We started our ocean math centers earlier this month with nine skills being explored.
Students figure out numbers according to place value, using tens and ones.
Students match up a number with the corresponding number word and tens frame.
Students count tally marks and record the two-digit number.
Students randomly choose four seashells and place them in order from least to greatest. They then record the numbers.
Students choose a crab and identify and write down the two-digit number. They then record the three numbers that come before that number.
In Number Chomp, students each choose a number. They decide which number is greater and place it inside the alligator’s mouth. The smaller number goes on the other side of the alligator. Students record the information.
Students measure the sea life using nonstandard units and record this information.
Students add sea life and write and solve the corresponding number sentence.
They have had so much fun with these centers, while practicing important grade level skills.
I have found over the past almost 20 years of my teaching career (eek!) that centers are truly the most efficient, exciting, and helpful way for students to engage in learning. Creating small group activities allows me to differentiate my teaching (and students’ learning) to best fit the needs of ALL my learners. Attaching a theme to these activities always allows for greater buy-in and interest from the students and keeps the skill learning fun. So far this year, the kindergarten students have engaged in Reading Centers daily for the past 25 days of school. Additionally, Morning Exploring is a time when smaller groups of students engage in a fine motor activities with a math focus. This time not only allows me to assess students’ learning, but it also gives me a chance to pull students one at a time to instruct them on reading. So much can be accomplished during small group/center time.
So why not add Math Centers to the mix?! We did so today! Students were introduced to nine Math Centers that work on skills like identifying teen numbers, ordering numbers, measuring using nonstandard units, building numbers using a tens frame, and solving addition equations. Each of the math centers can be differentiated three ways to meet the needs of all my learners. I was not surprised to see the students LOVING their first day of Math Centers!
A student measures items using unifix cubes. She then records the information.
A student matches a teen number to a double tens frame.
Students count the number of each school supply and record the information.
Students ready for a challenge use the information from the first sheet and add the school supplies together.
A student places number cards in order and then hides a small picture behind one of the numbers.
The other student says a number aloud and peeks to see if the hidden picture is behind that number.
Students use a magnifying glass to find numbers that are hidden in pictures. They record that number as well as the number that comes before and after.
Students identify and extend patterns.
Students identify a number and record the four numbers that come next.
These activities have the students begging for more! They would have completed all nine in one day if I had let them!
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!
Math Centers have been going really well in Kindergarten. I am just thrilled to see the differentiated activities in action. This months current rotation consists of nine centers, each with activities that teach and enrich specific concepts.
Center 1 is a patterning center. Students use Polka-Dot-Painters to make a specific pattern. One side of the worksheet has beginning patterns, while the other offers more complex patterns. Polka-Dot-Painters make ANY activity fun!
Center 2 is a number recognition activity that provides students a chance to identify the two numbers before a specific number or the number before and the number after the specific number. The numbers to choose from vary from the number 11 to the number 40.
At Center 3, students count the number of objects in a picture. For students who are practicing one to one correspondence, they count the items and write how many there are.
Students who are proficient with one to one correspondence are working on comparing number values.
Center 4 has the students creating a game board using either two-dimensional or three-dimensional shapes. They roll a die, find the shape that coordinates with the number rolled, name the specific shape, and then remove the shape card from its position on their game board. Not only does this activity help with shape recognition, but the students are also counting.
Center 5 has students sorting by color and graphing the results.
At Center 6, students are exploring the communicative property using images of cats and pumpkins. An extension of this activity is for students to write the equations they have created.
Center 7 is a measuring activity. Students measure different sized images of pumpkins using a unifix cube ruler.
Oh Nuts! is the game students play at Center 8. One student hides a squirrel behind a number. The numbers vary according to what the group is ready for. Some students are working on identifying numbers 11-30, while others are exploring 31-50. Watch the game in action:
The last center is an addition and subtraction center. Students choose a card with a certain number of dots on it. They place a bear counter on the number line for that card. Next, a student spins the spinner to see if they are adding two more or taking one away. Finally the students moves the bear counter accordingly. Students who are looking for a challenge are encourage to write the equation using the addition or subtraction sign.
Math centers are FUN!
*Some of these activities came from TPT seller Marsha Mcguire.