Thursday, June 2, 2011

Math Work Stations~ Ch. 1 & 2

The party for chapters 1 & 2 is hopping at Mrs. Wills' site!
I have a thirty-five minute block for math every morning.  (In the afternoons, during the social studies block, I often incorporate math activities into the theme.)  The children return to the class from recess, get a drink, and head straight to their spots on the rug.  I introduce the concept, play a game, provide guided practice, etc.  Then, they move into independent work, partner work or join me at the round table.  

Thoughts on Ch. 1:
  • I have a small class--the limit is 15--with a wild/wide variety of abilities.  Regarding differentiation, I'm able to do this fairly easily with a small number of students.  For example, this past year, a few of the children realized that addition is related to multiplication.  Although I didn't evaluate them on this concept, I provided materials that allowed them to explore their discoveries.  Next year, I hope to have more options in place for those who are struggling, as well as those who excel. 
  • I need to perfect the implementation of work stations, not centers.  Do any of you have a math workbook as part of your curriculum?  I do, and the concepts spiral on each page.  This can be challenging, when someone is rocking the number sequence concept, but coming up blank with clocks.  I do a lot of modeling during group learning on the rug and I tend to use the math pages as skill checks, following a few days of hands-on practice.
Thoughts on Ch. 2:
  • Organization.....Ahhhh.....I am drooling over everyone's photos of shelves, tool boxes, carts!  I spend 45 hours/week in a storybook room where all evidence of kindergarten must be removed for the church classes on Wed. evenings and weekend services.  This means that I have very, very, very few shelves.  The small boxes on the left represent a set that I have filled with small manipulatives.  We call them "counting boxes"; I keep them on a small white tower shelf that is turned to face the wall when I am reversing the room.  The baskets on the right are filled with any math materials that are currently in use.  They are covered with a festive tablecloth for church time.
  • I also have a three-drawer plastic rolling cart that holds dice, stamps, file games, pointers, etc.  This cart is constantly in danger of being removed from the room, but I refuse to allow that to happen!  I want to sort these materials in a more user-friendly manner (love Deedee's Crystal Light container idea!).  All other math materials are kept in a closet.  My last few days at school were spent cleaning this closet, in the hope that I won't spend the first week back on anything except lesson plans!  
  • My biggest challenge?  NO WALL SPACE.  I am not allowed to tack, tape, hang anything on the walls.  There are two bulletin boards (about 3' by 4' each) on the circle/rug-time side of the room.  One of these boards holds the calendar.   On the other side of the room, there are three large boards and two smaller boards.  I use a small board for the daily schedule and a large board for our job chart.  PLEASE, share any ideas you may have for keeping numbers and concepts in our line of sight!  I use sticky-tak to hang a hundred's chart and a number strip from the bottom of boards.  Also, I bought a clothes-line to string across the room for next year.  But, remember, everything I put up must come down--and go back up--twice a week.  This also means I must have a place to store all of these things.
Thank you, Deedee, for hosting the first two chapters!


  1. Ok... I will NEVER complain about having to pack up my classroom at the end of the school year again! SHEWWW! I am wondering if you could have math mats that would have resources on them? Sort of a mini-bulletin board for each student? I think some peolpe call them mini-offices. Hmm... I'll roll the idea around. Thanks for linking up!

    Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

  2. Could you use a Math office or a resource folder for each child that had the information ready at their fingertips the way you would with a personal dictionary?


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