Today, in Second Grade we completed some MATH CENTERS!
I'm going to tell you all about how I organize these centers and why I use them in my classroom.
I have created math centers to go with all of the units covered in our grade two curriculum. After creating them, I printed them ALL, laminated them ALL, cut them ALL, and organized them ALL!
I did this so that I wouldn't have to worry about it during the school year. My math curriculum is set and ready to go. It's so nice to just pick up a pack and get started.
I place one centre pack in an XL reusable bag. It allows me to keep everything needed for this unit in one place including posters, activities, and even manipulatives.
Then I place it in my Math Centers basket.
In the bag you will find the original copy of the pack. I always make copies of the original to laminate and cut. This way I have a copy ready in case I want to share with a colleague
or lose parts of the pack.
I also have posters, resources, number charts, and or other tools that the students can use while completing centers. These vary based on the concept and unit created. In the pack pictured above, I have posters and charts with plane figures and their attributes available for students to use if needed.
Of course, I also have the 4 centers color printed, laminated, cut, and separated into bags with the titles of the center in the front. I do believe that printing them in color is more engaging for my students. All centers have white backgrounds to save on the cost of ink.
I laminate the centers both for durability AND so that students can use their dry erase markers to write on them. This makes it easy for me to save on printing and use the packs year after year.
The students love writing on the cards with their dry erase markers. I do take the time to teach them about how to use these cards. I explain to them that they should not draw on them or press to hard, as this makes it difficult to erase. They are very good at respecting the tools that they use and at taking care of classroom property. It's a nice lesson in responsibility.
I use these centers at the end of a unit. First, I teach them the concepts on the Smartboard. Our math program includes a Smartboard component where we can project the workbook pages and also play interactive games for practice.
Then, the students complete work in their workbook. I walk around and offer help as needed. I also take notes on who is struggling. This way, I can meet with those students before morning routine (click HERE to read about my morning routine) the next day and go over some of the concepts with them in a small group or one-on-one.
Once we have completed the unit, I use the centers to reinforce what they have learned and to assess their knowledge and understanding of the concepts.
Each center includes a recording sheet. I do not expect students to record answers for every card that they complete, but rather ask them to choose 1 or 2 to record for me. I can get a clear picture of the students understanding with these recording sheets. No need to correct 10 examples of the same concept. I also refer to my notes and take into account how much help was provided during centers.
While students are completing centers, I circulate and ask questions. I help those who are still struggling with certain concepts, and once again, I observe and take notes.
It is a great time for students to work cooperatively and learn from each other. It is also an excellent time to engage students in math talk and encourage them to share why they have chosen to answer questions a certain way. It is a great time for students to use manipulatives and discover new strategies with their peers. It is a great time for students to use some of the skills we work on during morning routine (click HERE to read about my morning routine) and it is a great time for THINKING!
Each center lasts between 10 and 15 minutes. As this is a review of the lessons, I do not expect students to work on these centers for too long. When students have finished filling out their recording sheet, they use their dry erase marker to further practice the skill on the cards.
The answer keys make it quick and easy for me to assess the students work.
These centers have really helped my students master the concepts that we learn in math. They are engaged and independent while completing these centers. They also take part in great discussions about how and why they solve problems and answer math questions a certain way. I love how it challenges them and how they realize that there are many ways to solve math problems.
You can click on the picture below to check out my MATH CENTERS. Each set is sold individually, but you save big when purchasing the BUNDLE.
Can't wait to share more about my math curriculum and math talk!
Until next time...