Thursday, April 10, 2014

All About Math Stations

Okay guys, so I promised I'd talk a little about how I run my math stations and what that time looks like in my classroom!  Get ready for a lot of photos!

I have done math stations since I started teaching.  I loves using the Debbie Diller term "Math Work Stations" because it actually means they have to work.  It's not just "center" time.  They know I expect only "math talk" during this time and they do a very good job at staying on task.  

If you haven't read Debbie Diller's Math Work Stations , that is step one! This book has it all!  It explains how to start out, how to organize your stations and how important it is to work in partners.  I absolutely LOVE this book.  My copy is totally worn, with writing and notes on the inside; it definitely helped me through my first year of stations.



Okay, now that you know that is first and foremost, here's how I organize my stations.

Reminder:  This system works for me, it may not be exactly what will work for you and your class.  I do change it up yearly to the needs of my students but for now this is what I do! :)

I organize my math math work stations in tubs.  I got this great shelf at Ikea and I love it!!  It fits perfectly under a table in my class and I love that the bins are big enough to fit all of my necessary math tools in each.  Please excuse the decoration I added, I think I posted this on Instagram before and this was the only picture I can find. :/


Here's what the actual shelf looks like.

Now, I have to let you know one thing.  This year I have twenty students.  So if you do the math and each student has a partner I would need 10 work stations.  Since only 9 fit on my shelf, my tenth one is computer/ipad work.  I'll get to that in a bit...

The way I organize myself (and my students) is by keeping a list/chart of my groups per month.  I like to do this per month for multiple reasons.  The first is that I like making/purchasing my stations by theme. So this month is all about spring time, last month was leprechauns and shamrocks and so on.  I also only have math work station time on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  This allows more time on Mondays for introducing new concepts or math projects/crafts and Friday for reteach and review. I also like that I can change up my partners frequently if I see it's necessary. 

Are ya still with me?...

Okay, so I print one of these out with my students names by partner.  You can click the picture to pick one up.  Or you can just create a table to match how many groups you have.



So each day I just call out what station they go to and by mid-week they know where they are next.  With my kinders I used a visual poster so they saw where their stick was but my second graders don't need that so I just keep this hung up on the board for me to look at when we need to reference it.

My math tubs are labeled by number and I have the same matching number around the room spread out.  So my students get their tub with their partner and find that number on the wall around the room.




I strategically place the numbers around a specific station.  For instance, I use station 4 for all number line or number chart problems and that station is right by my giant poster and number line.  Station 6 is usually money and it's right next to my money poster so they can reference it if necessary.

You can click here to download these number cards.  


And once they get started they know exactly what to do!  
Here's what my room looks like during math work station time.






This gives me the perfect opportunity to work with a group that is struggling or differentiate by passing by a group that "gets it" and make it more challenging.

When the students are done (building, creating, working) with their cards at their station I have them come to my desk and get my iphone or ipad.  They have to take a picture of their work so I can check it throughout the day, whenever I get a chance.  I've only tried this a few times but boy do I love it!  Not only do my kids looooooove taking pictures of their work, but it gives them ownership of it and accountability.  It also doesn't distract me if I'm working with a student, they just get my phone or ipad take ONE picture (with their name card or their paper right by it) and get right back to work.  I got this FABULOUS idea from Cara, who got it from Deedee, who are two of the most brilliant ladies I've ever met... well met through their blog. :) 

My tenth station right now is computer work. They get to go to any math website that we have learned about.  The most popular ones right now are FasttMath, Cool Math & Sum Dog




Most of my math stations are games that they can play multiple times but if, for some reason, they finish with more time they automatically know what to do.  There is a game station bucket next to my math shelf and it has mutliple games from past work stations.  They can choose a game in that bucket to work with their partner until time is called.  
So I don't have the good ol'... Mrs. Moore, I'm done." Um... no you're not. :) 
There's never 'I'm done' during math time!


One of the favorites is "It's War" by Amy Lemons.  And ZAP!  I can not remember where I got the idea.. Pinterest, I'm sure.  But if you know please email me so I can give credit where credit's due.
 But I made these sticks when I taught Kindergarten to teach coin recogntition and now with my second graders they have to add up the coins they pick. All I did was cover a beef jerky can with a cute label and hot glued plastic coins to the end of posicle sticks and on a few sticks I wrote ZAP in red.  If they chose a ZAP stick they have to put all their sticks back! They love it! And it's easy peesy!
You can pretty much do this game with anything, math facts, sight words, parts of speech, you name it!



This month my students are working on one of my newest math station packets called Springtime Math Stations.  



Here are some of the activities in action.

Add It Up- Double Digit Addition




Double Digit Subtraction 




 







 Money Make & Take



And here's the kicker!  My math stations will be one sale until Saturday (4/12/14).  So please click here to check out my math stations that are all on sale! Stock up now!


And you know what's even better!!!  I'm giving one away!!  All you have to do to enter is PIN IT to WIN IT!  Pin one of these math stations and leave a comment with the link and if you get chosen you can choose one of these math stations from my shop for FREEEEE!!  Easy peesy, lemon squeezy.  

