And my dislike of math transferred to teaching math, especially when I had a terrible teacher for my math methods class.
In student teaching, we had four centers - two that were teacher lead and two that were "independent" aka not at all. And I hated it. So much. Maybe it was the drag of always having to remind kids to do their jobs, keep their voices down, not throw cubes at each other, etc. or maybe it was because it was at the end of the day...not sure.
So I started the year off with similar centers - I had five centers and it just didn't work. Kids were
being annoying not doing the center correctly, talking too much, or not being on task.
Enter Debbie Dillar's Math Workstations. Seriously, this book was completely changed the way I organize my math centers. Now I don't use it perfectly, but I took the general structure and fit it into my classroom. I have a bunch of different centers and only two students are at each one (with the exception of computers since I have four student computers and meeting with me).
Now I still have students who get off task. And what does Debbie say about that? She says just have the offender come and sit right by you. So that is just what I do. And it works. And it makes me happy!!
Some of my stations are from Debbie's book, others are ones from TPT, and others are from student teaching.
Roll and Record. Students roll two dice - one with dots and one with numbers, which helps them learn counting on. They then color in a square above the number. Whichever number gets to the top first is the "winner".
Collections. Students count their collections by ones, twos, fives, and/or tens. They can also sort by color, shape, size, or however they can group them.
Hundreds Chart. I found this gem in my room. It's a hundreds chart that has little tiles which each have one number on it. The students can then fill in the tiles. When they do so, they count forwards and backwards.
More Than/ Less Than/ Same As. I found this activity somewhere in Blogland (if it's yours or you know who created it, please let me know so I can give them credit!). There are a variety of cards with equations on them. There are three cards - one says Greater than 9, one says Less than 9, and one says Same as 9. The students then have to figure out where each card belongs and place it underneath the correct category.
Buttons in a Cup. Students start off with some buttons. One student hides some buttons under the cup. The other student has to figure out how many are hiding based on how many they see. Then they switch jobs.
Skyscrapers. Students roll two dice (again one with numbers and one with dots) to determine how cubes will be in their tower. They take turns until all the black dots are filled. Then they count all their cubes to determine who had more cubes.
Computers. A hit stations among students. Here, students can pick from a few websites that have math games.
Card Games. Students can pick to Go Fish or War.
Meeting with me at the rainbow table! Here, we usually do number sense activities, CGI problems, or I re-teach concepts from large group to students who might need some extra time. This kiddos are working on CGI division and how they could divide 15 pieces of candy between the five of us.
What do you do for math centers/work stations??