Differentiated Math Centers

Students explored our differentiated math centers for the first time last week. And they LOVED it!  All of the centers had a “Back to School” theme. The skills included measuring with nonstandard units, identifying numbers, number order, counting on a double tens frame, and identifying numbers that come before or after a specific number.

As you may know, a goal of mine this year is to differentiate each center activity to at least two or three different levels. (I have become the master of cutting, pasting, and editing the activities that I have in order to add more challenge, while keeping the graphics the same.) Below are some examples of the centers that were explored.


A student uses a magnifying glass to locate a hidden number. He then recorded the number in the box on the blue paper and wrote down the numbers that come before and after. This activity was differentiated three ways….in one set, students identified numbers 0-10, the next set was 12-50, and the final way was to identify numbers 50-100.


This student measures the school supplies by using nonstandard units of measurement. Students can also measure using a standard unit of measurement – a ruler.


In this patterning center, students identified and extended patterns…an activity that is easily differentiated by making the patterns more challenging.

I had fun observing the centers in action….and I am happy to report they were far more successful than the matching game we tried to play at Parents’ Night!