Saturday, August 17, 2019

Using Math Centers in the Upper Elementary Classroom


Practice makes perfect, right?  That is how the saying goes and I believe there is a lot of truth to it- especially in Math Class!

     One way I try to give my students time to practice is by using Math Centers (or Math Stations).  Math Centers are not just for the primary grades.  Used effectively, math centers in the upper elementary classroom is a great way to allow students to hone their math skills.

     There is no "easy setup" to begin math centers.  In order for them to be effective for YOUR classroom, centers are best tailored to the individual needs and behaviors of your class.  I have often had to try different ways to run math centers in a single year (looking for the best "fit" for my class!).

     That being said, a basic plan can get you on the right track to making math centers work for you- how you implement them is up to you!
     Here is how I have typically setup my math centers in the past.  This format has been used in 5th grade classrooms.

    Center 1: Lesson Practice (this center/ station is a chance for students to immediately practice 
the lesson of the day.  This can be done with worksheets, math books or other means 
of trying out the new concept.  Students can work together or individually).
    Center 2: Math Games (students work on practicing current skills and mental math skills by playing games in a small group setting).
    Center 3: Math Task Cards (Task cards related to the current math unit).
    Center 4: Write about Math (Students use their math journals to answer a writing prompt related to their current lessons).
    Center 5: Work with teacher (Teacher calls students in groups to work on lessons and skills based on student needs.  I usually pulled students based on their exit ticket results from the lesson the day before).
   Math Centers can be a lot of fun, just remember to have students practice expectations (transitions, cleaning up, etc) multiple times to help make things run smoothly.

Looking for materials to use during math centers?  Check out my 5th Grade Task Cards Bundle.

 5th Grade Math Task Card Bundle

1 comment:

  1. What a great reminder on the effectiveness of centers at all grade levels! Thank you for sharing this.