We began math stations last week. Finally! My teaching partner has had them up and going for a couple of weeks already, but I just didn't feel like my crew was quite ready to dive in yet. We first got literacy stations rolling, and last week I decided that I had prepared them as much as I could. We had to dive in and problem-solve as we went.
I have a pretty good size class this year at 25 kiddos, so three of my math station groups have 6 kids and 1 has 7 (4 groups in all). They're large, but I have an aide in my classroom during this time so we roam and help out where we are needed. The activities are meant to be completed independently, and it went great last week! We'll keep these same activities through this week (math stations take place on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for us), and then I'll switch them out.
SO....here's what we're working on now.
1. "Apples on the Tree" (link to this pack by Growing Kinders HERE)
Pull out extra large dice and kids will stay entertained for hours! Ha! I double sided this sheet and my students easily stayed engaged for the entire math station block (30 minutes).
2. Fall ten-frame counting mats (download freebie HERE)
I whipped up a recording strip to go along with this to make sure that the students built every number -- accountability!! I also had them use gator grabbers to add in a fine-motor piece. The kids went CRAZY over those cute grabbers! I might leave this one in for another round because my students really loved it.
3. "Create-a-Pattern" (link to this pack by Julie Lee HERE)
I have a student this year that doesn't celebrate Halloween and his mom asked that he not participate in anything Halloween-related in the classroom. I understand that completely because that was me growing up - my family never celebrated Halloween either. Now that I'm a mom and teacher, I love celebrating each holiday in fun and creative ways...and that includes Halloween. BUT....I will happily respect this student and his parents' request to not participate. So, I've had to keep most of my fun Halloween things packed away this year, and instead I am getting lots of use out of this fun monster pack. We just finished a math chapter on patterns, so this fit perfectly. The students had to match and label the patterns.
4. "Brown Bear Ten-Frames" (link to my Brown Bear pack HERE)
We had lots of fun starting our year out with Brown Bear and his gang this year. This was a page that we had completed as a class several weeks ago, so the students were familiar with it and had fun doing it on their own this time. I also added "Brown Bear Groups" to the backside to extend the activity and help it fill the time better. (I didn't get a pic of that side...sorry!)
Math station tip: I always walk around during math stations with a highlighter in hand. If I see a child that isn't sure how to form a number, I write it with my highlighter and ask them to trace it. It's an easy way to offer them some quick support, and they are still getting the practice of writing it on their own...the right way.
YAY for a successful first round of math stations!! It feels so good to slowly get all the parts and pieces of our routine in place.