Hello! First, I LOVE our own forum!! Okay! So our principal this year wants us to set up math centers for kids who finish their seat work early. I think this will be cool, especially when we do the addition and subtraction drills. Some kids finish it correctly in 10 seconds while others could take the whole morning! :lol: Soooo.... I am blessed to have access to a TON of manipulatives. The problem is I have anywhere from 29-32 students. :help: :help: :help: I thought they could make pattern necklaces w/ Fruit Loops and yarn ~ use the unifix cubes to make patters... the shapes to make designs and patterns... Perhaps roll two dice and add to get the sum? Make up story problems in a math journal? (or is a math journal silly?) Partner up with a buddy and drill on addition/subtraction flashcards? BUT I am unsure of what else to have at a math center. Any and all advise is greatly appreciated!

One activity I use when kids finish early is have them make fact families with either dice or dominos. I have a stack of papers in the back with blank fact families on them and the kids pick a domino(or roll dice) and use the two numbers to make a fact family. For example if they roll a 5 and a 6 they have to write: 5+6= 11 6+5=11 11-6= 5 11-5=6 The plus, minus and equal signs are already on the paper, they just have to plug the info in. I also tell them no repeats! There are about 12 blank fact families per page. Good Luck!

That's an AWESOME idea! What does the paper that you use look like? Is it just a regular sized sheet folded into fours? With two + and two - signs? That sounds really cool! Thanks tons!

Yes, the paper is regular sized. I might consider putting fewer than 12 on this year. It looks something like this: bok box ____+_____= ____+_____= ____-_____= ____-_____= I wrote box in where I have two boxes for the kids to write down their numbers as soon as they roll incase any dice fall or get turned over.

I'm a little overwhelmed by the thought of math centers, but one of my goals this year is to implement them, at least 2-3 days a week whole class, and if students finish seat work early I guess they can use them too. All I know is that the beginning of the year they are going to be counting and sorting in math centers. I think I will give them math partners to work with every time. I'm not sure what I'm going to do after that! This year I will probably be winging it as I go, but hopefully next year I will have some good ideas built up!

There are great cards available in any catalog for pattern blocks (geometric shapes) and cubes (for 3D designs). I like the foam blocks because they're quiet. Use dominoes for adding or subtracting or the fact families activity above (I like that). Place various measurement tools (string, rulers, measuring tape, plastic links) along with several objects in a bin and have them measure the objects according to each measurement unit. Have students measure the weight of various objects on a scale. Use a place value card, pocket chart, or something homemade, as number cards. Have kids pick two cards and place them in place value positions - make a worksheet to direct them to create the greatest or smallest number. You could also make simple worksheets to have them identify a number 10 greater than the number they picked, etc. You can do lots with number cards. (I'm not sure about ability level of 1st. Sorry if this isn't appropriate.) Predict the pattern. Set up pattern blocks or counting links in a pattern, or print this out on paper, and have kids continue the pattern and draw/color the result. Check out this site for activities: http://www.davidparker.com/janine/mathpage/handson.html

We should put all our ideas together into math strands: Number sense and operations Data Analysis, Probability and Discrete Math Patterns, Algebra and Functions Geometry and Measurement Structure and Logic I know for me that would be way easier to have a bank of ideas for each strand I teach!

I'm probably the only one here who doesn't have to worry about strands. It would make it easy to copy to files, though, so I like the idea.