Sunday, April 29, 2012

Math Work Stations: Spring 2012

I know I have posted about my math work stations before, but my classroom is forever evolving.  I change things so often that everything rarely stays the same year after year.

Here's the Spring 2012 version!!

{Hi there!}  Laura Candler @ Corkboard Connections is hosting an awesome linky party about math work stations.  I wanted to share some of my ideas about my work stations.  First of all, I have an awesome poster that I made.  I meant to take pictures of it, but I don't have any!!  ARGHHH!  Anywho, it's basically a poster that I created in Word and enlarged on our poster machine.  If I find it, I will link it here so you can see.  It basically has 4 rows and 4 columns.  Each row represents each group and each column represents each rotation.  I have 4 because I have a label for each one. I really only have 3 groups.  I have it laminated so I can write the groups in since I change my groups every week according to our assessments we take on Fridays.  Now to the fun part.... where I have pictures!

This is a picture of where my stations are stored.  The magazine holders on the very top of the picture are actually labeled with concepts like number sense, geometry, measurement, computations, 99 & 100 charts, etc...  This is where I store my stations I am not using.  The baskets on top of the brown bookcase are baskets where my students turn in work, one for each subject I teach.  The larger baskets on the shelves are where my stations are stored.  Each basket has a laminated label {station 1, etc} that is attached to the basket with two zip ties.  All of these items were purchased from www.reallygoodstuff.com

If students need additional materials to complete the station, I usually try to have everything in the basket.

 Here's a closer look at the station basket.  For each station, I use a pocket folder {with or without prongs... doesn't matter to me}.  On the lower right corner of the folder, I have a label that matches the magazine holder where it is stored.  For example, this station is actually a geometry standard so it would go in the geometry bin when not in use.  You can see how the zip ties hold the label here.  These have stood up to 9-10 year-olds for two years now!!

Here's the same station opened.  I have everything the students need to complete the station in the folder or in the basket.  In this particular station, students used copy paper to stamp several types of quadrilaterals.  Students then had to describe the quadrilaterals by their properties.

Here's another station.  For the stations that have cards {and there's a lot!} I have these awesome file folder game plastic storage pockets that I bought from The School Box years ago!  What's so awesome is they are SUPER sticky on the back.  All you do is peel the paper and stick these handy pockets wherever you need a place to store paper goods like cards.

Okay, I have been implementing math stations for 4 years now, and I still didn't have a system I liked for keeping up with which stations the students had completed.  I wanted a way so they could keep up with their own work and be responsible learners.  Then, I went on maternity leave and my long-term sub came up with this awesome idea!

I wish I could take credit for this, but I can't.  The students were doing this when I returned, and I fell in love with it.  Each child has his/her own hanging file folder in a crate {Wal-Mart always has these when school starts.  I think they are like $3.. I <3 them}.  My sub put their name on some post-it flags and tagged their folder that way.  Post-it actually has some self-stick labels that I am going to try next year.  I'm just not so sure the flags would stand up to an entire school year.  Within each folder, each student  has their station check-list and all their 'PROOF.'  Students must save all recording sheets, etc. from each station.  When the end of the station rotations are over {meaning when every student has completed each station} then everything in the folder will be collected and graded.  Each student should have a station check-list and a PROOF sheet for each station they have completed.  

The check-list is on top and some PROOF sheets are behind it.  These are all in one student's folder.  BTW- these are GREAT for parent-teacher conferences.

Here's a closer picture of the check-list.  Each station has the title of the station below the station number.  I use 9 stations because I just like the way the table is even with 3 rows & 3 columns... yeah, I know!  Leave me alone... I'm THAT kind of teacher! lol!  Do you notice the stamps?  That was also my sub's idea.  Who knew that students would enjoy stamping so much?

Beside the folders on the counter, I have a clear container that holds a variety of stamps {good job, super, awesome, etc.}.  I also have a scented ink pad {they love that it's scented} for the students to use.  Once a station is complete, the students must date the box where the station is listed and stamp it.  Then, they store it in their folder for the next day.

I'm pretty sure I left something out because I am also THAT kind of teacher!  I think I have finally found something that works for my classroom, and I am 12 different kinds of happy!

Let me know if you plan on adapting yours to include something from here.  I would love to hear from you all!

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31 comments :

  1. I'm your newest follower. I love how you run your work stations! I'm definitely interested in having my stations go into a folder that corresponds with a certain subject so that they're all together. Great idea! :)

    Tales of An Elementary Teacher

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  2. Wow I love your ideas.. I def need a check list like yours and plan on using your stamp and date idea to keep track of everything... Thanks for sharing.. I'm a new blogger so stop by and visit kinderkiddies1.blogspot.com

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    1. LOVE the checklist! I will definitely check out your blog!

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  3. I'm your newest follower and I love this idea! I've been using math centers for a few years too, but this would totally work for me!

    Thanks for posting! :)

    Rachel
    A-B-Seymour

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    1. AWEsome! That's great, glad it can work for you!

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  4. I love how organized your centers are. I have a teeny, tiny classroom which makes it difficult for me to keep things organized. I wish I had the same space you have. Thanks for sharing your ideas! I, as well, am constantly changing things in my classroom as well as I get new ideas.

