1 once my centers get set up.

5. ### UVAgrl928Habitué

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Feb 6, 2011

Or just to throw out an idea... eliminate the whole group component. I don't do any whole group math anymore. I meet with my three separate groups and deliver the lesson three different times (with modifications each group needs). For instance, this week we began double digit addition with regrouping. One group of kids already knew how to do it, so I taught them how to continue regrouping past two digits. The other two groups just did two digit problems (and my struggling ones had to go back to double digit without regrouping). I love it because my class this year wouldn't get anything out of whole group instruction... I don't have a single time during my day where I have my whole class for a whole group lesson.

6. ### moparMultitudinous

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Feb 6, 2011

I go back and forth between your possibility 1 and what UVAgrl describes. It depends on the unit. I give a pre-test and if I see vast differences, then I do what UVAgrl describes. However, if most students are about the same level, I do more of what you described in possibility 1.

I think it really depends on the amount of time that you have as well as the student need.

7. ### Kat53Devotee

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Feb 6, 2011

How much time do you have for your math block?

8. ### txteach26Rookie

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Feb 6, 2011

I love this thread! I have 2 hrs., 3 times a week for Math (we switch classes). I'd love to incorporate centers and small group time as well. I tend to favor whole group followed by small group as well. I feel that it's easier to start the period very structured, then release them into independent work later. Much harder to get them to settle down for whole group after they've been in centers!

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Feb 6, 2011

So true!

10. ### TamiJVirtuoso

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Feb 6, 2011

This is how I conduct math centers (these ideas I got from here...I was very lost when I first was getting started):

1) Whole group (10 mins)
2)Centers: rotation 1 (meet with teacher/hands-on/folder)
3) Centers: rotation 2 (hands-on/folder)

I currently only have 2 rotations, after whole group. I meet with 1 math group each day, so if it's the day a math group meets with me, that is their first rotation, and then they go to folder center (practice pages for the new lesson and individual practice for whatever that student is working on). A group that does not meet with me has hands-on and folder center. I hope that isn't confusing.

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Feb 6, 2011

UVAgirl-- what you are describing is my ultimate goal once the kids get used to centers. I think the way you do it would be the best way, just trying to get started!

I have a bit over an hour long math block to devote to the lesson and guided practice. Here is what my schedule will hopefully look like once I get centers running:

5 mins- Fact Drills
15 mins- Whole Group Lesson
40 min- 10 mins center rotations/ 10 mins of instruction to 3 groups/ with the extra ten minutes for me to give one-on-one to anyone that may need it while other students work in a 3rd center.

I don't know if I would have time to teach the lesson and do the required Saxon guided practice with the groups in the time I have. But maybe I could get to that point? I would like to. Some of the kids do fly through the skill. Maybe once I get them used to centers I could do it like this...

5 min Fact Drills
60 mins Centers (15 minute rotations with 3 groups, kids work with me and complete 3 other centers, I spend my extra 15 minutes with lowest group or remediation students)

I'm excited to try and start this and hope it helps the kids. They are pretty good at math but I just want to add MORE to the Saxon routine.

12. ### moparMultitudinous

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Feb 7, 2011

Good luck! And keep us posted!

13. ### lnm130Companion

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Feb 7, 2011

One thing I did with my kids for even and odd as a review was I made a paper with a bunch of numbers, both even and odd. I then gave the students all two bingo markers, two different colors. They stamped all even numbers one color and all the odd the other color. My 2nd graders LOVE bingo markers!

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