Starting math stations usually comes with a few glitches. Once you decide that you want to start, here are a couple things to do.
- A week or two before, introduce each of the stations.
- The day before we just practice “rotating”.
- Remember that they are 5 and 6 year olds! They have minds of their own!
Even during this introduction period, some of them forget to stop, some will forget to clean up, and some will go to the wrong station. So, please, do not let that stop you!
To Teach Mathematical Thinking
Math Rotations can do so much to build students’ confidence with math. They can provide opportunities for exploration, experimentation, and ways to think about math. If you haven’t started math rotations, I hope my “fail” won’t stop you, but inspire you. If you are looking to read more about math centers, I share in the link about teaching math centers ‘like a boss’.
Our Math Board
What do our centers look like?
- Teacher time (guided math)
- Independent time (working in their math book)
- Games – either as partners or a game that the group can play together
- Playing with math – have out a couple manipulatives and task cards and students complete independently, in partners
- Math Journals for playing with math
- Reading about math – find math pictures books on the concepts you are covering
- Tech time – using math apps
As you can see by the photo above, we are starting with 4.
Do you have math centeres in your class? I would love to hear how you are using them. Are you using 4, 5 or 6 stations? Does your school provide the centres or are you required to create them yourself?
When starting math stations or rotations, I would suggest that you teach this as an “adventure”. Make it a game for yourself. Does that sound crazy? Probably, but making it a game for yourself gives it an element of fun. And we all need a bit of fun!
We will be looking at what to do for independent work in the next blog post.