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    1. I am so fortunate to have a huge classroom. You could always store the active stations in the magazine holders and the non-active stations in a file cabinet. That's what the other 4th grade math & science teacher does. Hers are stored in the magazine holders from Really Good Stuff.

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  5. I love the idea for keeping track of the centers they have completed. I will definitely try that in my classroom next year.

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    1. Awesome! You will have to let me know how it works for you :)

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  6. I teach pre k and want to give them all I can to prepare them for Kindergarden. I love this idea, and have room, I am not an organizer. I have math file folders and am now in the process of getting them arranged. Can you give me some pointers?? I love your blog and it has helped me in soooo many ways. Thanks to you and others, I am becoming a better teacher. Thank you a million times!

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    1. You are so kind! Could you organize them by skill, like colors, numbers, letters, etc.? That may be useful. Are they stations the kiddos can use on their own? One way is to have one of those plastic filing boxes. Each student could have their own hanging file folder with their first name written neat & big. Before hand, you could place a file folder game in their folder on a skill they need to work on. During center time, they can go and get their game from their folder. They would probably be excited to see what is awaiting them each day! If you do partners, you could put the game in one partners folder, and a slip of paper in the others that says, "________ will be your partner today. Go visit him/her for your assignment." I hope this helps!

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    2. What great ideas!! I think that I will get right on it and see if it works for the boys I have now and then will really incorporate it in the fall. I have two boys a little more advanced and they help me "tutor" the others, who by the way, love having a "partner". I will continue to watch you and so appreciate you taking the time to answer. Thanks again!

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  7. I am your newest follower! I am so happy to have found your amazing post on Math work stations. As it is now, I integrate math centers into our daily centers but feel like it needs extra oomph (organization).

    Thank you for your fantastic ideas!!

    Maureen
    Hi!

    I just liked your comment on FB as well!

    May I have the "Write the Room-Apples" theme pack? I love your write the room activities!

    Maureen

    http://kdg-frogs.blogspot.com/

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  8. I don't do math centers in my room yet, but I'm working on a plan for implementing them next year. So I'm gathering as much information as possible! How much time do your students spend in math centers each day? And do you use their center time to work with students who may be struggling?

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    1. We have three 15-minute rotations. The three groups takes turns at the following rotations: small group, math calendar, and math stations. Click on my Guided Math tab where I have links to all my guided math posts. You should be able to find tons of helpful information. Hope this helps!

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  9. Wow! I'm graduating this Saturday (May 5) and will receive my license in a couple of weeks. I will definitely use this once I get a job. Love it!

    Brittany
    TN

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  10. Great ideas!! I have never done Math Workstations and I would really love to be able to set this up in my classroom for next year.

    Aloha,
    Corinna
    Surfin' Through Second

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    1. You can do it! :-) This is my second year using guided math and it's still not exactly the way I {LOVE} it. It's getting there. It takes a long time. Just do it, and fix it along the way.

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  11. This great! I especially love what the sub did while you were out. I use cheap dollar store baskets to house my students' folders by the time January comes around the baskets are all bent out of shape. I might try this and use the tabs to label groups instead of individual students.

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  12. I recently came across this post and it is great! This is how I plan on doing math workshop next year. I am big into accountability so I love the idea of the checklist, it drives me crazy when students waste time at stations. I just have a few questions for you:

    -Do you grade everything?
    -Are all students always able to finish? (I have slow workers)
    -What happens when a student doesn't finish all the stations?
    -What do students do if they finish all 9 stations early?
    -Do students rotate at a certain time or move throughout stations as they finish?
    -How often to you change the station activities?
    -How often does it usually take the students to finish the activities?
    -Does having 9 stations take a lot of extra effort planning wise?

    I know I've asked a million-ba-zillion questions and I don't expect you to answer them all. Any you can answer I would greatly appreciate as I am planning on implementing your ideas next year. I might have given you an idea for a new post ;). Thanks for sharing!

    Adrienne
    Unless Teaching
    I linked to this post here

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  13. I just read your math workshop pages and got most of these answers. Thanks!

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    1. Did you have any that were not answered?

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  14. Ok, these are great ideas. Where can I find most of this material? I love it. I will keep digging. :) Thanks so much for sharing!!

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    1. Check out my guided math link in my tabs bar. Lots of info. there! Tell me if you do not find what you need ;-)

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  15. Thanks for sharing!! We have a new math series this year that requires math small groups and centers, I have not found a great way to do this yet.... I would love to see your poster if you get a chance to upload it, or if you have already could you tell me where to look :) also, I read on one of the sheets in the picture about a standards checklist.... could you explain that to me? Sounds great to me!
    I am a new blogger, check out my blog when you get a chance!
    Thanks!
    Jodi
    southernsweetieinsecond.blogspot.com

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  16. I love your blog! We haven't been doing math stations, but got a new principal last year and she mentioned to me that the majority of our school teaches without stations, and she would like to see that changed (yay!!). I love how you do yours! My firsties will LOVE stamping. haha.

    Cherie
    The {mis}adventures of first grade

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  17. I love your blog! I'd also LOVE to know what font your post uses.

    Thanks!!

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  18. Hi Terry,
    I'm your newest follower, and I'd like to thank you (and your maternity sub!) for sharing the management idea for math centers. This is just the idea I've been looking for, as I implement centers more fully this fall.

    thanks!
    Meiri

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Hi! I would love to hear from you!