Just scroll over one of the photos on this post and when you see the big pink P- click it and pin it to one of your boards.  Then click "See it now" copy the link and paste it in a comment with your email and I will choose one (or two Sunday night, 4/13/14) and announce the winners Monday morning.

Thanks for being such fabulous followers.  Hope you got a little info for your math station system!

And just for sticking through to the end of this post... grab this little place value freebie!



Happy teaching!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Lookin' good & Five for Friday!




Hey there friends, I am so excited for today's post!  
Linking up with Doodle Bugs for another fabulous Five for Friday!





So, notice anything different? Well I have an announcement....

I will be venturing to FIRST GRADE next year!  Woohoo!

I am sooooooo excited to start my new journey!  Although I am totally terrified to start (yet) another grade level... I am seriously overjoyed to jump to the grade that I've wanted for a while now.   I feel experienced enough to know where my students are going and where they have been.  Three years in kindergarten and one year in second grade, I can't wait to start creating FIRST grade stuffs!!

ANNND I got a beautiful new blog design make over!  The fabulous ladies over at TCBOTB did a great job working with me and I absolutely LOVE my new look!  It reminds me of Dr. Jean's cheer.... 



Say it with me friends.... "...Lookin' Good!"


So here's my button, ain't it cute?!


So excited!


Although I am super pumped about first, I need to stay focused on my second graders to prepare them for 3rd grade!  So I made a fun little bundle of some spring time math stations and they are free... yes, I said free until next week!!  Yup, that is 3 whole days of a free product to download and start using it NOW!  Click {here} to see it in my shop.  If you grab it, would you please rate it and leave me a comment?  Thanks friends!



Here's a closer look at what's included!



You guys, I can't handle this cuteness!  My little guy is growing up so fast right before my eyes!  This is one of my favorite pictures from his birthday party last month.  We had a Mickey themed party and it was fabulous!  You can see more here on my little ol' family blog! We had hot diggity dogs, Pluto's popcorn, a bounce house, a ball pit... it was awesome!



I am in love with this book we read in the library last week.  



It is such a fun read and the student's loved it!  It's all about two people arguing weather or not the book is about a duck or a rabbit.  So cute!

Then the students had to choose a side and write a persuasive piece on what they thought it was.  Once all the students wrote their peice (using the O.R.E.O. format) they had to read it to each of their teams to choose one final student to "debate" with the other team. 

It was a great lesson and the kids loved it!  Definitely a good read!


Now that I'll be in first grade next year I have already started researching some good products to use and this one is AWESOME!


I know, I didn't even have to tell you how great it is because it's by Cara Carroll but you guys, this has everything!  It is fully loaded with fluency stories, games, labels, everything you need!!  If you are needing a little spicing up in your guided reading, this is it!

Thanks Cara!


Thanks for stopping by friends!





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Friday, March 21, 2014

Five for FRIDAY!




Hey, bloggy buddies!  Mandi here linking up with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs for her FIVE FOR FRIDAY!  I just love this linky because it's just a quick snapshot of my week!  




So here we go!


MY WHITE BOARD TABLE!!  


Over Spring Break we got one table in each class in our school painted with this white board paint and it is AWESOME!  The kids love it, it so easy to use and it's cute! 

I can't wait to post about how I use it in my small groups, one-on-one and tutor time!


Stay posted!




Math tubs!


So Katie over at Queen of the First Grade Jungle got me all hyped up about math stations!  Now, don't get me wrong I have been very dedicated to math stations this year.  I love seeing how my students really understand numbers by playing games and not even realizing they are learning!  But she posted about why it was so important and it inspired me even more to be more proactive with them and utilize them even better!  Come back next week with an overview on how I use my math stations! 

In the meantime, check out my little shop for a good deal!  I'm throwing a sale now until Sunday on everything in the store! (3/21-3/23)

Check out this big bundle!  It's a monster-themed work station that you can use year-round and it's on SALE!


Or get prepared for EASTER time with this cute (common core aligned) Easter Excitement bundle!









Making spelling fun!


So this year (being in second grade) has been a big jump from Kindergarten.  So I have been scowering Pinterest and the blogging world for some ideas on how to make spelling tests more fun!  So before taking our spelling test, my students get to quiz a friend!  It is so easy, no prep and they LOVE IT!!  One student reads off the word and the student behind them gets to draw it on their back.  Win-win!  You should try it, your kiddos will thank you!





Holy cuteness!



So my kiddos did a "Movie-themed" program at our school last month and I finally brought Maddox up to see them!  My students absolutely LOVED meeting him finally. I thought Maddox would be a little overwhelmed by all the little faces staring at him, but he was the complete opposite.  He was such a little ham.  He loved the attention from them and just melted as they loved on him and talked to him.  It was such a special moment for me to see my two loves come together!





If you follow me on Instagram, you might've seen this photo.  I found out a DEAR friend of mine and fellow teacher was diagnosed with breast cancer this week and it just breaks my heart.  I wanted to show my support by wearing pink (and of course prayer).  Sending all my love to you dear friend!


Hope you guys link up!

See ya'll next week!