Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How to Implement Math Stations in Your Classroom

Back to school time is exciting and refreshing. As you make new promises for your classroom that you will try to keep going all year long here are some strategies to help you implement and keep Math Stations going in your classroom all year long!

1. Rotation Stations vs. Choice Stations - There are many types of stations you can set up in your room. You can set up your Math Stations so that students rotate through them as a group or allow them free choice about which stations to use.

I set my stations up as a rotation with a timer on the board set for 10-15 minutes. This allows the students to be time conscious at each station.  

2. Math Logs - Create a Math Activity Log for each student using a manila folder or a pocket folder with 3 paper fasteners. Include one of the Math Log printables shown at right, and teach students how to record their activities on the log each day. 

All of my Math Stations available on TPT have a Math Station Activity Guide that allows students to record their answers. Click here to view: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Middle-School-Math-Stations-The-Mega-Bundle-2012359

3. Displaying and Storing Materials - Plastic storage carts with drawers work well for storing math center materials for long term use.

I keep al of my materials in a manila folder labeled for that Math Station. I also put protective covers on each "station card" so that I can reuse them year after year.

4. Math Station Menus - Post a menu of the Math Stations that are available in a given week. List each activity title along with the math content.

I post on the board what stations are available for the day such as, Station 1- vocabulary, Station 2- computers, etc.

5. Partners vs. Groups - Partner activities seem to work better than group activities because students stay more focused and on-task with one other person than as a part of a big group. If you do have group activities, make sure the directions are clear and require equal participation from all group members.

I use groups of 3 to 4 students in my classroom with a rotation of 6 to 7 stations. I have six pre-made teacher facilitated stations and if I want to add me as an additional 7th station for lower level learners, then I will have a teacher review station where we go over problems on whiteboards. Students LOVE this station! They LOVE writing on the whiteboards with dry erase markers and getting instant feedback on how well they are doing from the teacher! It can be draining to do this station all day, but it is very rewarding for the students.

6. Math Buddies - You may want to assign students to a certain Math Buddy each day or each week. If you do, pair a low-performing student with an average student or an average student with a high functioning student. If you try to pair an advanced student with someone who is really struggling, they both get frustrated. 

I have paired high and low students in the same group and it works sometimes and doesn't other times. It depends on personalities, and only you the teacher will know what works best for your classroom.
Middle School Math Stations: The Mega Bundle

For Middle School Math Stations Grades 6-8 Click HERE: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Middle-School-Math-Stations-The-Mega-Bundle-2012359

Visit my store for more activities: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kelly-Mccown

Happy Teaching!

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